Places to visit in Cuba
There are currently lot of popular places to visit in Cuba: Viñales, Havana, Trinidad and Varadero but today we will speak about Matanzas.
Matanzas, also called the city of bridges, is located about 60Kms east of Havana, and about 30Kms from the biggest tourist resorts of Varadero.
Often called “the Athens of Cuba” and famous for its many bridges, interesting architecture and music is on the way to famous Varadero Beach. Birthplace of the Danzón, Matanzas is also a good place in which to hear a danzonete or rumba. A city on the sea, it has drawn on the rhythm of the waves, the vigor of its morning breeze and the stately calm of its rivers in creating its culture.
It is an ideal city to add to your tour around Cuba if you start from Havana and go east or if you are coming from the east to end up your trip at Havana. And it is a very convenient city if you are flying to Varadero airport because the city is at just 15Kms distance from this airport.
Tip from Cuba4all Reizen: Stay in casas particulares in Matanzas which are normally much cheaper than staying in Varadero.
The best places to visit in Cuba – Matanzas main attractions:
1.- La Ermita d Monserrate:
The Hermitage was begun on September 8, 1871, but was not completed until December 1875. La Ermita de Monserrate is a small church and its design is based in the monastery of Catalonia.
2.- San Severino Castle:
Northeast of Versalles lies this formidable crenellation built by the Spanish in 1735 as part of Cuba’s defensive ring. Slaves were offloaded here in the 18th century and, later, Cuban patriots were imprisoned within the walls – and sometimes executed. San Severino remained a prison until the 1970s and in more recent times has become the scantly populated slavery-themed Museo de la Ruta de los Esclavos.
3.- Morrillo Castle:
El Morillo Castle is a small fort built in 1720 at the mouth of the Canímar river to defend the area against pirate attacks. Between 1776 and 1807 it was rebuilt.
The present appearance of El Morillo Castle dates back to 1830.
4.- Bellamar Caves:
The tour of the Bellamar Caves begins with a visit to an enormous cavern, with awe-inspiring structures of stalagmites and stalactites growing from the floor and ceiling. You then descend about 100 feet through the Bellamar Caves along narrow corridors and through wide caverns. Glimpses of the natural crystal formations are well worth the visit. Guides encourage visitors to drink from the natural fountains in the Cuevas de Bellamar: the “Fountain of Youth” and “Fountain of Love.”
5- Coral beach:
It is a Coral reef of more than 5km along the bay, next to Carbonera Town and close to Varadero’s airport.
There are more than 30 different Kind of Corals. Small caves and lot of fish that are now use to eat from the tourist’s hands.
6.- Natural Park La Arboleda.
This place is a lovely riverside park, with various services and activities such as swimming, guided hikes, kayaking, horseback riding, and a couple of restaurants. It’s a great place to spend several hours chilling out.
7.- Sauto Theater:
One of the most prominent nineteenth-century Cuban theaters. Contains interesting specimens of mural paintings. Neoclassical architectural jewel. Opened in 1863 and declared a National Monument. Its design features will ensure excellent acoustics.Scenario seasons ballet, opera, operetta, concert music, variety shows and drama to the presence of figures of national and international reputation. It was the work of Italian architect Daniel Dal’Aglio, also author of the frescoes inside the building
8.- Pharmaceutical museum
The French drugstore, the only one of its kind still preserved in the world, exhibits instruments used in that epoch to produce medications, as well as many porcelain bottles decorated by hand.
Visitors can also see recipe books containing over one million original formulas, and a bronze medal won by experts at the Universal Exhibition in París in 1900.
9.- City Center:
Today, the city offers little in the way of standard sights, but plenty of under-the-radar pleasures. Hang with the artists in sophisticated ACAA or listen to some bembe drummers in the Marina neighborhood, and you’ll quickly ascertain that Matanzas’ greatest strength is its people, a proud, poetic populace infused with the spirit of stoic survivors.
10.- Fire Station:
The building currently occupied by the Fire Command in the province of Matanzas met 110 years. Coexist in the same area since 1998, the Museum of this human expertise.Hence the value of the institution is greater and becomes the only of its kind in the country, alternating pages of history with the daily exercise of saving lives. The facade of the barracks impressed by its majesty.
11.- Canimar River:
Rio Canimar is a a river where you can sail and enjoy the exhuberant vegetation and the rich fauna of the cliffs around it.
As you can see there are many places to visit in Cuba but you should not miss any of the above if you plan to stop in Matanzas.
We have designed a short program for you to enjoy your visit to Matanzas with planned visits to the best places of interest. Check it here: Matanzas Special
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Un saludo y hasta la vista!