Zapata Swamp –La Ciénaga de Zapata in Spanish- is probably one of the most interesting visits in Cuba. It is located in the Zapata Peninsula in the south west area of the island. Sailing through the quiet waters in the mangrove until reaching the interior lagoon is an adventurous experience. This amazing body of water of 16 sq. kilometers keeps a secret in the inside. There is an antique legend involving an indigenous treasure sunken in the lagoon to be save from the Spanish colonizers. Nobody has founded it yet! This legend is the reason why the local tribe, Tainos- named the lagoon: Treasure.
This lake joins and isolated the reconstructed Taino hamlet, a silent monument to this extinguished tribe. Now a days the village is only inhabited by a collection of statues created by a local artist, Rita Longo. This art installation pretends to recall the life of the disappeared ethnic group.
Besides, being a place for memories the Zapata Swamp is a natural reservoir. This national park has 2,600 miles of pure and unexplored tropical forest. The area is dedicated to the preservation and study of the endemic nature of Cuba. There are at least 300 bird species that stop in the area in their migratory travel from North to South. Mangrove is the vegetation prevailing in the park a perfect haunt spot for sea eagles, a rare bird almost extinguished. There are also local reptiles, fishes and ills.
There are several visits to do inside the reservoir like crocodile farms, a Preservation Center and a Pottery Factory. The Preservation Center in the heart of the Zapata Swamp is a place to know more about this area, a great place to rest and enjoy the nature. The ground of the swamp mainly compose out of mud, has been used for century as a material to created painted pottery in the Guamá Factory. There is a store and a small museum, a place to find the perfect souvenir.
If you are looking forward to visit the wild Zapata Swamp and take the 2 days tour. You will need a place to rest later on. Be Live Las Morlas, located in the magnificent beaches of Varadero is the perfect place to end a great getaway in Cuba. It has three different type of rooms to accommodate your wishes. It goes from the comfortable and big double room with ocean view -idea for a romantic getaway- to the amazing duplex -perfect to host a family vacation.