Alejandro de Humboldt National Park is home to the most divergent lithology, landforms, altitudes, flora, and fauna in all of Cuba. Stretching along the north coast of eastern Cuba between the provinces of Guantanamo and Holguin, the park is the eponym of German naturalist-explorer Alexander von Humbolt, who visited in 1800. Humboldt is considered by some to be the “second discoverer of Cuba,” as he conducted meticulous sociological, botanical, and geographical research during his stay. Based on his findings, Humboldt believed there to be great commercial and agricultural potential for Cuba, and he proposed suggestions for future enhancements.
A great way to visit Alejandro de Humboldt National Park is on our Cuba kayak tours.
The land remained relatively untouched by civilization until the 1960’s, when declarations to protect it as a nature reserve began. In 2001, the park was deemed “one of the most biologically diverse tropical island sites on earth” by UNESCO, earning it the World Heritage Site certification. The extraordinary biodiversity in the park includes 16 of Cuba’s 28 endemic plant species and several species of lizard, parrot, hutia, snail, and hummingbird. The endangered Cuban solenodon, a long-nosed shrew endemic to Cuba, is also protected in the park.
The varying topography of the park is especially remarkable, ranging from sea level to nearly 4,000 feet at El Toledo Peak. Of the park’s 275 square miles, nearly 9 miles are marine area. Forests, lagoons, mangroves, mountains, and rivers can all be found in the park, and are home to more than 1,000 flowering plant species, 145 types of fern, and 20 species of amphibian. The toxicity of rock beneath the soil in the region have forced flora to adapt or die, making the park one of the most endemically-rich regions in the world.
The lush greenery, enchanting fora and fauna, peaks, valleys, and rivers make the Alejandro de Humboldt National Park one of the most precious biosphere reserves in the Carribean.