Zapata Swamp - Interesting Places

Fiesta Campesina Farm Carretera Playa Giron, Península de Zapata, Matanzas

Fiesta Campesina is a casual farm-cum-zoo where visitors can see two of Cuba's distinctive animals: the manjuarí, a primitive water creature with an alligator-like head and a fish body, and the jutía, a large-eared, muskrat-like tree rat, once prized for guajiro stews. Around the farm yard there are other animals such as: deer, peacocks, rabbits, ducks, and guinea fowl. There are souvenir kiosks scattered around, and an open-air restaurant mostly set up for tour-group buffets. At the guarapa bar, you can buy a glass of fresh-pressed cane juice, with or without rum. The musical entertainment is provided by a caged Cuban Bullfinch, a small black bird, so prized for its song that Cubans organize bird-song competitions. 

Treasure Lagoon Península de Zapata, Matanzas

Treasure Lagoon is located at east of Boca de Guama, and it’s reached by boat a canal of 4 km (2½ miles) into the lagoon. According to legend, Taíno aboriginals dumped gold and other loot in this lake to hide it from the Spanish. No treasure has ever been found, although Taíno relics have been recovered from the lake and are now displayed in the Guamá Museum. A lifelike recreation of a Taíno village spans across several small islands. This impressive replica has 32 life-size figures of Taínos going about their daily business, was created by Cuban sculptor Rita Longa.

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