Robaina's plantation

Friday 7 October 2016

Peninsula de Zapata (Matanzas)

                 The Zapata Peninsula or as it's known in Cuba, the Ciénaga de Zapata, is located in the southern part of the Matanzas province about 150 kilometers southeast of Havana (about a 2 hours drive). I decided to pass by here on my way to Trinidad and spend the night, checkout the Bay of Pigs, see the Cuban Crocodile and explore what kind of fishing was available for future trips. It was a horrible day, grey, raining and lots of mosquitoes around the swamp. It didn't make for a very nice experience but I did manage to do the essentials. It's a wonderful part of the country and worth a few days visit.  
                  A few facts; The park was declared a Unesco Biosphere Reserve in 2001. It's the best preserved wetlands in all of the Antilles and covers an area of 4520 square kilometers. Approximately 900 indigenous plant species have been found in this area with 115 of them being endemic to Cuba and five of those locally. There are about 175 different species of birds, 31 different reptiles and more than 1000 species of invertebrates. Over 65 migratory birds come to the Zapata swamp every year. The Cuban crocodile is only found in Cuba, either here in Zapata or the Isle of Pines. The Bay of Pigs has some of the best cave diving in the Caribbean. Four mangrove species exist here; Red mangrove, Black mangrove, White buttonwood and Buttonwood. The area is used as a hatchery for commercially valuable species of fish.
                 You won't find many tourists in this remote part of Cuba, it's not that easy to get there but worth a look in my opinion. Yes, there's a bit of propaganda in the air, you can't miss the increased billboards, but nature-wise it's very beautiful. You'll find some pretty good beaches here as well, we rented a casa right on the beach. We came by car and you're going to need one to get around this vast area, either your own or you're going to have to make arrangements with someone when you're there. If you're a fisherman, they offer trips into the swamps for that but I don't know how bad the mosquito situation would be....they were eating us alive while we were checking the place out. The Crocodile farm has little more than crocodiles....the Jutias and a few Turtles. We came across the/a hatchery where local fish are grown and then released in the wild. I never had a chance to see the Laguna de las Salinas (salt flats) where fly fishing is available. So there's a lot of stuff to see and do if you're into nature. As far as nightlife goes, or decent restaurants, you're out of luck. However, the house we stayed in had an excellent cook that prepared us some scrumptious local recipes, for a fee of course. Cheaper than eating out and much better.

Crocodile Farm


Fishing in the Lagoons 


Fish Hatchery 

Our Casa Rental

Crocodile at the Casa

Lobster stew at the Casa


  1. That Lobster stew looks Delish.....😋

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I could have two bowels of the lobster stew for breakfast. Then swim all day.