Discover the rich history and culture of Matanzas as you immerse yourself in its vibrant art scene and enjoy its breathtaking natural landscapes

Exploring the province

Matanzas is one of the most emblematic cities of Cuba, its long history and particular characteristics make it a truly special city, baptized as the “Athens of Cuba”, Matanzas deserves to be visited and known. It is a province whose capital is the first modern city of Cuba by the urbanistic and unique criteria used in the design and foundation. In the nineteenth century the territory was a key site for the Cuban economy by the sugar industry. It had one of the largest concentrations of slaves in the country.

Its vast cultural history and unparalleled tangible and intangible heritage make it an obligatory stop for national and foreign visitors.

Formerly known as the Venice of America – due to its rivers, bridges and canals – the present Athens of Cuba invites visitors to meet a tourism that combines history, culture and tradition.


Historically, the territory has been an important development area for the country. Matanzas, in addition to an important sugar industry has consolidated, in recent decades, as one of the largest energy powers of the country, due to the extraction of gas oil and production of electricity.

Tourism is traditionally one of the activities that generates more income to the economy and the country. With a tropical climate almost all year round, it attracts many tourists who come in search of sun and beach, as Matanzas contains one of Cuba’s most precious pearls, Varadero.

Matanzas offers a rich variety of tourist attractions that will allow you to enjoy your trip and learn more about the culture of this interesting province.

Cristobal Colon in his second trip, in 1494, observed the southern coast of Matanzas, however the real initial contact of the Spaniards takes place in 1508.

The first significant event in its history, and for which it bears its name, occurs in 1510, when a group of aborigines killed a group of Spaniards. The fact acquires singular relevance because the conquest of Cuba had not yet begun and this early rebel action acquires the merit of primacy at the same time that, for its bloody repercussion, gave the name of Matanzas to the place.

Main Sights in Matanzas

Matanzas is also one of the most beautiful provinces of Cuba and in it are located two of the most important tourist poles of the country: the beach of Varadero and the Ciénaga de Zapata, where the Montemar Park is located.

This province has numerous and very valuable tourist attractions distributed fundamentally in the Peninsula of Hicacos (Varadero Spa, the most famous of the Cuban beaches), the Peninsula of Zapata, including Playa Girón and Playa Larga, and the city of Matanzas and its surroundings, among which the Yumurí Valley is included.

Varadero Beach, also known in Cuba as Blue Beach, is the first beach and sun tourist destination in Cuba, the second most important destination on the island and the largest beach and sun destination in the entire Caribbean.

Playa Giron, located in Cienaga de Zapata,  is known worldwide for the historic events of April 1961, and  it is one of the most visited places in the country.