Iguana is located where the Cuban community of Doce Leguas is today. Doce Leguas means "12 Leagues" and are one third of the islands that Christopher Columbus named Jardines de la Reina (Gardens of the Queen) when he first sighted them in May, 1494. In 1508 Sebastián de Ocampo, a Galician pilot and servant of Queen Isabel from Castile explored Cuba and the Jardines de la Reina archipelago. It was he who reported that Admiral Columbus was wrong and that Cuba was indeed an island and not a peninsula of the mainland. This led to colonization of Cuba from Hispaniola though not initially in the Doce Leguas Labyrinth as the area was called. Instead it became a haven for smugglers and pirates. After the menace of piracy was eradicatd from Cuba the area was settled by fishermen and spounge divers. Eventually Doce Leguas became part of the municipality of Santa Cruz del Sur in the Province of Camaguey.
The Doce Leguas Labyrinth makes up 135 km. of coastline and waterways where fishermen, smugglers and pirates have plied their trade for centuries. Iguana is a haven where pirates can refit their ships, ransom hostages and auction off loot to anyone with their eyes set more on profit than the finer points of legal ownership.
Historical Information (Spanish)
Geográficamente corresponde al Laberinto de las Doce Leguas, compuesto de varios cayos con magníficas pesquerías. Según la tradición, eran estos cayos los lugares estratégicos que servían para el desembarco de las expediciones negreras y de refugio a los piratas que tanto daño por tantos años hicieron en las costas y tierras del mar de las Antillas. Dista cincuenta kilómetros de la cabecera del municipio (de Santa Cruz del Sur).