located in the southwest portion of
Cuba's eastern region. It has an extension of 8 372 sq km
(3232 sq mi) and an estimated population of 819 505 inhabitants
(1996). The province ranks sixth in extension and fifth in
The territory is conformed by two natural regions: the plain
of Cauto and the orographic group of the Sierra Maestra, the
most important in Cuba with heights over the 1700 m (5576
ft) such as the peaks Bayamesa (1756 m, 5760 ft) and Martí
(1722 m, 5648 ft).
The Gulf of Guacanayabo occupies 260 km (162 mi) of littoral.
Its hydrography is represented by the longest river in the
country, Cauto, with an extension of 343 km (214 mi), in addition
to rivers Limones, Gua, Yara, and Hicotea; the dams Cauto
del Paso, Paso Malo, Pedregales, and Buey; and the lagoons
Birama, Carenas, and Las Playas, among others that are common
in the zone.