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date: 2024-06-14
  Navigation:  home  > about Cuba  > ISLAND OF YOUTH

The second largest island, a diving paradise

This island is also known as 'the island of a thousand names'. The Indians called it Camargo, Guanaja and Siguanea. When Christopher Columbus discovered it, he named it La Evangelista, and, years later, Governor Diego Velázquez called it Santiago. Others have called it Treasure Island (because it was where Robert Louis Stevenson set his famous novel); Cotorras (Parrot) Island, because of the abundance of parrots there; and the Isle of Pines. In the 1970s, because of the many schools in the countryside that were built there, its name was officially changed to the Isle of Youth.

It is the second largest island in the Cuban archipelago. Its many attractions include Francés (Frenchman's) Point National Marine Park, Bibijagua Beach, Los Indios-San Felipe Natural Preserve, the pictographs in the Punta del Este (East Point) caves, the Colony International Scuba-Diving Center, El Abra Farm and the 'Model' Prison, where Fidel Castro and his comrades where imprisioned for two years.
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