Whether its bird watching, Wildlife appreciation or ecotourism, the national parks of Cuba have it all. Our guide to the national parks of Cuba gives you the information you’ll want to know.
Approximately 10% of the land area of Cuba is officially protected land upon which all building and development is forbidden. Despite the fact that many of the rural areas of Cuba provide wonderfully abundant varieties of natural life, there does not seem to be, as such, an official list of national parks in Cuba.
However, the lack of official national park status should not dissuade bird watching enthusiasts or people interested in eco tourism from visiting the many natural parks in Cuba. Unofficially there are about five natural areas in Cuba that have been given the loose title of national parks and all of these are open to visitors to Cuba to enjoy. There are currently four areas in Cuba that have been officially designated as UNESCO biosphere reserves which in many ways is the same as a national park.
National park maintenance in Cuba
Another problem faced in those areas of Cuba that can be considered to be national parks is that there are no unified and standardised national park protection policies in place in Cuba, and currently practices and rules seem to vary from one national park to another in Cuba.
Despite this, it can be said that all in all the level of protection afforded to these national parks in Cuba is satisfactory given the limited funding that national park programs receive in Cuba.
Entrance fees for national parks in Cuba
Entrance to national parks in Cuba is not free and visitors from outside of Cuba will be expected to pay upon entrance to the national park. Unfortunately the fees vary between national parks in Cuba so it is very difficult to say how much a visitor to one of the national parks in Cuba is likely to be charged.
To make matters more complicated, entrance to some of the national parks in Cuba require a special scientific permit which are only available to professionals wishing to undertake research at one of the national parks in Cuba.
Such scientific permits to enter national parks in Cuba often take weeks for the application procedure to be completed. The best way of ensuring entry to one of the national parks in Cuba is to sign up for a national park tour with a tour company in Cuba.
Apart from ensuring your entrance to the national park in Cuba, you will at least know how much you need to pay before travelling out to the national park and many tour guides offer interesting tours of the national parks in English.