The Alejandro de Humboldt National Park in north-eastern Cuba was registered in 2001 as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Learn more about it.
The Alejandro de Humboldt National Park in north-eastern Cuba was registered in 2001 as a UNESCO World Heritage site for many reasons including the incredible variety of animals and plant life native to the area, and its rich mountain ecosystems.
Over one thousand different plant species make this park their home (including five species of carnivore plants), 343 of which are exclusive to the region. New species of animals are constantly being discovered here. Sadly many of the region’s species now face the threat of extinction. Only an estimated 50 to 249 examples of the beautiful Cuban Kite bird exist while the numbers of one of the world’s biggest woodpeckers, the Ivory Billed Woodpecker, have dwindled so dramatically that it is not clear whether or not any exist today.
The Cuban solenodon is also at risk for extinction. This 16 to 22 inch long rodent with venomous saliva is endemic to Cuba and is so rare that it was even considered extinct until one was discovered in 2003.
The Cuban Parrot is just one of the 95 different known bird species here. There are 191 different known types of insects including the Painted Snail. The lists of recorded species is constantly growing, however our knowledge is still very limited concerning the real amounts of species living in the park. Not much exploration has ever been carried out here. This Cuban National park is named after Alejandro von Humboldt, a German explorer who studied the area in 1800 and 1801.
Historically, people have not entered the area much. There is little evidence of Pre-Columbian populations entering the area. Even today only about 2,000 people live in the area. Some of these people live along the coast in small agricultural communities. The largest concentration of people is in Melba, a town created by miners that has a mere 400 residents. A small amount of nickel mining activity still takes place. Some logging took place here also but was banned in 1986.
The dense vegetation of this cuban park area has helped to protect the national park site from the damaging effects caused by the expansion of human settlements. Nature here has been left to thrive, leaving us today with one of the best preserved natural environments in the Caribbean.
Eco-tourism is being promoted by the government and recently trails have been placed where visitors can enjoy guided tours of the parks breathtaking tropical forest landscapes. Mountain fresh rivers and waterfalls, broad leafed forests, a highly diverse fauna and plant life, and even the rare chance to spot possibly the last Ivory Billed Woodpecker in the world, make this a gorgeous and exciting park to visit.