Travel Guide Caribbean Cuba Matanzas Matanzas



Matanzas is the capital of the Matanzas Province and a city that represents Cuba's musical and literary movement. The architectual magnificence of the city's buildings together with the city's typically Cuban atmosphere, make this place well worth a visit.



Sights and Activities

  • Pharmaceutical Museum (Museo Farmacéutico) (East side of Parque de la Libertad). The first Latin American pharmacy museum in a 19th century building. Check out the cool collection of old pharmacy bottles and medical items. 3 CUC (including tour).
  • Cuevas de Bellemar (southeast of the city, can be reached by public bus from Parque de la Libertad). Tour cave network outside the city. 5 CUC




Matanzas, like most of Cuba, has a hot and humid climate but with some significant differences between the summermonths of May to October and the wintermonths of November and April. Generally, the latter period is the best to visit with daytime temperatures averaging around 25 °C and nights dropping to around 17 °C or 18 °C. During summer, temperatures are about 5 °C to 7 °C higher and this is also the wet season, which basically starts in June and ends in October. The heat and high humidity combined can make it feel less comfortable walking around Havana during this time.



Getting There

By Plane

Juan Gualberto Gómez Airport (VRA) offers numerous flights with about 25 airlines.
Some of the main destinations are Havana, Santiago de Cuba, Berlin, Düsseldorf, Munich, Calgary, Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Warsaw, Milan, Rome, Amsterdam, Edmonton, Quebec City, Bogota, Frankfurt, Zürich, Brussels, Cancun, Moscow, London and Manchester.

By Train

There are several trains to Havana, Santa Clara and Camagüey, as well as overnight service on alternate days to Cienfuegos, Sancti Spiritus and Santiago de Cuba. The Hershey electric trains between Matanzas and Havana are very dilapidated and are not recommended except for the most die-hard train enthusiasts.

By Car

For drivers, the Via Blanca comes into Matanzas from Havana and Varadero.

By Bus

Viazul runs buses from Havana and Varadero three times a day. The cost to get to/from Havana is 7 CUC.




  • Cafe Atenas (Big blue building in front of Teatro Sauto). Cafe in the center of the city, in a beautiful historic building, with a great people watching terrace. Relatively popular with backpackers (for a local Cuban restaurant). Food is typical Cuban pizzas, or rice and meat meals. Reasonably priced 1-3CUC.





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Keep Connected


In many cities the only way for tourists to access the internet is through the government's communications centers. Look for buildings bearing the name "ETECSA", which stands for Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba S.A. ETECSA also has internet stations in some of the larger government hotels and resorts. The connection speed is comparable to analog dial-up speed in Havana or slower in smaller locations, at a cost of 6 CUC/hour. This is payable by purchasing a prepaid scratch card with a PIN code granting you access for one hour. The same card can be used throughout the country at any ETECSA terminal, allowing you to disconnect after your session and use the remaining time on the card further at the next hotel/city you go to.

WI-FI in hotels and restaurants is certainly uncommon if not non-existent and tourists should not rely on this being available when planning their means of communication.


See also International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to Cuba is 53. To make an international call from Cuba, the code is 119. The emergency number is 116 and information number 113.

GSM cell phones will work in Cuba (900 MHz). Cuba is one of the most expensive countries in which to communicate. When bringing your own cellphone, incoming phonecalls to Cuba cost about $1/minute. Outgoing calls from Cuba are similarly expensive, and can be as high as $5 per minute for making international when roaming with your cellphone from overseas.

A better way is to rent cellphones, which is possible at several stores in Havana, including one in the airport. The rates are 9 CUC per day (6 CUC for the phone and 3 CUC for the SIM card), plus about 36 cents a minute for prepaid cards. If you bring an unlocked GSM phone operating at 900 MHz (or quad-band world phone) you can buy a SIM card for 111 CUC, plus your prepaid minutes. If you're staying two weeks or more it makes sense to bring a cheap phone, buy a SIM card and prepaid minutes, then give the phone to a Cuban friend when you leave. Cellphones are among the most desired items for Cubans (bring a case for the phone too, Cubans are very fussy about keeping their phones scratch-free). You will have to go to a cellphone store with your friend and sign a paper to give the phone to your friend.


Correos de Cuba operates the Cuban postal service. They are generally quite slow, and delivery is never guaranteed. Mail is read by Cuba’s censors; avoid politically sensitive comments. Also, never send cash! Post offices (correos) usually are open weekdays 8:00am to 6:00pm and on Saturday 8:00am to 3:00pm, but hours can vary widely. Most tourist hotels accept mail for delivery as well, which might be a better option. International airmail (correo aereo) averages from at least 2 weeks to over one month, and even domestic posts might take 1-2 weeks. When mailing from Cuba, write at least the country destination in Spanish (as well). International postcards, cost CUC 0.50 to all destinations; letters cost CUC 0.80. Within Cuba, letters cost from 15 centavos (20 grams or less) to 2.05 pesos (up to 500 grams); postcards cost 10 centavos. Stamps are available in US dollars as well (if buying at hotels, this is actually your only option) and can be bought at hotels and blue and white kiosks labelled Correos de Cuba. Parcels from Cuba must be unwrapped for inspection. It is far better to send packages through an express courier service, like DHL or the Cuban local one (called EMS), although the same regulation applies.


Accommodation in Matanzas

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Matanzas searchable right here on Travellerspoint.


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This is version 6. Last edited at 13:36 on Jul 31, 17 by Utrecht. 2 articles link to this page.

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