Welcome to Parque Nacional Península de Guanahacabibes
If you want to see Cuba how Columbus must have seen it, come to the Península de Guanahacabibes, the flat and deceptively narrow finger of land that points toward Mexico on the island's western tip. Protected by a national park and a Unesco Biosphere Reserve, this place is practically virgin territory. Picture miles of limestone karst guarded by iguanas, lagoons full of petrified trees and sun-bathing crocodiles, rare birds fluttering through veritable forests of palm trees, and storm-lashed beaches where even Robinson Crusoe would have felt lonely.
In summer sea turtles come ashore at night to lay their eggs (the only part of mainland Cuba where this happens), while April sees swarms of cangrejos colorados (red-and-yellow crabs) crawling across the peninsula's rough central road only to be unceremoniously crushed under the tires of passing cars. The area is also thought to shelter important archaeological sites relating to the pre-Columbian Guanahatabey people.