Cuba is an archipelago of islands in the northern Caribbean Sea at the confluence with the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. In the southeast, the dark coastal area is home to the Sierra Maestra mountains. It is the highest mountain range on the island, with Pico Turquino reaching more than 6,500 feet (2000 meters) in elevation. On the central southern coast of the island is the Sierra Del Escambray mountain range, including the 3,800 foot-high (1160 meters) Pico San Juan, Cuba’s second highest peak.
Cuba appears at the top of this high oblique image, photographed by one of the Expedition 38 crew members aboard the International Space Station. Andros Island, part of the Bahamas, is in the bottom of the frame. A Russian Soyuz spacecraft is docked to the station.
Cayo Largo is a small resort island off the south coast of the northwestern part of the main island. Travelers to Cayo Largo are advised that nudism is tolerated in Cayo Largo and is practiced on the periphery of the resorts in designated areas and also on the many scarcely populated stretches of beaches on this island. Typically, ideal walking conditions can be found on the fine white sand is packed hard on the surf’s edge.
The Zapata Swamp contains numerous areas designated for environmental preservation, such as Zapata Swamp Natural Reserve and Las Salinas wildlife sanctuary, which is part of the larger Zapata Biosphere Reserve (IUCN category VI). Its total areas spans over 6,000 km² and is the largest protected area in Cuba but also in the Caribbean. The swamp is not only known for its size but also for being the best preserved wetlands in all of the Antilles, designated as a “Wetland of International Importance” by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands in 1971.