Open to the public since April 1st 2005, Bioparque Rocazul is a scenario of multiple contrasts where nature blends with culture and history: an authentic Cuba-ness formula designed to enjoy the beauty, the adventure….a splendid Cuban style day by the countryside in a reserved and peaceful environment.
True to the concept of sustainability and complemented by expert eco-guides, it offers a nature and rural tourism product allowing the visitor the experience of the Cuban peasant´s everyday life, his traditions and own cultural practices in an area described by Christopher Columbus in his first voyage in 1492. Its name comes from the blue color of some serpentine rocks adding their tints to the landscape.
Located along some 496 hectares in the northern strip of Holguín province and 50 km from the capital city, it is part of the Christopher Columbus Park. Its geography outstands for its highly aesthetical value landscapes, beautiful marine ecosystems and the presence of limestone rocks.
The Biopark is part of the only hybrid belt of the Island: the Oriente hybrid belt – one of few worldwide of its type – and also of the largest migratory birds’ corridor of the Island. This region is considered center of vegetal endemism and important wild fauna reservoir: more than 115 plant species, most of them endemic and several fauna communities at lenses´ reach.
Trekking, horseback and bicycle riding, flora, fauna and bird watching, naturalist river navigation, superficial diving and other water sports are part of the portfolio and of the offer of optional tours.
Among most visited sites: Sendero Rocazul, Finca Monte Bello, Casa del Campesino, Compay Kike Restaurant, a mini zoo and beautiful gardens that treasure medicinal plants and different coffee varieties.
Other tourism attractions include canoe navigation and swimming in El Manantial cove, tour along oyster cluster strings –confused with “pearls” by Columbus – and fishing aborigine style.
A dozen comfortable hotels in nearby Guardalavaca, Esmeralda, Pesquero and Yuraguanal beaches await those preferring to stayover.
Tourism offers at Bioparque Rocazul are low intensity ones designed to suit a wide array of age and recreational segments, allowing the visitor the experience of day to day life in a Cuban rural environment: doubtlessly a very peculiar ecotourism product of high value.
Text and photos: Josefina Pichardo