Criadero de Cocodrilos

Crocodile Farm in Boca de Guamá

On your right as you come into Boca de Guamá from the Autopista, the Criadero de Cocodrilos is a highly successful crocodile-breeding facility run by the Ministerio de la Industria Pesquera. Two species of crocodiles are raised here: the native Crocodylus rhombifer (cocodrilo in Spanish, or Cuban crocodile), and the Crocodylus acutus (caimán in Spanish), which is found throughout the tropical Americas.

Rock up here and you could get a guided tour (in Spanish), taking you through each stage of the breeding program. Prior to the establishment of this program in 1962 (considered the first environmental protection act undertaken by the revolutionary government), these two species of marsh-dwelling crocodiles were almost extinct.

The breeding has been so successful that across the road in the Boca de Guamá complex you can buy stuffed baby crocodiles or dine, legally, on crocodile steak.

If you buy anything made from crocodile leather at Boca de Guamá, be sure to ask for an invoice (for the customs authorities) proving that the material came from a crocodile farm and not wild crocodiles. A less controversial purchase would be one from the site's Taller de Cerámica.