Pinar del Rio and Matanzas, Cuba

Pinar del Rio (Cuba)

Pinar del Río not only refers to the province in western Cuba, but also to the associated capital. If you travel to Pinar del Río or want to stay there for a while, you should also visit the state capital. Because Havana is only about 150 kilometers from Pinar del Río. For an extended one day trip so optimal.

The cultivation and production of tobacco is an important pillar for the region. Tobacco is not only important for Pinar del Río, the area is also the center of the country’s tobacco industry. Sometimes Pinar del Río is also called the tobacco capital of Cuba. To make this clear: Around 80 percent of Cuba’s total tobacco production comes from the Pinar del Río region.

The history of Pinar del Río

The history of the town of Pinar del Río only dates back to 1669. At that time the city was named Nueava Filipina, the year 1669 is also considered the year of foundation. Numerous large pine forests surrounded the area, which is located on the Rio Guamá extended. The river still exists today, but currently it is less a river than an almost standing sewer basin. From the mixture of the pine forests and the river, the current name Pinar del Río, which translates as “pine trees by the river” and clearly relates to the conditions of the area, resulted.
Before there were permanent settlements here, different groups of indigenous people lived in the entire area. The tribe of the Guanahatabeyes was predominant. Unfortunately, this ethnic group has been completely eradicated.

According to Ask4beauty, tobacco has been grown here since the city was founded. This was already in great demand at the time and sold extremely well. This resulted in an economic boom and the city grew and grew.

After the Cuban Revolution, Pinar del Río was in a bad geographical position and economically badly hit. In fact, Pinar del Río has been called one of the poorest areas in the country. Since a very good infrastructure had already developed here before the revolution, Pinar del Río was connected to the Cuban motorway network in the west. This enabled the area to recover economically. Today the region is in a much better position again and has become one of the richest areas in Cuba. The region, rich in pines, is also enjoying increasing popularity as a travel destination. More and more people want to explore the region and learn about tobacco production. So Pinar del Río will slowly but surely generate income from tourism.

Famous personalities of the Pinar del Río region

The internationally known writer Cirilio Villaverde was born on October 28, 1812 in San Diego de Nunez. He is a child of the Pinar del Río province. One of his most famous books is the work of Cecilia Valdes.

The painter Pedro Pablo Oliva created some of his works in Pinar del Río and worked there for a long period.

Attractions in Pinar del Río

Next to the cultivation of the tobacco plant there are also other plant species to be seen here. The botanical garden is ideal for a tour. The Theatro José Jacinto Milanes is also one of the popular places. Here interesting pieces are put on stage by the local drama group. Of course, some of the tobacco factories also open their doors and guide visitors through the production facilities. So you can learn everything about the most important plant in the province of Pinar del Río.

Matanzas in Cuba

The Matanzas Province is located in northwestern Cuba. Around 127,000 people live in the capital of the same name. Geographically, Matanzas is a little special for Cuba because it is only 3 meters above sea level on average. Havana is only 102 kilometers away so are trips in the state capital so no problem and quite feasible in one day. The two rivers Yumuri and San Juan flow through the Matanzas region.

The history of Matanzas

The city in the northwest of Cuba was founded in 1693. The sonorous name “Matanzas” means slaughter or slaughter. These stand for the cattle slaughter that was carried out at the port at that time. The cattle were then exported in large quantities, many of them not alive. They were slaughtered right here and that’s how the name Matanzas came about.

Incidentally, the port of Matanzas is the only one that was previously used for the export of cattle from Cuba.

However, there is another version of how the city got its bloodthirsty name. For some theorists, I derive the name from the brutal clashes between the immigrants and the indigenous people who lived here at the time.

Above all, Matanzas made a name for itself as an important trading town for tobacco, slaves, coffee and sugar cane. Sugar cane played an important role for the entire region, and so Matanzas became the country’s sugar capital in the 19th century. Over 50 percent of all sugar produced in Cuba came from the Matanzas region.
Because of this large amount of sugar and the export of the quantities produced to the United Statesthe city grew extremely quickly in the 19th century. Due to the good economic situation, many educated and culturally committed people came to Matanzas. A cultural center was formed here. Intellectuals, writers, musicians and other thinkers came here and gave Matanzas the nickname “Athens of Cuba”.

Economy Matanzas today

As in the city of Cárdenas, the people who work in the nearby tourist center of Varadero live in Matanzas today. The workers live in Matanzas, as rents are cheaper here than in the tourist center of Varadero. They usually commute between work and home every day. In addition to tourism, the power plant in Matanzas is also an important economic factor. The power station supplies me with electricity throughout Cuba.

In addition to these two industries, the city and region of Matanzas earn money from sugar loading. So Matanzas has not let this traditional branch of the economy be taken away.
A fertilizer factory like the cement works located here, brings some money into the provincial coffers.

During drilling it has been discovered that there is a rich oil deposit in Matanzas. This natural resource is now to be extracted with a planned oil refinery and then sold. Around 150,000 barrels of oil could be processed every day. This would mean an enormous financial boost for the entire region. The refinery is still in the planning stage, but will be implemented in the near future.

Matanzas in Cuba