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mantanzprovminimapMantanzas province is an important center of agriculture, growing mainly citrus and sugarcane.  The capital city of this province, Matanzas, is one of the country's most culturally active.

Throughout much of the province, the soil is spongy and deep, preventing run-off during even the heaviest rains.  The climate, soil, and geographic features of this province, particularly along the northern coast, are ideal for growing sugarcane.

Running along the province's northern coast is the lush and heavily cultivated basin called Valle de Yumuri.  Going south, the geography fades into small hills and mountains.  The province's center is mainly flat grasslands.  The southern portion of the province, which constitutes most of the Zapata Peninsula, is low-lying and marshy.  The small indentation into the Peninsula (visible in the above map) is called the Bay of Pigs, and is famous for the U.S.-supported attack that took place there in 1961.  Located at the site of the attack is the small town of Playa Girón.


An old Cuban fighter on display at the museum at Playa Girón.

The province's capital, Matanzas, is a great example of Cuban culture, with a particularly strong base of Afro-Cuban artists.  The cultural value of this city is so much that it is often called "the Athens of Cuba".

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