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.