Cuba is a country in the Northern Caribbean Sea in proximity with the US, Mexico, Haiti, and the Bahamas. Cuba is an Island country surrounded by four other islands. The main island is 780 miles, the largest island in the Caribbean. Cuba is characterized by flat and rolling plains and the Sierra Maestra Mountains. The highest point on the island is Pico Turquino with an elevation of 6,476 feet above the sea level while the lowest elevation is at the sea level. The other ranges in Cuba include Sierra Cristal, Escambray, and Sierra del Rosario.
Mountains of Cuba
Pico Turquino is the highest mountain in Cuba situated in the southern part of the country. It is part of the Sierra Maestra Mountain Range. Pico Turquino derives its name from the turquoise color taken by the heights in some views. The mountain is surrounded by Turquino National Park which is a protected area in Cuba. The history of Cuba’s guerrilla war revolves around Pico Turquino and the Sierra Maestra Mountain Range. A bust of Jose Marti, a Cuban national hero, is placed on the summit of Pico Turquino to honor his contribution to the country. The mountain is rich in mineral including copper, iron, and chromium. From the Summit of Pico Turquino one is able to view the surrounding National Park and peaks.
Gran Piedra is the second highest peak in Cuba located in the city of Santiago de Cuba. It is part of the eastern Sierra Maestra and has an elevation of 4,098 feet above the sea level. Gran Piedra is one of the largest monoliths in the world with a dimension of 51, 25, and 30 meters in length, height, and width respectively. The monolith is estimated to weigh more than 63,000 tonnes and it is located within the Baconao National Park. The vegetation around Gran Piedra is dominated by evergreen mountain rainforest. Mount Gran Piedra is a major tourist attraction in Cuba because it provides a panoramic view of the surrounding. The access to the viewpoint is only by foot. Some of the places that can be viewed from the summit of Gran Piedra include the French coffee plantation and the manor house.
Pico San Juan
Pico San Juan also called Cuca, is located in the mountainous area of Cumanayagua municipality in the province of Cienfuegos. It has an elevation of 3,740 feet above the sea level with meteorological radar on its summit. It is the highest peak on the Escambray Mountain Range. Pico San Juan is characterized by steep slopes developed on the skeletal soil. Fern and large trees dominate the mountain forming an evergreen, humid tropical forest. There is abundant fauna on the mountain with several endemic and threatened species. Other economic activities going around the mountain include livestock keeping, coffee farming, and forestry.
Importance of Cuban Mountains
The mountain ranges in Cuba are important tourist attractions in the country. They provide the panoramic view of the country and the neighboring islands. The mountains are also important habitats for wildlife. Pico Turquino is an important source of minerals with a lot of mining activities taking place around the mountain.