A trip full of wildlife adventure in Cienaga de Zapata National Park!
Just reading about Cienaga de Zapata National Park is an adventure in itself. Imagine my surprise when I got the golden opportunity to visit this national treasure. The place is an underrated gem of Cuba. Most tourists, when they visit Cuba, limit themselves to just popular destinations there. I did not want to be a part of popular culture, so I decided to take the longer route and found myself in Cienaga De Zapata National Park. If you're going to get a whole experience of your visit you need to understand some basic things first. The park offers three distinct styles of eco-system, something you need to keep in mind before booking a tour. The eastern part of the park is Refugio de Fauna Bermejas. This is a forested area where Cuban tocororo(Cuba's national bird ) is spotted. The site is perfect if you want to see hummingbird (the smallest bird in the world), Cuban tody, the Cuban pygmy owl, and the Cuban Parrot.
The western part of the park is Peninsula de Zapata and is a wetland area. A lot of migratory birds such as flamingoes, pelicans, and waterfowls rest and rejuvenate.
The southern section of the park is the Bay Of Pigs reef. Apart from the Bay of Pigs museum, you will also spot a colossal variety of colorful fish and a gorgeous site of coral reefs.
I made my itinerary so that I could enjoy the sites of all three major regions of the park without exhausting myself.
I purposely stayed in the PalyaLarga region. It is closest to the wetlands and has the Cienaga de Zapata National Park office for booking tours. I wanted to book a time for bird watching and was advised to book an early morning tour. The office hours are 8:00 am to 4:40 pm daily. Make sure you don't miss your time window. Each tour is different since the co-systems are different. I did my research and booked the ones I wanted to go on. This saves a lot of effort and time. My tour guide was the SNAP guide. SNAP guided are the guides accredited by the Park Office. My bird tour left at sunrise and had just 4 members. I was thankful for that since more people scare off the birds. I also scooped some time out for a little trip to Boca De Guama. I saw two species of crocodile species on the farm, including the endangered Cuban Crocodile. The trip turned out to be more adventurous than I could have expected it to be.
I booked my flight via United Airlines Official Site and scored some fantastic deals on flights to Cuba. The site has limited offers and exclusive discounts. It's a great tip if you want to book the flights that fit your budget.