Cuba Geography

What is the terrain and geography like in Cuba?


With an area of more than 44,000 square miles (114,447 sq. km.), Cuba is the largest island in the West Indies, accounting for more than one-half of the total Caribbean land mass. The island is more than 745 miles (1,200 km.) long and ranges from 20 to 125 miles (35-200 km.) in width. Cuba's coastline is highly uneven and is broken into hundreds of bays, inlets, and narrow, shallow rivers. The Isle of Youth (known as the Isle of Pines in pre-Revolution days), and some 1,600 keys and islets lie offshore. The deep-water harbors of Havana, Guantánamo, and Bahía Honda rank among the world's finest.

Topographically, three-fifths of Cuba displays flat or gently rolling fields and wide, fertile valleys--ideal for sugar cane and tobacco that have been the agricultural staples of the Cuban economy. The northern coast is low and somewhat rocky; the southern coast is more marshy. Most of what remains, particularly at the southeastern end of the island, forms steep and at times formidable mountains. Three mountain ranges dominate the Cuban terrain, but by far the best known and most rugged is the eastern Sierra Maestra, where peaks rise to almost 6,000 feet (1,829 m.) above sea level.

Geography - note

The largest country in the Caribbean and the westernmost island of the Greater Antilles

Cuba Use of Natural Resources

Geographic Location The Caribbean
Total Area 42,803 Square Miles
110,860 Square Kilometers
Land Area 42,402 Square Miles
109,820 Square Kilometers
Water Area 402 Square Miles
1,040 Square Kilometers
Land Boundaries 18 Miles
29 Kilometers
Irrigated Land 3,360 Square Miles
8,703 Square Kilometers
Border Countries United States Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay 29 km

Note: Guantanamo Naval Base is leased by the United States and remains part of Cuba
Coastline 2,321 Miles
3,735 Kilometers
Geographic Coordinates 21 30 N, 80 00 W
Terrain Mostly flat to rolling plains, with rugged hills and mountains in the southeast
Highest Point 2,005 Meters
Highest Point Location Pico Turquino 2,005 m
Lowest Point Location Caribbean Sea 0 m
Natural Resources Cobalt, nickel, iron ore, chromium, copper, salt, timber, silica, petroleum, arable land
Time Zone UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Daylight saving time +1hr, begins second Sunday in March; ends first Sunday in November; note - Cuba has been known to alter the schedule of DST on short notice in an attempt to conserve electricity for lighting

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