Must see attractions in Artemisa & Mayabeque Provinces

  • Top ChoiceSights in Artemisa Province

    Antiguo Cafetal Angerona

    The Antiguo Cafetal Angerona, 5km west of Artemisa on the road to the Autopista Habana–Pinar del Río (A4), was one of Cuba’s earliest cafetales (coffee farms). Erected between 1813 and 1820 by Cornelio Sauchay, it once employed 450 enslaved people tending 750,000 coffee plants. Behind the ruined mansion lie the slave barracks, an old watchtower from which the slaves were monitored, and multiple storage cellars. Receiving few visitors, it's a great place to take creative photos as you quietly contemplate Cuba's past. The atmospheric gray walls and arches surrounded by sugarcane and gnarly trees have the feel of a latter-day Roman ruin. Look for the stone-pillared gateway and sign on the right after you leave Artemisa. The estate is mentioned in novels by Cirilo Villaverde and Alejo Carpentier, and James A Michener devotes several pages to it in Six Days in Havana.

  • Sights in Las Terrazas

    Cafetal Buenavista

    The most moving ruins in Las Terrazas are about 1.5km up the hill from the Puerta las Delicias eastern gate, and accessible by road. Cafetal Buenavista is Cuba’s oldest (now partially restored) coffee plantation, built in 1801 by French refugees from Haiti. Ruins of the quarters of some of the 126 enslaved people held by the French-Cuban owners here can be seen alongside the driers. The attic of the master’s house (now a restaurant) was used to store the beans until they could be carried down to the port of Mariel by mule. There are decent views from here, best appreciated on the Sendero las Delicias hike which incorporates the cafetal. The huge tajona (grindstone) out the back once extracted coffee beans from their shells. The beans were then sun-dried on huge platforms.

  • Sights in Las Terrazas

    Casa-Museo Polo Montañez

    The former lakeside house of local musician Polo Montañez, regarded as one of Cuba’s finest-ever folk singers, is now a small museum containing various gold records and assorted memorabilia. It’s right in Las Terrazas village, overlooking the lake. Polo’s most famous songs include ‘Guajiro Natural’ and ‘Un Montón de Estrellas;’ they captured the heart of the nation between 2000 and 2002 with simple lyrics about love and nature. His stardom was short-lived, however: he died in a car accident near Las Terrazas in 2002.

  • Sights in Las Terrazas

    San Pedro & Santa Catalina

    These ruins of a 19th-century coffee estate are down a branch road at La Cañada del Infierno (Trail to Hell), midway between the Hotel Moka access road and the Soroa side entrance gate. A kilometer off the main road, just before the ruins of the San Pedro coffee estate, a bar overlooks a popular swimming spot. After this it’s another kilometer to Santa Catalina. A trail leads on from here to Soroa.

  • Sights in Artemisa Province

    Mausoleo a los Mártires de Artemisa

    Revolution buffs may want to doff a cap to the Mausoleo a los Mártires de Artemisa. Of the 119 revolutionaries who accompanied Fidel Castro in the 1953 assault on the Moncada Barracks, 28 were from the Artemisa region, including current Cuban vice-president Ramiro Valdés. Fourteen of the men buried below the cube-shaped bronze mausoleum died in the assault or were killed soon after by Batista’s troops. A small subterranean museum contains combatants' photos and personal effects.

  • Sights in Las Terrazas

    Hacienda Unión

    About 3.5km west of the Hotel Moka access road, the Hacienda Unión is a partially reconstructed coffee-estate ruin that features a country-style restaurant, a small flower garden known as the Jardín Unión and horseback riding (CUC$8 per hour).

  • Sights in Las Terrazas

    La Plaza

    In the middle of Las Terrazas village at the top of a large knoll, this mini-mall encompasses a cinema, a cafe, a library and a small ecomuseum that gives an overview of the community's short history. All are generally open throughout the day, or can become so if you ask at the Oficinas del Complejo.

  • Sights in Las Terrazas

    Galería de Lester Campa

    Several well-known Cuban artists are based at Las Terrazas, including Lester Campa, whose work has been exhibited internationally. Pop into his lakeside studio-gallery, on the right-hand side a few houses after Casa-Museo Polo Montañez.