The Guanaroca Nature Reserve spans 15,000 acres in Cienfuegos.
Guanaroca Nature Reserve is the region’s sole natural protected area, and it is easy to see why! Within the reserve is Laguna Guanaroca, a shimmering saline lake formed by the River Arimao. An astounding density of wildlife aggregates here, including a resident colony of more than 2,000 pink flamingos.
Laguna Guanaroca is a bird paradise, with an estimated 170 species nesting or passing through the region. Of these species, eight are endemic. Visitors are able to watch in awe as various pelicans, ducks, heron, the Cuban Tody, Cuban Grassquit, and the national bird of Cuba, the Cuban Trogon, paint the sky with their vibrant colors and sing their songs.
Vegetation surrounding the mangrove includes 65 endemic species of flora. Among these are trees bearing avocados, lemons, pears, and the güira – the fruit from which maracas (rattling percussion instruments) are made.
In addition to its natural beauty and fascinating wildlife, the Guanaroca Reserve is also a place of archaeological significance, particularly sites of aboriginal Spanish settlements. There are several small islands within the reserve, including Cayo Ocampo, named after the Spanish navigator who sailed around Cuba. This particular island was visited by the first Spanish governor of Cuba in 1515.
Legend considers the smooth water of the lagoon a representation of the moon on earth, as it reflects a perfect replication.
Excited to explore Guanaroca Nature Reserve and get in touch with your inner-birder?
Join us on our Cuba kayak tour and adventure through one of Cuba's most stunning nature reserves.