According to an aboriginal legend, the Guanaroca lagoon is the result of the disconsolate cry of a mother. The beautiful Guanaroca, mourns the death of her first child at the hands of the father. The pain was so great, she cried so much her tears formed the rivers, the bay and the lake. Thus explained the first settlers of Jagua – now Cienfuegos – the existence of this beautiful lagoon. Today, the site is one of the main attractions of the province.
This Natural Park is a protected area located southeast of the bay of Cienfuegos, 10 km from the city. It extends for about three thousand hectares. Ideal place for the observation of diverse species of the local flora and fauna. Some of them are threatened with extinction. One of the animals almost nonexistent is the Manatee.
More than 100 varieties of birds live in the lagoon area. Among the endemic ones stand out the Cartacuba, the Tomeguín del Pinar and the National Bird of Cuba: the Tocororo. Thanks to the conditions in the area, other threatened species such as white and pink shrimp, crab and mangrove oysters survive. Here you can see the best preserved mangrove barrier in the country.
The main offers for the visitor are hiking and water travel. The walk begins at the Biological Station and is made through a path in the shade of diverse species of plants and trees like the Soplillo, Algarrobo, Cuban Mahogany, Almácigo and the tree of Jagua, symbol of Cienfuegos province. An observation tower allows a panoramic view of the area. The route ends at the lagoon jetty.
From this seaport begins the water route. The small rowing boats are guided by experienced men of the area. The observation of the colony of pink flamingos in their natural habitat is the main attraction of this walk. It is estimated that there are about 2,000 specimens, the largest population in the territory. Hundreds of visitors visit this place every year to see this immense colony of pink flamingos.
Guanaroca Lagoon is a natural beauty where stories, legends and contact with nature are mixed.
For visits: To the southeast of Cienfuegos bay, to 10 Km of Cienfuegos city. Daily from 8AM at 4PM.
by: Leunam Rodríguez