CubaPLUS Magazine

Canímar River, a place of dreams

By: Kary Chaviano, , Photos: Raydel Castellanos
Canímar River, a place of dreams

Río Canímar is a delight for nature lovers, with a mix of flora and fauna offering a magnificent landscape for visitors, which, combined with archaelogical remains, makes it a dream destination.

Canímar River, a place of dreamsLocated a few kilometers from the provincial capital of Matanzas, Canímar is the largest and most abundant of the rivers that flow into that western Cuban city’s bay, with some 12 of its 19 kilometers navigable.

Declared a National Monument in 2010, Canímar is a place of forests, scrub and vegetation with differing features and degrees of conservation.

The flora is 33% endemic with a predominance of species from the Rubiaceae and Asteraceae families and, in particular, there is the Zamia integrifolia (Florida arrowroot), under threat and extremely interesting due to its early existence.

Among its rich invertebrate fauna are the Phyla: Mollusca, Arthropoda and species of the Gasteropoda class have been reported. The most common include the Zachrysia auricoma, or the Arachnida, Insecta and Myriapoda classes, including the hairy spider (Avicularia spinicrus) and the red scorpion (Rhopalurus junceus), both endemic to Cuba.

There are six species of amphibian, three of which are endemic. The Reptilia class displays 10 families, 13 genera and 23 varieties, 14 of which are native.

Canímar River, a place of dreamsThere are also 13 species of mammals in Canímar and among the most notable are the Cuban hutia (Capromys pilorides), the Prehensile-tailed hutia (Mysateles prehensilis) and the Cuban flower bat (Phyllonycteris poeyi).

There are also 24 species of nine families of reptiles and about 77 types of birds -many in danger of extinction-, including the tocororo, the woodpecker and the zunzún.

As for the archeology of the area, 31 aboriginal settlements have been reported, which, according to investigations, developed by the banks of the rivers, where they obtained drinkable water, food and raw materials to make their stone tools.

It is considered one of the most important funerary sites in Cuba and the Caribbean, where more than a hundred bone remains have been found, some of which are over 7,000 years old.

Those who visit Canímar will be able to live a beautiful adventure, taking a boat ride on the river, or swimming in its fresh waters, learning about the history of the ancestors who lived there and observing the spectacular flora and fauna of the place. Undoubtedly, a dream place.

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