Iglesia de Monserrate

Top choice in Matanzas

For a mappable view of mildewed Matanzas on one side and the broccoli-green Valle de Yumurí on the other, climb 1.5km northeast of the center up Calle 306 to this renovated church dating from 1875. The lofty bastion perched high above the city was built by colonists from Catalonia in Spain, as a symbol of their regional power.

The lookout near here has a couple of ranchónes (rustic, opened-sided restaurants), good for skull-splitting music and basic refreshments. Come in the early morning, however, and the views offer a whole new perspective on this deceptively beautiful city.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Matanzas attractions

1. Parque Libertad

1.03 MILES

A few blocks directly west of Plaza de la Vigía is Parque Libertad, the anchor of Matanzas' cultural life and home to several of the city's most…

2. Museo Farmaceútico

1.04 MILES

Museo Farmaceútico is one of Matanzas' showcase sights. Founded in 1882 by the Triolett family, the pharmacy was the first of its type in Latin America…

3. Palacio de Gobierno

1.05 MILES

Dating from 1853, this muscular building with its huge arched portales forming a grand covered walkway fills the whole east side of Parque Libertad. These…

4. Iglesia de San Pedro Apóstol


Dominating the scruffy Versalles neighborhood is this fine neoclassical church, which was refurbished inside and out in the mid-2010s. The interior is…

5. Catedral de San Carlos Borromeo

1.12 MILES

Standing back from the disorganized melee of Calle 83 behind shady Plaza de la Iglesia is Matanzas' main church, a neoclassical structure with two unequal…

6. Taller-Galería Lolo

1.19 MILES

Imagine. You're tramping through Matanzas' tatty streets wondering whether the 'Athens of Cuba' moniker is just a local joke when you stumble upon this…

7. Galería-Taller El Garabato


The workspace and gallery of local painter Adrián Socorro is fortuitously located next to Taller-Galería Lolo, inviting you to witness a double-whammy of…

8. Museo Palacio de Junco

1.23 MILES

This double-arched edifice on the Plaza de la Vigía showcases the full sweep of Matanzas' history from pirate incursions to the cruel reign of slavery…