Jardines del Rey
It is developed on the coral reef system that lines Cuba's shore, between the Atlantic and the Bay of Buena Vista and Bay of Jiguey. It extends for 200 km (120 mi) on a north-west to south-east direction, and is part of the Sabana-Camaguey Archipelago.
The Jardines del Rey Airport is located on Cayo Coco. Additional access to Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo is offered by a causeway that connects this islands to mainland Cuba.
Of the many cays and islands that compose Jardines del Rey, the most important are (from north to south):
Other islands include Cayo Santa Maria, Cayo Paredón Grande and Cayo Cruz.
In the 16th century, they served as refuges for corsairs and pirates. Jacques de Sores is said to have used it as a base of operations for his attacks of Santiago de Cuba in 1554. In the 19th century, they were used as a point of entry for illegal slave ships after the slave trade was officially abolished.
El Bagá Nature Park
Bagá Nature Park (Spanish: Parque Natural El Bagá) was established on December 29, 2002, reclaimed from the land of the former Cayo Coco Airport. Named for the Baga tree (árbol del pan), it spreads over 69 hectares of forests and lagoons on Cayo Coco as well as on neighboring cays.
It contains an interpretative centre, a walkway through a Bagá forest, a Taíno village and fauna exhibits (crocodiles, iguanas, flamingos and Cuban hutias). The archipelago is a natural habitat for Caribbean flamingos (Phoenicopterus ruber).
- Cuba Tourism Department. "Jardines del Rey". Archived from the original on 2007-06-07. Retrieved 2007-08-10.
- Jardines del Rey.cu. "History". Archived from the original on 2007-07-02. Retrieved 2007-10-08.
- Radio Habana. "Parque Natural El Bagá" (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2007-10-05. Retrieved 2007-10-09.
- Jardines del Rey.cu. "General facts". Archived from the original on 2007-07-02. Retrieved 2007-10-08.
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