Santa Maria Key, Cayo Santa Maria. Cuba
- Destination: Cayo Santa Maria
- Address From: Cayo Santa Maria
Description Dolphinarium: Santa Maria Key, Cayo Santa Maria. CubaDolphinarium
Santa Maria Key Map
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Santa Maria Key is located in Cayo Santa Maria
Cayo Santa Maria, which is 13 kilometers long and 2 kilometers wide, boasts 11 kilometers of excellent beaches and is linked to the big island by a causeway on the sea. For those visiting the area, Ensenachos boasts one of the best beaches.
A 48-km-long road on the sea connects the largest island of the Cuban archipelago with Santa Maria, Las Brujas, Ensenachos among other keys. There is an air terminal on Cayo Las Brujas to receive small- and medium-size planes.
The islet, which was designated a "Biosphere Reserve" by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), is inhabited by a wide range of animals, including ten endemic species.
Cayo Santa Maria is also home to large colonies of flamingos, seagulls and anhingas, as well as iguanas, mollusks and the so-called shrike bird. Other birds living on the key are the tocororo (Cuban trogon), which is Cuba's national bird, as well as woodpeckers and hawks.
Animal diversity is complemented with the region's exuberant flora, made up of 248 species, including 91 medicinal, 72 timber, 41 resign-producing and 40 ornamental species.
The key holds remnants of pre-Columbian cultures in caverns near the beaches, which boast beautiful underwater seascapes.
Another singularity of the region is the San Pascual boat, which ran aground near Cayo Frances almost 70 years ago, and has become a naval rarity, since it was made of reinforced concrete in San Francisco, California, in 1920. Also known by the local people as El Ponton, many consider the ship another islet. It offers vacationers the amenities of its 10 cabins and an enviable location to enjoy the region's attractions.
Nature itself has created the conditions for leisure, including a coral reef that attenuates the force of winds and waves, thus creating a unique environment to welcome thousands of vacationers who visit the region every year.