Regions of Cuba

Overview Regions
  • Camagüey
  • Ciego de Avila
  • Cienfuegos
  • Granma
  • Guantánamo
  • Havana
  • Holguín
  • Isle of Youth
  • Las Tunas
  • Matanzas
  • Pinar del Río
  • Sancti Spiritus
  • Santiago de Cuba
  • Villa Clara
  • Other Offshore Islands

Isla de la Juventud

The Isle of Youth is situated 100 km south of Cuba’s main island and has some of the best agricultural land, especially apt for growing citrus fruits. An alternative name for this island is also “The Island of a Thousand Names”. This is because throughout history it has been named and renamed many times. Christopher Columbus initially named it “El Evangelista” (The Evangelist) and later it was referred to as Isla del Tesoro (Treasure Island) and Isla de las Cotorras (Island of Parrots). Once colonized by the Spanish, it was called Isla de los Deportados (Island of the Deported), as that was where all those opposing Spanish rule were sent. The name later changed to Isla de Pinos (Island of Pines), a name it kept until 1975, when it was finally changed to Isla de la Juventud (Isle of Youth).

The north of the island is generally flat and dry with black sandy beaches. This is the part of the island where citrus fruit flourishes. The grapefruit harvest is usually a time of celebration during which big festivals are held. The south on the other had, has white sand beaches with crystal clear blue seas. One of the island’s main tourist attractions include the international diving center El Colony, situated inside the National Marine Park Punta Francés, which is one of the traditional international events for underwater photography, Photosub.