Turnat 2011, the 8th International Congress of Nature Tourism [VIII Encuentro Internacional de Turismo de Naturaleza] began in Cuba today, September 26 and will continue through September 30. Close to 300 people from 11 countries are attending the congress at Hotel Hanabanilla in Santa Clara.
The congress will promote destinations in the provinces of Villa Clara, Cienfuegos and Sancti Spíritus, territories that stand out for their attractive landscapes of valleys, mountains, coastal cliffs, waterfalls, rivers, its vegetation, and numerous species of birds.
As part of the program, participants will visit Villa Clara’s protected landscape of Hanabanilla, which stands out for its valuable resources of flora and fauna and major river basins that poured into a mountain reservoir. Among other areas to be visited are El Nicho, in Cienfuegos; Topes in Collantes and Caguanes National Park (a biosphere reserve) both in Sancti Spíritus.
Participants will also have the opportunity to compete in a photo contest that will leave testimony of the extraordinary sites visited.
Turnat, which meets every two years in a different area of the island, constitutes a showcase to promote Cuba as a major destination for nature tourism. According to Pablo Pérez Chaviano of the Abel Santamaría International Airport, over 270,000 tourists from Argentina, Canada, England, and Italy have visited the Villa Clara area this year. Other areas that have maintained a high level of popularity are Cayo Santa María, Cayo Coco, Varadero, Cienfuegos, and Havana.
For full articles, see http://www.radioangulo.cu/noticias/cuba/16648-comienza-viii-encuentro-internacional-de-turismo-y-naturaleza-turnat-2011.html and http://www.radioreloj.cu/index.php/noticias-radio-reloj/71-miscelaneas/5427-cuba-apuesta-por-el-turismo-de-naturaleza
For photos of Hanabanilla Lake (by Arelys María Echevarría Rodríguez), see http://www.cubadebate.cu/fotorreportajes/2009/09/28/hanabanilla-lago-entre-montanas-cubanas/