Isla de la Juventud

Is the least populated region of Cuba, with most people living in the north of the island. Once known as Parrot Island, it was a hideout for pirates like Francis Drake, John Hawkins, Thomas Baskerville and Henry Morgan, and it inspired Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island. The local economy turns on cattle ranching and grapefruit plantations, and the unhurried way of life and unspoilt surrounds are the major attraction. Just getting to Isla de la Juventud, by boat or by plane, is a bit of an adventure. There are Indian cave paintings at Punta del Este and great scuba diving along the Pirate Coast drop-off at Punta Frances. The coral keys to the east of Isla de la Juventud have turtles, iguanas and pelicans that seem indifferent to human company.

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