What to see in La ciénaga de Zapata?

By Luis_Herrera | Nov 25, 2019
Caribbean > Cuba

In Zapata Wetland you will find several tourist attractions, they are mainly related to nature, beach, sport fishing and diving tourism.

Taina Village

Taina Village

The Farm Country Party

Located almost at the junction of the road if Zapata Wetland and the National Highway, this site tries to recreate to a certain extent the rural environment of the island, and, although it does not succeed, it is a pleasant place to stop and take one of the best espresso and cappuccino coffee that can be found in Cuba. Here you can see some Manjuaríes (prehistoric species of native Zapata wetland), majaes (non-venomous snake species, from Cuba), jicoteas and some other specimens of Cuban fauna, as well as several typical specimens of Cuban flora. it is practically the gateway to Zapata Wetland and an almost inevitable stop for the traveller.

Central Australia

Located near the country Party Farm, is an old cane sugar factory, which during the Bay of Pigs invasion served as a command to government troops and militias. The Comandancia Museum has a good historical collection and it's worth to visit It.

La Boca de Guama

Combination of restaurants (La Boca and Colibrí), shops, bar, jetty bound for Villa Guamá in the heart of the Laguna del Tesoro and a kind of crocodile zoo, halfway to Playa Larga in the Bay of Pigs, it's a permanent hotbed of people, buses and cars.

Apart from being a place for lunch and jetty for the ferries and boats that make the way to the Taino Village (Villa Guamá), there are also beautiful natural places that surround it, a crocodile farm crossing the road (without tourist programming) and a kind of zoo, a place that can be watched in a semi-natural environment many specimens of crocodiles, some of a considerable size, as well as jicoteas and manjuaríes.

Laguna del Tesoro and Aldea Taína

The Laguna del Tesoro is one of the largest bodies of fresh water on the island, it has an area of 9.0 km2 and an average depth of 4 meters. Located in the oriental Zapata wetland, the crystalline waters are famous for their trout population, many large, that delight fishing enthusiasts, especially in the catch release mode.The riverbanks, covered by thick forests, and the lagoon itself are the perfect place for bird watching lovers, fue to the large population that can be seen there, especially during sunrise and sunset.

Located almost at the southeast end of the Laguna del Tesoro You can find the Taino Village and Villa Guamá, built on a group of small islands connected by wooden bridges. Accessible only by boats (boats, motor boats) through the Canal of the Lagoon about 4 km long, which add up to 3 km through the lagoon (total: about 7 km from La Boca) .

Villa Guama

Villa Guama

Taina Village

The Taino Village is a recreation of a village of the most advanced indigenous culture of pre-Columbian Cuba (la taína), with life-size sculptures of aborigines performing the various daily activities of their culture (fishing, hunting, housework) . Through a kind of pre-designed pedestrian circuit, the entire village where you try to show the way of life in a Taíno village before the arrival of Christopher Columbus in America.

Taina Village

Taina Village

Bay of Pigs

Bay of Pigs has good beaches and magnificent backgrounds for diving and snorkeling, perhaps not as well known as other dive sites in Cuba, but also of great quality and with transparent waters with a lot of visibility. From Playa Larga to Playa Girón (around 35 km) and less than 50 meters from the coast, there are large coral formations with caverns, a variety of corals, wrecks of shipwrecks and lots of marine life. In this stretch of coast there are more than 30 dive sites, most of which are accessible from the same shore, without the need of a boat, and there are several sites that form natural pools on the reef as a result of roofless caverns flooded by the sea.

Long Beach

Located 11 km south of La Boca, at the northeastern end of the Bay of Pigs, Playa Larga is one of the best beaches on the southern coast of Cuba. There is a hotel there' and an international diving center (Octopudos International Diving Center) and you can practice snorkeling, night diving, open water diving, as well as receive diving initiation courses. It has 13 dive sites and direct dive from the coast. In Playa Larga there is also the central office of Zapata wetlánd National Park and in the Northeast part You can find the International Bird Observation Center, a particularly good area for bird watching.

Girón Beach

Located at the eastern entrance of the Bay of Pigs and 34 km SE of Playa Larga, Playa Girón recalls with its name the French-born pirate Gilbert Girón who took refuge in the area in the seventeenth century. Here there is a hotel and the International Blue Diving Center and you can also go hiking, bird watching and develop speleotourism.

Giron Beach

Giron Beach

In Playa Girón there is a museum dedicated to the Bay of Pigs invasion. Bay of Pigs invasion took place in April,1961. The Girón Museum has 3 rooms with weapons, photographs of the fighters and the fallen on the Battle. Outside, there are a Sea Fury fighter plane and a war tank, used in armed clashes.

Fish Cave

It's located on the same coast, a kind of cenote, product of a cave flooded by the sea whose roof collapsed in a geological past. With about 70 meters deep, practically vertical banks and clear waters, with a profusion of fish of various species, it's the perfect place for snorkeling and diving. There are facilities For snorkeling and diving in flooded caves, cenotes and open sea, existing in the seabed of the area large coral colonies, different varieties of sponges with barrel shapes, tubular baskets and cups, you can also see remains of shipwrecked boats. There is a restaurant and a bar (open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm).

Partridge Point

Located about 10 km before reaching Playa Girón: it's a great place for snorkeling and diving, as it has the best seabed in the region. There is a restaurant open from 12:00 m to 5:00 pm and there' re facilities for diving and snorkeling. These activities can be done directly from the coast.

Punta perdiz

Punta perdiz

Caleta Buena

Located 8 km southeast of Playa Girón. It has good conditions for a day at the beach and for snorkeling and diving activities.

Caleta Buena

Caleta Buena

It has the International Diving Center name de Pirate , with 19 immersion points, multilevel diving, with depths up to 25 meters, and practice of speleobuceo in the cenotes and flooded caves that are abundant in the surroundings. Caleta Buena also has a facility that offers lunch and open bar, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

Beaches Speleobuceo Bay of Pigs Things to do Zapata Swamp Cuba Caribbean Ciénaga de Zapata Day Trip Zapata Peninsula

Share this tip:

Written by Luis Herrera
I am Luis. Founder & Ceo Hostal Aptofive. I was born and raised in Nuevo Vedado in Havana, and I love my city! I want to share all the great things that my hometown has to offer and leave you with insider information you will only get from a true local and lover of Havana. The tour I am offering is for people who have limited time but want to gain a genuine feel for Havana, without missing the top attraction. Variety (never routine!) is a key part of keeping things interesting and fun. So with me, you will find my tour is fresh and flexible. As a guide, I love to learn what interests you so my tour can engage and leave you with a real feel... Read more

Thoughts? Questions?

See also


Tours and activities

Two day car tour through two of the biosphere reserves of Western Cuba

Cuba is known for its heritage cities and its beautiful beaches, however, therea re a lot of natural jewels very little explored. We invite you to take a two-day car tour through four provinces, Artemisa, Havana, Mayabeque and Matanzas to visit two of the biosphere reserves of western Cuba. We will visit Sierra del Rosario and Ciénaga de Zapata.

Saturn Cave & Varadero Beach day trip

Travelling along the north coast of Cuba from Havana to Varadero we will know El Malecón and two of The Cuban engineering wonders: the tunnel of Havana bay and the Bacunayagua Bridge, we will dive in the cold and crystalline waters of Saturn cave and as a final climax we will enjoy and swim into the warm waters of Varadero beach.