Essay & Photographed by Michael AW
Marine biologists described GARDENS OF THE QUEEN AS A “WINDOW TO THE PAST”, a time capsule conjuring comparisons to what the Caribbean may have looked like 50 to 100 years ago.
If Christopher Columbus was alive today, the only place he would recognise on our planet would be Jardines de la Reina, “the Gardens of the Queen”, an archipelago of a thousand low-lying islands embraced by lush mangrove swamps. In his exploration of the Americas, Columbus discovered this magnificent outpost and named it in honour of Queen Isabella of Castile (the country that later become Spain). Since its establishment as a national park, Gardens of the Queen, has become Cuba's oldest and largest protected area. Strictly prohibited from any development, the Gardens have not changed since the time of Columbus. However, the great explorer could not have possibly seen the garden’s incredible splendour, as its secrets are largely beneath its wave.
Join me in an Ocean Geographic Cuba Editorial expedition