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Zapata Peninsula, Cuba

Visit the Zapata Peninsula and admire the natural wonders you will not find anywhere else in the world

Zapata Peninsula, Cuba
Zapata Peninsula

The Zapata Peninsula is a strange, swampy area of almost 5,000 km2 which occupies the whole South of Matanzas, Cuba.


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The Spanish Crown gave this land to a landowner named Zapata, and the Peninsula, to whom the area owes its name since that time.

75% of the Peninsula is a large, muddy area and of the most well-preserved condition in the Caribbean Islands due to its lack of inhabitants.

Due to the area’s humidity and soil, numerous animal species, among which is the American crocodile, have established their homes here, the same being said about insects. The presence of the zancudo, a small mosquito which carries the malaria virus, is the reason why the area is mostly uninhabited and the natural spaces are still untouched. After the Revolution, it was decided that the area be turned into an area for growing crops, however it was not long before it became part of a Natural Reservation.

The place is boiling pot of attractions, ideal for birdwatching and observing other animal species, but also for the practicing scuba diving since the Peninsula’s caverns have salt water deep enough to host fish and coral.

Numerous legends still echo in the Peninsula of Zapata, from a battle between the Taíno people and colonizers to pirate attacks. The attack from North America that took place in 1961 is still remembered today. Discolored posters serve to remind people of Cuba’s triumph.

There are a few luxury hotels in this part of the island, but you will find very comfortable and nice accommodation in Central Australia, Playa Larga Beach and Playa Girón Beach.

The Zapata Peninsula has few buses and it is a little complicated to visit it on your own, although not impossible. In any case, the hotels in Havana and Varadero offer regular trips to the Zapata Swamps and its surroundings.

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Península de Zapata, Matanzas, Cuba.

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