The Republic of Cuba is an archipelago consists of the island of Cuba, the "Isla de la Juventud" and around 4195 cays and islets, many virgins. It has a total area of 110,922 km2, the length of the island is 1,250 km., And is located at the beginning of the Gulf of Mexico, in the Caribbean Sea. The Cuban archipelago is known as "The Key to the Gulf" because of its strategic position in the area, between the North and South American continent.
The Island is named after the aboriginal word "ciba", that Christopher Columbus transcribed as "Coiba" in his log book, from the pronunciation of the first people with whom he had contact.
The nearest lands to Cuba are: Haiti, 77 Km to the east; the Yucatan Peninsula (Mexico) 210 km to the west.; the peninsula of Florida (USA) to the north, 180 km. towards the north and the island of Jamaica to the east, 140 Km. Bahamas Islands are close to Cuba, to the northwest from the eastern end.
The Cuban territory is bordered by more than 5,700 kilometers of coastline, of which almost 290 beaches; mostly consists of a fertile plain and the terrain are three major mountain ranges: the "Sierra de los Órganos" in the eastern region; the "Sierra del Escambray", in the center of the country; and the "Sierra Maestra" in the southern region. The highest elevation of the country, the Pico Real del Turquino, reachs 1974 meters high (5933 feet above sea level).