In the Jardines de la Reina, an archipelago in the southern part of Cuba, two species have managed to co-exist in not-quite-harmony: the endangered Cuban iguana and the hutia, a type of large rodent.
Cuba's enforced isolation has resulted in the unlikeliest of marine reserves: a huge, rambling archipelago known as Jardines de la Reina, or "Gardens of the Queen." Stretching around 140 miles along the southern coast of Cuba, it's one of the longest barrier reef systems in the world. Get an up-close look at Fidel Castro's diving playground, a forgotten ocean paradise unseen for half a century, and witness exotic species rarely seen elsewhere in the region. It's the lost jewel of the Caribbean, but how long can this pristine wilderness survive?
Access even more free Smithsonian Channel full episodes and documentaries online through participating TV providers.
Find out if your television provider carries Smithsonian Channel on air.
Don't panic! It's simple to upgrade to the latest version of one of these browsers:
Don't panic! To get the best possible experience on smithsonianchannel.com we recommend you upgrade your operating system.
For the best possible site experience, please use Chrome for Android.
Add username "SmithsonianChan" on Snapchat for fun and fascinating facts. We'll be sharing spontaneous photos and videos as inspiration strikes.