Located in the central part of Cuba, Matanzas is the
second largest province in the island with a surface
of 11,978 square kilometers (4,662 square miles) and
a population of around 643,400 inhabitants. Its highest
point is the Pan de Matanzas, only 380m (1,277 ft.)
above sea level. Matanzas is principally famous for
the Varadero beach, the Bellamar Caves and the Cienága
de Zapata, where is the Bay of Pigs. In this beautiful
province there is also the Valley of Sugar Mills, place
of the most important concentration of sugar growing
in colonial times, and the Yumurí valley.
in Vedado, Havana
The northern coast is lined with
ports and bays and contains one of the world's finest
beaches, at Varadero.This coast also has numerous
small cays, scrublands and mangroves near the shoreline.
The southern coast has one of Cuba's most distinctive
features: Ciénaga de Zapata, a vast wetland
area of mangrove and swamp taking up most of the southern
part of the province and the peninsula of the same
name. Among Cuba's provinces,
Matanzas is one of the most industrialized ones, with
petroleum wells, refineries, supertanker facilities,
and 21 sugar mills to process the harvests of the
fields of sugarcane in the province.
This province has the biggest oilfield in exploitation
of Cuba, located in the north coast, near of the Bay
of Cárdenas and the Bay of Matanzas, where
it produces the 60 percent of national crude oil.
Some foreign firms make risk investment to drill for
oil at this zone.
Energas, a plant which utilizes the spin-off gas to
generate electricity, was constructed near Cárdenas
and Varadero. It generates over 170 megawatts to the
Cuban electrical power system.
Sugarcane and henequen are the major crops; subsistence
agriculture is also practiced, and there is some
cattle rising. In Matanzas there is also the biggest
surface area of cultivation of citrus fruits in
the country, with over 300 thousand tons produced
Matanzas has a prosperous tourist industry. Comfortable
hotels have been built in some of the most beautiful
spots in Matanzas, to facilitate your enjoyment
The ruins of the Triunvirato sugar mill and the
fascinating Canímar River, of navigable and
quiet waters whose limits are marked by an exuberant
vegetation, complement the charms of Matanzas, close
to which –on the way to the city of Havana–
the vast Yumurí Valley will make you stop
and enjoy the privileged Bacunayagua lookout
best time to visit Matanzas is December though
April is also the most popular time.
The weather is at its coolest and driest during
these months, yet it's still far warmer than
those of North America and Europe.
In the spring and fall, it's off season and this
may mean fewer hotel amenities. There are, however,
benefits for traveling in the low season: lack of
crowds and prices that tumble by up to 25%.
Tops destinatios in Matanzas, Cuba
city: (founded in 1693)
is known as “the Venice of Cuba” for its
many bridges enriching the urban area. Also, is known
as "the Athens of Cuba" because of its cultural
heritage. The provincial capital surrounds a large bay,
whose name changed from Guanima to Matanzas (slaughters)
after a group of Spanish colonizers were killed on its
waters by aborigines commanded by cacique Guayucayex,
The name of Matanzas was quickly extended to the then
village, to the lands in the vecinity and to the rest
of the future province.
of poets, in this town was born the Danzón, a
popular Cuban rhythm. There is also in Matanzas a sui
generis Pharmaceutical Museum, which together with the
Oscar María de Rojas Museum, opened at the beginning
of the 20th century, and the Sauto Theater, complements
the cultural offer to the visitors.
Also, Matanzas city took in
the first Baseball game in the Cuban history, which
played in the historical Palmar del Junco stadium. And the attractions you
should visit are:
The Sauto Theater
The Pharmaceutical Museum
The Provincial History Museum
The Oscar María de Rojas
The San Carlos Cathedral
The San Severino Castle (built
The Casino Español
The Canimar River
The Matanzas bridges
The Palmar del Junco Baseball Stadium
Cárdenas:is a town in Matanzas Province,
Cuba, about 150 km (75 miles) east of Havana. Cárdenas is a maritime
town and somewhat marshy shore of a spacious bay of the
northern coast of the island, sheltered by a long promontory.
