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Isla de la Juventud

Country
Cuba
State
Cuba (General)
City
Isla de la Juventud
Type of Location
Beach
About Location

Isla de la Juventud ("Isle of Youth") is the second-largest Cuban island and the seventh-largest island in the West Indies (after Cuba itself, Hispaniola, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Trinidad, and Andros Island). The island has an area 3056 km² (1180 square miles) and is 100 km south of the island of Cuba, across the Gulf of Batabanó. The island lies almost directly south of Havana and Pinar del Río, and because of its superficial extension, population and for its economic characteristics,is considered to be a Special Municipality, not being a part of any province. The Isle of Youth is, therefore, administered directly by the central government of Cuba.
 



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How to Reach

By plane

Cubana de Aviación, from La Habana. The prices are going to change in 2007-01/02, increasing from 20' pesos to 90 something. Reservations are imperative, with at least 5 days in advance. Note: most Internet sources are outdated, Aerotaxi doesn't fly to Isla de la Juventud anymore.

By boat

Bus from Ciudad de La Habana (Estación Central de Ómnibus) to Batabanó (Habana province, south of the capital): 5 CUP for everybody (Astro bus). Go to the small ticket office of the NCC company (hard to find, better ask where it is) in the Estación Central de Ómnibus. You get a reservation for Batabanó (if you pay in CUC, you'll have reserved places so you this reservation is a guarantee to leave) plus a ticket for a right to go on the bus (you pay inside). I'm not sure about the bus leaving hours, but they seem to be in the morning

Key places to visit
Bibijagua beach, Playa Paraiso, Punta Ballena, Hikes


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Places to Visit

Bibijagua beach

Bibijagua beach, 6 km from Nueva Gerona, is famous for its black sands. These owe their color to the eroding effects of the sea on the marble rocks which are plentiful on the island.The beach is inhabited by a community of Cayman Islanders and a colony of Japanese residents.Young people migrated to this place searching for fortune, even some American citizens who settled down there and formed families of their own. The beach can be reached by road and three of its sections are worth special mention: the one favored by Cubans (considered by many as the best), one marked out for tourists (run by Gaviota S.A.) and the one that houses Playa Paraíso camping-site.

Playa Paraiso

Nice beach near Nueva Gerona. Poorly managed as of 2006-12 (rotting algae on the beach) but nice sea. There's a key about 1 km away from the beach (Cayo de los Monos) that can be accessed through vigorous swimming. It's also a nice place for sportive diving.

Punta Ballena

Punta Ballena is a landform located 18 kilometres away from Punta del Este. It was initially bought by Antonio Lussich. On the west side there is a small natural port, where water sports are carried out, and Portezuelo and Solanas beaches, which are visited to watch the sunset, calm water and great extentions of fine sand. On the west side there are caves, rocks and coarsy sandy beaches overlooking Punta del Este and Gorriti island.

Hikes

Nice 20 min hike to the hills that oversee Nueva Gerona. Physical but nice. Ask for directions to get to the base of a hill (near "la Cueva del Agua") then just go up following trails when you find them. The base of the hill is filled with rubbish heaps but the top and the middle are nearly pristine.

This island also has an interesting cave system in Punta del Este Beach. One of the most astonishing caves is Number 1 Cave, having on its walls over 200 pictograms depicted by the island’s aboriginal people.

Other charming sights include the island’s beaches, among which Bibijagua Beach stands out. The eroding effect of the sea on the marble rocks has blessed it with striking black sand.

Right Time to Visit

Information not available

Temperature

Information not available


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