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The Eco-Cuba holiday appeal explored - Cuban Ecotourism Fair to be Held in September

  • 21-Jul-09 00:00
  • Cuba
  • Holiday Industry

The Tournat 2009 Fair will be held in Cuba from 14-18 September at Playa Larga, one of the island's pioneer heartlands of eco-tourism. This year the aims are to discuss the potential for nature tourism and the integration of more eco-friendly activities

The Eco-Cuba holiday appeal explored - Cuban Ecotourism Fair to be Held in September

For long Cuba has largely been seen as a popular holiday destination for its richness of culture, turbulent political past, peculiar revolution history and old decadence glamour. All this coupled with pristine Caribbean beaches that prompt for the most idyllic Cuba holidays! However it has only been in recent years that the government has made an effort to uncover the hidden secrets of the island's blooming flora and fauna in order to include it in the island's tourism offering.

A reflection of this is the continuing of Cuba's eco-fair which will hold its annual ecotourism fair from September 14 to 18 at Playa Larga, one of Cuba's premier heartlands of ecotourism. The Tournat 2009 this year aims promote and discuss the potentials for naturalist tourism for incorporating more eco-friendly activities to the Cuba holiday brochure.

Located at the northern end of the Bay of Pigs (Bahia de Cochinos) and in the province of Matanzas, Playa Larga is a breathtakingly lush region named after its long beach and offering magnificent diving and hiking opportunities with rivers, lakes and nature reserves including the world renowned Zapata Swamp (Cienaga de Zapata), home to a legendary community of endemic crocodiles.

This year's Eco-fair is jam-packed full of guest speakers, tours, presentations and cultural events to showcase the best the island has to offer in terms of Eco Cuba holidays and sustainable Cuban Eco-tourism. On the top of the itinerary of activities there is a series of guided tours and talks about the massive Zapata Swamp biosphere reserve, the largest protected area in the Caribbean and the region's best preserved wetlands. The Zapata Swamp is home to more than 900 autochthonous plant species, 175 species of birds, 31 species of reptiles and more than 1,000 species of invertebrates. Some of the most notable are local endemics to Cuba, including the Zapata Wren, Zapata Rail, and the Zapata Sparrow.

The Zapata Swamp is also visited by 65 species of birds during their migration pattern from North America through the Caribbean to South America. The swamp in total is more than one million acres (4,000 km²) and is administered as one of 14 municipalities of the Matanzas Province; the municipal seat is located at Playa Larga.

The final day of the fair will feature a boat tour of the Laguna del Tesoro, an excursion to the Guama Tourist Center and the historical Taina Village, and a visit to the Crocodile hatchery and sanctuary. So far these incredible lush areas of virtually untocuhed nature and ancient heritage have been so protected that the construction of any Cuba hotels anywhere near is unthinkable. Nevertheless tours are frequently done from nearby hotels at Guardalavaca for Playa Larga excursions and at Giron for the Zapata Swamp and Guama.

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