The city lies between the sea and the hills. There are
broad streets, various squares (including the Plaza de
Colón, with a bronze statue of Columbus given to
the city by Queen Isabella II. and erected in 1862) and
substantial business buildings.
was founded in 1828, and in 1861 it already had 12,910 inhabitants.
In 1850 General Narciso Lopez landed here on a filibustering
expedition, and occupied the town for a few hours, abandoning
it when he saw that people would not support him in his efforts
to secure Cuban independence.
On May 11, 1898, during
the Spanish-American War, the Battle of Cárdenas was
fought here. In this engagement an American torpedo boat attacked
a Spanish gunboat and shore batteries, and Ensign Worth Bagley
was killed—the first American naval officer who lost
his life in that war.
In the early 20th Century,
Cárdenas was one of the principal sugar-exporting towns
of Cuba. By 1907 the population was 24,280. The shallowness
of the harbour needed repeated loading of cargoes. The surrounding
region is famed for its fertility. A large quantity of asphalt
has been taken from the bed of the harbour. A flow of fresh
water from the bed of the harbour is another peculiar feature;
it comes presumably from the outlets of subterranean rivers.
The town's greatest
claim to fame is being the home of attempted refugee Elián
González, who returned to Cuba in July 5th 2000, after
seven months in the United States of America. He can return
after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal filed by the
child’s distant relatives in Miami. In 2003, González
attended Marcelo Salado Elementary School.
And the attractions you should
Cardenas City Hall
The José Antonio Echevarría
The Marcelo Salado Elementary School
Varadero:is a popular resort town in the
province of Matanzas, and one of the largest in the
Caribbean, with more than 20 kilometers of white-sandy
beaches. It is situated on a peninsula some 140 kilometres
east of Havana.
The peninsula is only 1.2 km wide at its widest point.
It slopes to the northeast, where its extreme, Punta
Hicacos, is the northernmost point of Cuba.
Varadero is first and
foremost a tourist resort, with the most important airport
of the Island after the José Martí Airport in
Havana. Tourism grew as Irenee Dupont Nemours, an American
millionaire, built her estate on the peninsula in the early
1930's. But the first tourists had already arrived at Varadero
in the 1870's, and for years it was considered an elite resort. And the attractions you
should visit are:
The Josone Park
The Municipal Museum
The Pirate’s Cave
The Marina Chapelin
The beach, oh yeah... the Varadero beach
journey into the underworld takes the visitor through
300 meters of the 500-metre cave system known as the
Cuevas de Bellamar (Bellamar Caves).
These caves were discovered in 1861 and soon became
one of Cuba's main tourist attractions because of the
beauty of the secondary formations.
tour there are halls and galleries of incredible beauty, fountains,
stalactites and stalagmites, crystallized domes and other
formations bearing names. Once outside the caves, there is
a cafe-restaurant along with shops. Admission: 4 USD.
the attractions you should visit are:
Fountain of Love (La Fuente
del Amor )
Grated Coconut Gallery (La Galería
Coco Rallado )
Columbus’ Cloak (El Manto de
The American woman’s Bath (El
Baño de la Americana )
Valley:close to Matanzas
city, is a marvelous natural resort for all who love
natural and beautiful views. Commanding the Yumuri Valley
is the hill called Cumbre, on which the Chapel of Montserrat
(1870) is located, with a famous shrine. And the attractions
you should visit are:
The Bacunayagua Lookout.
The Chapel of Montserrat
de Zapata:a large wetlands
area of mangrove and swamp taking up most of the southern
half of the province, with the biggest Crocodile farm
in Cuba and some beauty beaches and country resorts.
These lands also holds a historical
and sentimental value to many Cubans, as it was here,
in the Bay of Pigs, where the nascent Cuban revolutionary
state defeated an invasive military force trained
and supplied by the United States.