Discover the historical and cultural beauty of Cárdenas, where its colonial streets will transport you through time on an unforgettable journey

Exploring Cardenas city

Cardenas in Cuba, municipality in the province of Matanzas. Its bay was recognized from 1516 during the first bojeo to the island of Cuba. It has a history that dates from the aboriginal stage, with economic activity from the sixteenth century until its founding on March 8, 1828.

Historyof Cardenas Cuba

Cárdenas, city of the province Matanzas is also known as Ciudad Bandera or City of the First Fruits, for historical facts happened in this land matancera.

Cárdenas has played an episodic role in Cuban history. In 1850 Venezuelan adventurer Narciso López and a ragtag army of American mercenaries raised the Cuban flag here for the first time, in a vain attempt to free the colony from its Spanish colonizers.

Other history-making inhabitants followed, including revolutionary student leader José Antonio Echeverría, who was shot during an abortive raid to assassinate President Batista in 1957. This rich past is showcased in three fabulous museums stationed around Parque Echeverría, the Cardenas Cuba main plaza, which today constitute the key reason to visit.

Main Sights

  • Oscar María de Rojas Museum
  • Museum of Battle of Ideas
  • Molocoff Square
  • Arechabala Rum Factory
  • José Antonio Echeverría’s Birthplace Museum
  • Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
  • Flagpole Monument
  • Don Qko Restaurant

Flagpole Monument

In Cardenas Cuba follow Av Céspedes past Catedral de la Inmaculada Concepción to its northern end and you will see this flagpole is attached to a monument and commemorates the first raising of the Cuban flag on May 19, 1850.

Museo Oscar María de Rojas

Cuba’s second-oldest museum (after the Museo Bacardí in Santiago) offers a selection of weird artifacts, including a strangulation chair from 1830, a face mask of Napoleon, the tail of Antonio Maceo’s horse, Cuba’s largest collection of snails and, last but by no means least, some preserved fleas – yes fleas – from 1912.

Don Qko restaurant

Don Qko is a well-executed and quietly sophisticated restaurant hidden in Cárdenas otherwise tatty street grid that serves classic Cuban dishes in a sprawling mini oasis that includes a cafe, restaurant, pool and fern-filled patio. It’s primarily frequented by in-the-know Cubans, but Varadero tour groups have started to discover it in Cardenas Cuba.