The Bay of Pigs can entrance both history buffs and outdoor adventurists alike.
On Cuba’s southern coast, on the Zapata Peninsula, one can find the notorious Bay of Pigs. Visitors can tour the Museo de Playa Girón to peruse artifacts and enjoy a historical overview of the event that took place on April 17th, 1961. The Bay of Pigs brought the Cold War to heightened tensions, and visitors can gain new, immediate insight into the American-supported covert operation by visiting this captivating museum.
Bay of Pigs Beyond the History
While the region may be most recognized for its historical import, the acclaimed white sand beaches of Playa Girón and Playa Larga are reason enough to visit this region known for its stunning biodiversity. With the small houses spotting the coastline, the region is reminiscent of Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea, and the blue waters are enticing. Seventeen varieties of flat coral can be found in the Bay of Pigs—hard corals whose wide surfaces enjoy sucking up the sunlight filtering through the water. Divers can search for the remarkable pink shells of the elusive queen conch in the sea grass near the reefs and the hypnotizing dance of moon jellyfish you can identify by the four horseshoe-shaped design that marks the top of their bell bobbing gracefully in the waves.
Playa Larga also serves as the headquarters of the Ciénaga de Zapata National Park, where hikers can explore a labyrinth of trails that wind through this birdwatcher’s paradise. Also, halfway between the Playa Larga and Playa Girón lies Cueva de los Peces. Cueva de los Peces is a cenote—a geological feature formed when bedrock collapses and exposes the subterranean bodies of water. Here, pools are connected to the sea by systems of submerged tunnels and form challenging cave systems that beckon cave divers. Whether you are searching for spectacular natural sites or sites enriched with complex cultural significance, visiting the Bay of Pigs can provide you with a unique Cuban experience.