10 Things to Do in Matanzas That You Shouldn't Miss

July 27, 2017 Russell Mellin

Matanzas (Spanish pronunciation: [maˈtansas]) is the capital of the Cuban province of Matanzas. Known for its poets, culture, and Afro-Cuban folklore, it is located on the northern shore of the island of Cuba, on the Bay of Matanzas (Spanish Bahia de Matanzas), 90 kilometres (56 mi) east of the capital Havana and 32 kilometres (20 mi) west of the resort town of Varadero.
Restaurants in Matanzas

1. Pharmaceutical Museum

Calle 83, Matanzas 40100, Cuba
Excellent
68%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 246 reviews

Pharmaceutical Museum

Reviewed By ESMotteram - Palouse, Washington, Usa

The town of Matanzas was scenic and very interesting, and this museum of an elaborate 1882 family pharmacy was hugely interesting. The condition was extraordinary with hundreds of labeled porcelain and glass containers, beautiful cabinetry, a massive "still" and prep room. Personalized drawers in an adjoining hall for patron pickup of Rx.

2. Cuevas de Bellamar

Carretera A Las Cuevas, Matanzas 40100, Cuba
Excellent
54%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 523 reviews

Cuevas de Bellamar

Reviewed By Ian C - London, United Kingdom

Down slippery steps with stalagmites, stalagtites and walls and ceilings bursting with crystals, the Cuevas de Bellamar, discovered by accident in 1861, is a fascinating series of caves near Matanzas which takes you down 26m (85ft) below sea level, in which fossils have been found which are 28 million years old and, a must for everyone, the Fountain of Youth.
Entry is by a timed ticket as you always have a guide - available in Spanish and English - who not only explains the caves, but watches out for you in case you should slip (I had a broken wrist from the snow in England so it was quite possible).
Above ground, the entrance and museum is surrounded by bars and restaurants, popular with local people given that the food in the restaurant was charged in pesos and therefore was amazingly cheap and was reasonable quality.

3. Puente de Bacunayagua

Matanzas, Cuba
Excellent
52%
Good
38%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 380 reviews

Puente de Bacunayagua

Reviewed By bestsZagreb - Karmiel, Israel

an excellent spot to take a break on the way. can be the first location for bungy jump in Cuba. just an entrepreneur is needed

4. Cayo Blanco

Matanzas, Cuba
Excellent
63%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
3%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Cayo Blanco

Reviewed By Burnmax - Calgary, Canada

Went on the Cayo Blanco "basic" trip (no dolphins) on a large catamaran. Basic drinks on the boat out to the island (beer, pop, spirits) and standard snorkeling. Got lobster tail at lunch (extra 15 CUC). Lunch and bar were good - very good bartender (29 December). The staff ran a hermit crab race just before lunch. Lunch included lots of rice, chicken, fish, and even lobster. Great ride back to the marina.

5. La Arboleda

Matanzas, Cuba, Matanzas 40100, Cuba
Excellent
74%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 85 reviews

La Arboleda

Reviewed By earthtravelller - Gloucester

Arrived here after a peaceful 45 minute ride up the Rio Canimar passing mangrove swamps, fishermen and seeing a sea snake. The site is in a clearing fringed with palm trees and very beautiful. We saw the national flower, the mariposa growing here and it has a beautiful scent.
Lovely authentic Cuban lunch buffet was provided with nicer food than provided by the 4 star hotel we were staying at and were serenaded by a folk group.
Afterwards there was time to just wander along the river bank and site to marvel at the natural beauty and wealth of vegetation of the area, relax in the hammocks strung between the trees, hire kayaks or pedalos, horse or bull ride or have a go at archery if you felt so inclined.
You really have the feeling of being in the middle of nowhere at this place but returning by road you are in fact not too far from Matanzas
Great experience

6. Lolo Galeria-Taller

Narvaez Street 27 | Jovellanos & Matanzas, Matanzas 40100, Cuba +53 45 261209
Excellent
89%
Good
11%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 45 reviews

Lolo Galeria-Taller

In our studio you are going to find firsthand fine art pieces and the renowned artist who made them. It is a place where clay, plaster, glass, metal and fiber glass become into works of art. We promise that you will always remember having visited us.

Reviewed By KElizabethD

Happened upon this incredible gallery walking around Mantanzas. What an amazing place with amazing pieces! So many unique and unusual works and the artists are so friendly and welcoming. Definitely a highlight of our visit. This place should be in the top 2 sites of Matanzas.

7. Ermita de Monserrate

Calle 312, Matanzas 40100, Cuba
Excellent
49%
Good
42%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 75 reviews

Ermita de Monserrate

Reviewed By Ajayloulou - Daventry, United Kingdom

Fascinating place. This was the second stage of our Tour of Matanzas. Sadly not the best of days to look admire the views. Rain was coming and the valley was full of cloud, but the view out across the bay was still very impressive. A good place to consider the contrasts of Cuban life. Families were gathering to go across to the local restaurant, tourists were coming to admire the views and across from the Ermita was a fun park closed due to a lack of custom.
From the viewpoint you move down to the old church, sadly closed, so not able to comment on the interior but the exterior and the statues were well maintained. On a better day it would have been great to stay longer.

8. Estadio Victoria de Giron

Reparto Matanzas, Matanzas 40100, Cuba
Excellent
64%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 44 reviews

Estadio Victoria de Giron

Home stadium of Matanzas Cocodrilos Baseball Team

Reviewed By Richard W - Fonthill, Canada

If you want a great glimpse into a bit of Cuban culture, you should really try and see a baseball game in Cuba. We watch Havana Industriales take on the Matanzas Crocidilios. The quality of baseball is about the same as a triple A game in North America. Interesting to see some of the nuance differences to the North American game.
But even more enjoyable is watching the fans, listening to them and seeing their passion!!! This is their sports entertainment and they are very passionate about their game. The fans of the home town team argue/yell/boast to the fans of the visiting team. It is amazing to see.
We arranged for a cab to take us from Varadero to the stadium. Our cab driver stayed with us for the game and then back again after the game. The cab ride was 80 CUC, a little expensive, but you basically have to pay for their time during the game when they aren't getting any fares. We tried to get a classic car taxi, but they probably are so busy that you can't get them to go for so long at only 80 CUC.
Never felt unsafe!!!
3 CUC person to get in for tourists.
Food is available inside and outside of the stadium. The stadium itself is in need of repairs, especially the wooden seats that are reserved for the tourists. Bathrooms are a bit sketchy ... Bring your own TP.
Overall, I am so glad we went to a game. So enjoyable. Definitely an overload for the senses. If you don't like loud noises, bring ear plugs and go anyway. The Cubans live and die with every pitch and the fans make their presence known with whistles, sirens, horns and the voices.
GO!!!! You will not be disappointed.

9. Catedral de San Carlos Borromeo

Calle 83, Matanzas 40100, Cuba
Excellent
32%
Good
58%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
3%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 28 reviews

Catedral de San Carlos Borromeo

Reviewed By Ian C - London, United Kingdom

Originating from the 17th century, but mostly rebuilt in the 19th, the Cathedral is squeezed in among the streets of Matanzas, with a nod to the 21st century in that the grounds are now a wifi park. How enterprising of the church.
There is a grand façade outside; contrasting with the relatively simple interior and sadly, looking out to derelict buildings.

10. Valle Canimar

Matanzas, Cuba
Excellent
42%
Good
53%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 19 reviews

Valle Canimar

Reviewed By chickandbeast - Durham, Canada

As part of our travels by tour bus thru Matanzas province Cuba we passed over this bridge and saw the abundant scenery in the surrounding area.

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