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Cuba is more than an island. It is actually an archipelago consisting of the main island, which is the largest in the Antilles; the Isle of Youth; and about 4,195 keys and islets totaling 110,992 square kilometers of surface area. It is located in the Caribbean Sea, at the mouth of the Gulf of Mexico. It is about 140 kilometers from the Bahamas; 77 from Haiti; 144 from Florida; and 210 from the Mexico's Yucatn Peninsula. It's bordered on the north by the Florida Peninsula (United States), the island of Jamaica on the south, Haiti on the east and the Yucatn Peninsula on the west.

Cuba is long and narrow (1,200 kilometers from Cabo San Antonio, on the western tip, to Punta de Mais, on the eastern tip). It measures 210 kilometers at the widest point and 32 kilometers at the narrowest point. Lowlands predominate and there are four important mountainous areas: the Guaniguanico range, in the west; the Guamuhaya range, in the center; and the Sagua-Baracoa range; and the Sierra Maestra mountains, both in the east. The highest elevation, Turquino Peak, which is 1,974 meters in height, is located in the east. The landscape is diverse, varying from semi-desert to humid tropical forests. Cuba's biodiversity is high and its various ecosystems are very well preserved. It has 5,746 kilometers of coastline that is home to 289 beaches, more than 200 bays and some ports capable of receiving large ships.

Cubas flora is very rich and extremely diverse, with more than eight thousand species. The royal palm tree is the one that best characterizes the Cuban countryside.

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Page last modified: 09-07-2011 02:37:06 ZULU