Cuba holidays and its ecological treasures in Pinares de Mayari
With a fascinating range of uninterrupted greenery across 5300 hectares of lush pine tree landscapes, the Pinares del Mayari region constitues an authentic ecological wonder that has survived centures of climatic change due to the area's own micro-climate
For those who dream of eco-perfect Cuba holidays, the green population of the Pinus cubensis is so dense in Cuba’s eastern Mayarí Plateau, that seen from above it covers the deep red of the ferruginous soil, washed for millions of years and with vast reserves of iron, nickel and other minerals.
But for tourists wanting to get lost in this green paradise during their Cuba holidays we must say that it’s not the same to watch the landscape from a tourist light aircraft or a helicopter than from a land vehicle. The experience is much more spectacular as you drive across it in one of the green jeeps dedicated to local tours that depart from the beaches of Holguin.
Observed from land, the Pinares of Mayarí looks like very tall dark green columns towering over an uneven sea of deep scarlet land…a spectacular sight that leaves many nature lovers on Cuba holidays simply lost for words.
This 5,300-hectare plateau is 700 metres high, with enough altitude to generate a fresh microclimate that explains its exceptional prevalence of conifers. Those mountain ranges “full of pine trees” were frequent in the times of Christopher Columbus (1492), when the pine groves reached up to the nearby coastline and the Genovese sailor was exploring Cuba’s northeast, nowadays however they are a rare and precious site not to be missed during naturist Cuba holidays.
The pine groves of Mayarí, which are a real natural monument near the namesake town, are located 90 km from the popular Guardalavaca Beach and 110 km from Holguin City. They cover the central zone of the Nipe Plateau, which surrounds them with calcareous hills featured by ravines, some with beautiful waterfalls and water rapids that flow onto the river at the bordering plain. One of them and the most spectacular of them all is the big Salto del Guayabo (Guayabo Waterfall), which emerges from a natural spring on top of the plateau, and then joins the Mayarí River.
A natural wonder in its own right (not to be missed during Cuba holidays in Holguin); the tropical latitude where these mild zone trees grow in Cuba, apparently suffered from low temperatures during the past glaciations of the planet and thanks to a micro-climate that has survived the tropicalisation of the country, this green pine forestation has managed to survive escaping higher temperatures and remaining intact. Other places of the Cuban archipelago report the existence of those big pine groves, already tropicalized, though with other species of coniferous trees that are timber-yielding too.
Today, the Pinares de Mayarí is widely recognised as an exceptional ecological treasure, full of one-of-a-kind landscapes, contained a singular micro-climate that is home to several dozens of odd Antillean fauna and flora species, with places of special scientific and tourist interest, and many others yet to be discovered.
On a Sunday, 25th November, 1492 Columbus wrote about this place on the diary of his first trip to Cuba: “…the very high mountains, from where a lot very beautiful waters fell; all the mountains full of pine trees and very cool and beautiful tree woods everywhere…”
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