Cuba is the biggest state in the West Indies situated between the Caribbean Sea, the Mexican Gulf and the Atlantic Ocean. Only 180 km away from the island is Florida and there is 210 km to Mexico while Haiti and Jamaica lay 80 and 140 km away. Cuba is part of the West Indian group of islands called the Greater Antilles. The island of Cuba is the biggest part of the state of Cuba with its area of 107 780 km2. South of the western coast is Isla de Juventus, one of approximately 1600 islands belonging to the state Cuba.
The area of Cuba is about one fourth of Sweden and here lives 11,4 million people. The capital, Havana, has 2,5 million inhabitants.
Cuba is covered by vegetation and rivers. The coastline is lined with small islands and reefs while the inland is much more varied. It consists of plains of red dirt, limestone mountains, desert cactuses and tropical forests.
There are many limestone mountains in western Cuba. Sierra Maestra in the southeast is the biggest chain of mountains. Its highest peak is Pico Turquino, 1 974 meters above the sea. The plains are covered with deciduous wood, pines and tropical plants as well as coffee-and cacao plantations.
There are plains all across the island but mainly in the central parts. The soil is fertile and planted with sugar canes, palmes, mango-and citrus cultivations or pasture for cattle.
In the southern part of Cuba the birdlife is rich and varied in the marshy grounds and around the lagoons.
The mountain chain Sagua-Baracoa in eastern Cuba is the most biologically varied part of the Caribbean area because of the trade-winds from northeast. In the tropical forests the greenery grows thick because of the heavy rains.