- Ciego de Avila
- Isle of Youth
- Las Tunas
- Pinar del Río
- Sancti Spiritus
- Santiago de Cuba
- Villa Clara
- Other Offshore Islands
What makes this region famous and an extremely popular tourist spot are the excellent beaches and natural beauty of the region in general. The city of Matanzas was founded in the late 17th century and is known as the Athens of Cuba, given the period of cultural splendor of the area during the 1800’s.
The region’s industrial activity is fairly developed, thanks to its optimal location on the open bay of Matanzas. The central part of the region has fertile, rolling plains perfectly suited to growing a variety of different crops, including tobacco, citrus fruits and vegetables. The most important crop production however, is sugar, accounting for the country’s highest crop yield.
Towards the north of the province lie the spectacular stretch of beaches that draw so many tourists to the region. The well known Varadero beach resort is found here. Varadero is actually a 27-km long peninsula and is considered as being the very best in Cuba and one of the best in the world. It began gaining popularity after 1945 when Americans and Europeans began going there as an alternative to Europe’s beaches destroyed by the war. Varadero is currently one of Cuba’s most developed areas, with first rate hotels and services available for those visiting the island.
The southern part of the region features a more swampy area and a beach called Giron, which is better known as the Bay of Pigs. The Great Natural Park of Montemar is also situated here. Matanzas also has its ecological developments, with Ciénaga de Zapata, the regions biosphere reserve, an excellent spot for avid bird watchers and nature lovers in general. There are also caves to be explored, such as the Bellamar caves with almost 2 km of artificially lighted caverns.
Historical places such as the ruins of the Triunvirato sugar mill and the Museum for the Bay of Pigs Invasion in 1961 offer the visitor an interesting insight into the area’s past and historical events.