Matanzas, known as the Athens of Cuba and famous for its many bridges,
interesting architecture and music, is on the way to famous Varadero
Beach. A seaside city with a deep bay, the tenor and culture of Matanzas
reflects its intrinsic relation to water – the rhythm of the waves,
it’s vigorous morning breeze (the addiction of local kite surfers), and
the stately calm of its rivers are all part of the back story here.
Birthplace of the danzón, Matanzas is also a good place to hear a
danzonete or rumba.
Matanzas came into its own during the 19th century when it served as
Cuba’s sugar capital, a distinction made possible by its bay and
shipping facilities. On the leafy main square, Parque Libertad, the
Pharmaceutical Museum is a wonderfully preserved chemist’s shop. This
classic plaza is surrounded by interesting buildings, monuments and
museums to keep you occupied including the Museo Histórico Provincial,
Teatro Sauto, and Cathedral of San Carlos. The Bellamar Caverns, a cave
system offering tours, is only about three miles from the city center.
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