You can access the Parque Nacional Ciénaga de Zapata, the largest of Cuba's six national parks and biosphere reserves, via Playa Larga at the head of the Bahía de los Cochinos, where a checkpoint allows cars through only with a guide and permit. Bird-watching platforms on the way out to Las Salinas offer a chance to see 18 of Cuba's 22 endemic species, including the red, white, and blue tocororo—Cuba's national bird—and the siju platanero (Cuban pygmy
owl). Other activities include a drive and walk into Santo Tomás; a boat and/or tarpon-fishing excursion down the Río Hatiguanico; and a bonefishing trip to the flats around the boat landing at Salinas. Try to get local biologist and bird magnet Frank Medina from the park headquarters to accompany you on a trip.