Cuba, a tourist destination par excellence in the Caribbean region, holds a wide range of attractions for national and foreign holidaymakers.
Natural and biosphere reserves, natural landscapes, national parks and protected areas make up an extensive network of options, characterized by its wealth, excellent preservation and unique features in the region.
In addition, Cuba has 200 bays, 2,000 keys and islets and 588 kilometers of beaches, which are classified by their tourist relevance.
Among the keys are the archipelagos of Las Coloradas, Sabana-Camagüey and Jardines del Rey (King's Gardens) in the north, and Jardines de la Reina (Queen's Gardens) and Canarreos in the south.
In the particular case of Jardines de la Reina, discovered by Admiral Christopher Columbus and named after the then Queen of Spain, it is considered the best preserved.
According to experts, the remoteness from populated areas and the fact that it can only be accessed by boat turn the archipelago into the most pristine group of islets in the Caribbean and perhaps in the world.
Composed of some 600 islets, Jardines de la Reina runs along the south coast of Ciego de Avila and Camagüey provinces and its sea bottom is the habitat of sponges, chelonians, mollusks, crustaceans, corals, sea fans, algae, black corals and more than 100 varieties of fish.
Moreover, it is a major area in Cuba where four species of marine turtles come to lay their eggs and the habitat of one of the largest populations of queen conches (Lobatus gigas, previously Strombus gigas) in the country.
According to studies on the central-western keys of Jardines del Rey, known as the Twelve-League Labyrinth, they were formed by the accumulation of sediments that were retained by the vegetation, mainly mangrove and bushes that grow on sandy coasts.
The archipelago is 135 kilometers long and has excellent sites for scuba diving and snorkeling, with colonies of sponges and coral reefs.
On the other hand, it is inhabited by black corals and several species of marine animals that are natural relics in a well-preserved ecosystem.
Jardines de la Reina is visited by holidaymakers who arrive on their boats and can dive in the region, where they can watch the sharks that live in that protected area.
The group Azulmar, attached to the Ciego de Avila branch of company Marlin, Náutica y Marinas, is in charge of promoting the region's tourist attractions among international tour operators and travel agencies.
A fleet of 48 fishing boats, 50 diving spots and the seven-room floating Hotel Tortuga make up the infrastructure in the south-central Cuban keys.
In addition, the international diving center in the region organizes immersions near the keys Grande, Caballones, Anclitas, Piedra Grande and Cachiboca.