This island is an extension of Cuba that has a unique charm. Because it is separated from the main island, it has had a different historical and cultural development from the rest of the Cuban territory. It is believed that the Isla de la Juventud may have inspired Robert Louis Stevenson to write his novel Treasure Island; not in vein was this portion of land a hiding place for pirates like Francis Drake or Henry Morgan.
It is a place that has history, beaches and mountains. Protected from the currents of the Gulf of Mexico and endowed with an incomparable marine life, it boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean in Cayo Largo del Sur and incredible seabeds for diving.
The town of Nueva Gerona treasures the main historical attractions. Their main meeting point is the Heroic Guerrilla Park, around which the Municipal Museum is located. One of the greatest historical attractions is the Presidio Modelo, located about 5 km from Nueva Gerona. This was the jail where a group of young people led by Fidel Castro Ruz were prisoners. Today you can visit its ruined facilities and learn about the history and architectural characteristics that distinguish this place. Linked to the history of the prison is the historical monument El Pinero, a ferry used by Fidel and Raúl Castro when they were released from the prison, to go to Havana in 1955.
One of the most particular beaches on the north coast of the island is Playa Bibijagua, renowned for its dark sand, which resembles the color of the ant of the same name. Although if you are looking for idyllic white sand beaches you can find them along 26 km in Cayo Largo del Sur. Some such as Playa Sirena and Playa Paraíso are world renowned for their unmatched beauty. On the other hand there is Playa Tortuga, where from May to September you can attend the spawning of sea turtles. To the northwest of Cayo Largo is Cayo Iguanas, where in addition to snorkeling, you can see hundreds of iguanas.
For those who like to climb, the Sierra de las Casas stands out, with an impressive view from the top, from where you can see half of the island. It also has natural tropical reserves such as the Jungla de Jones or the Los Indios Ecological Reserve.
For lovers of diving, the International Diving Center offers excellent underwater adventures that range from exploring caves, vertical walls and coral reefs, in Punta Francés; to the remains of sunken ships in an area known as Bajo de Zambo.