Isla de la Juventud ("Isle of Youth") is the second-largest Cuban island and the seventh-largest island in the West Indies (after Cuba itself, Hispaniola, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Trinidad, and Andros Island). The island was called the Isle of Pines (Isla de Pinos) until it was renamed in 1978. The island has an area 2,200 km (850 sq mi) and is 50 km south of the island of Cuba, across the Gulf of Batabanó. The island lies almost directly south of Havana and Pinar del Río and is a Special Municipality (2,419 km), not part of any province. The Isle of Youth is, therefore, administered directly by the central government of Cuba. The province has only one municipality, also named Isla de la Juventud.
The largest of the 350 islands in the Canarreos Archipelago (Archipiélago de los Canarreos), the island has an estimated population of 100,000. The capital and largest city is Nueva Gerona in the north, and the second-largest and oldest city is Santa Fe in the interior. Other communities include Columbia, Mac Kinley, Santa Bárbara, Cuchilla Alta, Punta del Este, Sierra de Caballos and Sierra de Casas.
In 2004, the province of Isla de la Juventud had a population of 86,637. With a total area of 2,419.27 km2 (934.09 sq mi), the province had a population density of 35.8 /km (93 /sq mi)