Cuba is the largest Caribbean island, about the size of England, and the most westerly of the Greater Antilles group, lying a mere 145km (90 miles) south of Florida, is located in the westernmost part of the insular Caribbean. It includes the island of Cuba, the Isle of Youth and more than 4,000 islets and cays. The territory emerged is about 111 thousand square kilometers, an approximate length of 1,200 km from east to west. It has more than six thousand kilometers of coasts, with more than 600 beaches.
The Island has excellent and abundant natural harbors in bays like Havana, Cárdenas, Matanzas and Nuevitas on the north coast, and Guantanamo, Santiago de Cuba and Cienfuegos on the south coast.
A quarter of the country is fairly mountainous. West of Havana is the narrow Sierra de los Órganos, rising to 750m (2,461ft) and containing the Guaniguanico hills in the west. South of the Sierra is a narrow strip of 2,320 sq km (860 sq miles) where the finest Cuban tobacco is grown.
The Sierra de Escambray and Montañas de Guamuhaya behind Trinidad in the centre of the country rise to 1,140m (3,740ft) Encircling the port of Santiago are the rugged mountains of the Sierra Maestra. A quarter of the island is covered with mountain forests of pine and mahogany. Cuba has few rivers of note, the exception being the Río Cauto in the east. The country has 3,735km (2,321 miles) of coastline and thousands of offshore islands.
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