Jardines de la Reina

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Jardines de la Reina
IUCN category II (national park)
Map showing the location of Jardines de la Reina
Map showing the location of Jardines de la Reina
Location of Jardines de la Reina in Cuba
Location  Cuba
Nearest city Santa Cruz del Sur
Coordinates 20°49′N 78°55′W / 20.817°N 78.917°W / 20.817; -78.917Coordinates: 20°49′N 78°55′W / 20.817°N 78.917°W / 20.817; -78.917
Area 2,170 km2 (840 sq mi)[1]

Jardines de la Reina (English: Gardens of the Queen) is an archipelago in the southern part of Cuba, in the provinces of Camagüey and Ciego de Ávila.

It was named by Christopher Columbus to honour the Queen of Spain, Isabella I of Castile. In 2002, Jardines de la Reina was established as a national park (Spanish: Parque Nacional Jardines de la Reina).[2] With an area of 2,170 km2 (840 sq mi), it is one of Cuba's largest protected areas.[1]


It is located in the Caribbean Sea, between the Gulf of Ana Maria (north-west), Gulf of Guacanayabo (south) and Caballones Channel (west). It extends on a general north-west to south-east direction, paralleling the Cuban coast for 150 km (93 mi) from Cayo Breton to Cayos Mordazo. Cuba's second largest archipelago (smaller only than Jardines del Rey), it is formed by more than 600 cays and islands. Other cays in the archipelago include Caguamas, Cayos Cinco Balas, Cayo de Las Doce Leguas, Cayo Anclitas, Cayo Algodon Grande, Cayos Pingues and Cayo Granada.

Table of Islands[edit]

Nr. 1) Island Capital Other Cities Area
(Census 2012 official)
1 Cayo Algodon Grande Algodon Grande 3.70 0
2 Cayo Anclitas Playa La Tortuga Punta Piloto 4.50 0
3 Cayo Breton Cayo Breton 6.70 0
4 Cayo Caballones Cayo Caballones 16.50 0
5 Cayo Cabeza Del Este Punta Del Este 6.36 0
6 Cayo Caguamas Punta Caguamas 7.86 0
7 Cayo De Las Doce Leguas Cayo Grande 26.80 0
8 Cayos Ana Maria Puebla Cayo Campos Cayo Tio Joaquin, Arenas, Balandras, Ana Maria, Caoba, Campito, Guasimas, Flamenco, Dos Hermanos, Guinea, Obispo, Laguna, Encantado, Joroba, 14.76 10
9 Cayos Bahia de Casilda Cayo Blanco Guayo, Tobaco, Puga, Machos 1.00 2
10 Cayos Cinco Balas Cayos Cinco Balas 13.50 0
11 Cayos Granada Cayo Granada Corua, Sardines, Caoba, Guasa, Rancho Viejo, Inglesitos, Pilon 16.63 0
12 Cayos Media Luna Media Luna Culebra, Loma, Rabihorcado 7.10 0
13 Cayos Mordazo Cayo Mordazo Ronquitto, Almacigo, Lena, Muchacho, Largo, Punta Infierno, Yana, Playa Blanca, Carabela, Pitajaya, Las Bolas, 9.30 0
14 Cayos Pingues Cayo Pingues Cottoro, Macho, Rancho Alegre, Vivero, Anton, Chocolate, 20.46 0
15 More Islands Cayo Alcatraz Alcatracito, Paloma, Cuervo, Algodoncito, Manuel Gomez, Santa Maria, Zaza de Afuera, Piedra Chica, Cachiboca, Indio, Carabinerro, Laberinto, Boca Seca, Campo Santo 20.00 0
  Jardines de la Reina Cayo Campos Cayo Blanco, Tio Joaquin 175.00 12

1) The Islands area and population data retrieved from the 2012 census.


The archipelago is a popular destination for diving and fishing. It used to be one of Fidel Castro's favorite fishing spots. Species of fish found here include Cubera snapper, Bonefish, Yellowfin grouper, Black grouper, Atlantic goliath grouper as well as Strombus gigas (the large Caribbean conch) and Whale shark.[1] Besides being an extraordinary site for fly fishing, one its main attractions for diving is the abundance of reef sharks.


The Gardens of the Queen is one of the most popular scuba destinations of Cuba. The underwater landscapes include canyons, pinnacles and caves. Healthy mangroves, sponges and black corals cover the reef. The Jardines de la Reina also host numerous silky and Caribbean reef sharks. In the mangroves labyrinth it’s possible to find crocodiles and snorkel with them.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c National Council for Cultural Heritage. "Jardines de la Reina". Archived from the original on 2007-08-21. Retrieved 2007-10-08. 
  2. ^ "Parque Nacional Jardines de la Reina" (in Spanish). EcuRed. Retrieved 23 September 2016. 

External links[edit]