Cuba Geography

By | December 16, 2021

Cuba is the largest of the Antilles and one of the largest and richest and most important islands in the New World. The surface of the republic which has its name from Cuba, and which on its own island brings together other minors, arranged on its boundary, measures 114,524 sq km, four times the area of ​​Sicily. Cuba stretches almost from the NW. to SE. for 1275 km., from Capo S. Antonio to Cuba Maisí, about halfway through the entrance from the Caribbean Sea to the Gulf of Mexico, between Cuba Sable and Cuba Catoche. Its extreme coordinates are: 19 ° 48 ‘and 23 ° 12’ N.; 74 ° 2 ‘and 84 ° 59’ W. The average width is 96 km., But narrows up to 49.5 (Mariel isthmus). However the base from which the island emerges is much wider; if it were raised by a little less than fifty m., the Isle of Pines (3057 sq. km.) would make a whole block with Cuba, whose western part would assume a width of about 200 km., as in the SE extremity. On the Atlantic side, the island connects to the Bahama shelf; more sensitive is the detachment from Florida, Yucatán and Haiti, even more sensitive is the fall of the base towards noon, where the probe touches 6412 meters between Cuba and Jamaica. For Cuba geography, please check

Relief. – Cuba can thus be defined as a fragment of the relief of the Antilles almost totally reduced to the penepian: only at the two extremities there are mountainous areas, which however cover in total just one fifth of the island. Of these the most conspicuous is the southern one: in addition to the Sierra Maestra, which forms its main element and reaches the highest height in Cuba in the Pico Turquino (2560 m.), There are a series of reliefs, with flat and widened summits (however below 1000 m everywhere), which fill the whole triangle between the bays of Nipe, Guantánamo and Cuba Maisí, and, beyond the Río Cauto, the rolling hills of the Holguín region. The Sierra Maestra extends from Guantánamo Bay to Cuba de la Cruz, for a length of about 250 km., forming a continuous bastion parallel to the coast and high on average from 1300 to 1500 m. It results from a mass of schistose-metamorphic rocks and falls steeply into the sea, while it declines more slowly to the North. over the valley of the Río Cauto.

To the West a low alignment of reliefs is drawn not far from the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, collectively referred to as Sierra de los Órganos. The heights, very modest (Pan de Guajaibón, 760 m), decrease towards the Sea of ​​the Antilles: on the opposite side, the columnar contour with which the more resistant limestone strips rise on the largely bare Mesozoic base, justifies the name by who, coming from N., land on the coast of Pinar del Río.

Climate. – The most striking feature of the Cuban climate is the uniformity of the temperature throughout the year, and from year to year. The average annual excursion fluctuates between 2 °, 8 and 8 °, 9, remaining as a rule around 5 °. The isotherm of 250, which crosses the island from Pinar del Río to the East, can be taken as the average annual temperature. The hottest month, August, marks around 27 °, the coldest, January, 21 °, 5. The most significant differences are found between the N. coast and the interior or the S. coast: the first is, in summer, the least hot and, in winter, the warmest, mainly due to the NE trade wind.. and E. which blows all year round. The shape of the island – no point in the interior is more than 80 km away. from the coast -, the situation and the nature of the relief mean that maritime influences are felt everywhere; therefore absolute maximums and minimums are also contained within limits that are not excessive.

Clear is the division of the year into two seasons, of which the rainy one, which runs from May to October, corresponds to our summer (verano), with a maximum rainfall in September-October, and the other in May-June: in this period approximately 70% of the rain that falls during the year is concentrated. The other season is relatively dry, but the lack of rainfall is somewhat compensated by the high relative humidity (invierno). Overall, the wettest areas correspond to the central-western part (1900 mm. Per year), the least humid to the northern coast of the provinces of Havana and Pinar del Río. The average annual rainfall of the island is around 1400 mm. Havana records 121 rainy days at verano.

Hydrography. – None of the numerous watercourses that descend on the two sides N. and S. to the Sea of ​​the Antilles and the Caribbean Sea can, of course, assume importance in terms of length of course and mass of water. Where the island widens, there is the only somewhat remarkable river, the Río Cauto, which wanders in the wide Bayamo valley; it is 240 km long. and navigable from the mouth within the land for about 100. Not a few of the other watercourses have an irregular, torrential or even karst regime (Moa); springs are not rare, especially along the north-eastern fringe of the cayos.

Vegetation. – Originally large areas of Cuba were covered with forests, but reduced to just over 40% of the total area at the end of the last century. The deforestation process continued with even more rapid pace in recent years, and can be calculated today that less than 1 / 5of the island has preserved the primitive mantle of woods. Some of these, which gave essences of great value, had to give up in the face of the invasion of crops, especially that of sugar cane, to such an extent that in the overall total export forest products enter for a percentage completely negligible (0.2%), while timber is already among the imported items (2.5%). The largest forest reserves are located on the northern slope of the Sierra Maestra.

Cuba Geography