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ISLA DE LA JUVENTUD


The Caribbean island of Isla de la Juventud, a hundred kilometers south of the Cuban mainland, is named for the dozens of secondary boarding schools constructed in the countryside during the 1960s. Previously the "Isle of Youth" was called the "Isle of Pines," but it has always been simply "La Isla" to the locals.

The island's capital, Nueva Gerona, is a pleasant little place largely unchanged since the early 20th century. Isla de la Juventud has always been somewhat isolated from the rest of Cuba, and it has been used a place of exile more than once.

One of our travel photos shows the huge Presidio Modelo, where Fidel Castro and other revolutionaries were imprisoned for 20 months after the failed assault on the Moncada Barracks in Santiago de Cuba in 1953.

These days the few visitors who arrive on La Isla by hydrofoil or plane are warmly welcomed by the island's 75,000 inhabitants. It's an intriguing place to go.

All the photos on Cuba-Pictures.com are by David Stanley, original author of Lonely Planet Cuba.
The images on this page are details. To view the complete photos, click on the thumbnails.

"Welcome to Nueva Gerona, founded in 1830"
Cuba welcomes visitors. This Caribbean country offers a unique and very different travel experience.

A school outing to the Sierra de Las Casas near Nueva Gerona.

Villa Gaviota, outside Nueva Gerona, is a nice place to stay.

Presidio Modelo, where Fidel Castro was jailed from 1953 to 1955.

A rare billboard in Nueva Gerona depicting President Fidel Castro.

Finca El Abra, where the national hero Jose Marti was exiled in

Farmers use horse carts to bring produce to Nueva Gerona's market.

Cuba's finest marble comes from a quarry west of Nueva Gerona.

La Kometa, a Soviet-era hydrofoil, links the main island to La Isla.