Cuba is the largest island of the West Indies, lying south of Florida and east of Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula. The Republic of Cuba is combined with the surrounding islands. On the East, Cuba is separated from the island of Hispaniola by the Windward Passage. The U.S. maintains a naval base at Guantánamo Bay in the Southeast. The capital and largest city of Cuba is Havana.
The island extends about 760 miles from Cabo de San Antonio to Cabo Maisí, the western and eastern extremities. The average width is about 50 miles. The total area is 44,218 square miles including the area of the Isla de la Juventud (Isle of Youth) and of other islands of the country.
Land and Resources
About 1/4 of the surface of Cuba is hilly, the remaining consists of flat or rolling terrain. The hilly areas are scattered throughout the island and do not come from a central mass. The main 3 ranges are the Sierra de Trinidad in the central part of the island, the Sierra Maestra, in the Southeast, and Sierra de los Órganos in the West. The first two ranges are under 3000 feet. The Sierra Maestra, has the greatest in altitude and mass, and contains Pico Turquino (6561 ft), the highest point in Cuba. Most of the soil of Cuba is relatively fertile.
One of the natural features of the island is the large number of limestone caverns. Most of the many rivers of Cuba are short and unnavigable. The main river is the Cauto, located in the Southeast. The coast of Cuba is very irregular and is indented by numerous gulfs and bays. The total length is about 2500 miles. The island has a large number of harbors.
The climate of Cuba is subtropical, the annual temperature is 77°. The annual rainfall averages about 52 inches. More than 60% of the rain fall during the wet season, which extends from May to October. The island lies in a region heavily hit by hurricanes during the hurricane season.