In the Cuban province of Matanzas is the fifteenth largest city in the country — Cardenas. Its area is about 578 sq. km. Today, about 90 thousand people live here. The name Cardenas is Spanish for «place of crabs». It was this marine inhabitant that was chosen as the symbol of the city. His concrete sculpture rises at the entrance to the city.

History of Cardenas

The city was founded in 1828, and by 1861 almost 13 thousand people lived in it. In Cardenas, located in the north of the island, a railway was laid in 1941, which connected it with other regions of the country. Thanks to this, the active development of the city began. It was here that for the first time in Cuba electricity was provided, public transport and communications were launched. In 1850, General Narciso Lopez raised the national flag of the state for the first time on the roof of the La Dominica Hotel.

Typical street of Cardenas

Climate of Cardenas in Cuba

The city, as well as the entire island of Cuba, is located in a region with a tropical trade wind climate. Two main seasons are clearly expressed here: rainy, from May to October, and dry, from November to April. Throughout the year, the humidity here remains very high. The hottest period in Cardenas is June-September, when the average temperature is +32 ºС. During the rest of the time it is never colder than +18 ºС.

What is interesting about this city?

Cardenas today is a provincial town, not often visited by tourists, such as neighboring Varadero. This is a typical Cuban settlement. The main buildings here are old and shabby houses, among which there are, however, several luxurious cottages.

The city of Cardenas is today considered the center of fishing. In addition, the food industry is actively developing here, for example, the extraction of sea salt, the production of sugar, henequen — a plant whose leaves are used to make bags, ropes, paper. Although this city is small, there are places for visiting tourists to visit. You can, for example, visit such interesting places:

  1. Jose Smith Sugar Factory. It is located near Cardenas and today it has been turned into a museum. Plantations of sugar cane grow around the factory, where tourists are taken who come with an excursion to the former production. You can get to the factory on an old steam locomotive, which is a local landmark.
  2. sugar factory

  3. Museo Oscar Maria de Rojas Historical Museum. It is the oldest in Cuba. First, the town hall was located here, then the residence of the governor. Today, several halls are open in the museum: archaeological, with numismatics, minerals and weapons.
  4. Historical Museum

  5. Church of the Immaculate Conception Catedral de la Inmaculada Concepcion located next to the local park. Next to it, the first monument to Christopher Columbus on the island was built.

Cathedral of the Immaculate ConceptionThe first monument to Christopher Columbus in Cuba


In this small town, several hotels and hostels are open for visitors, each of which provides guests with all the necessary conditions for living:

  • Hostal Relax, 3*;
  • Hostal Angelo’s;
  • Casa Liberty.

Restaurants in Cardenas

If you happen to visit this town, be sure to visit one of the restaurants or cafes where you will be treated to delicious Cuban seafood dishes and other exotic delicacies:

  • Sabor De Casa;
  • Don Qko;
  • studio 55.


There are very few cars in the city; locals prefer to ride bicycles and horse-drawn carts. There is even a station for wagons and a bicycle monument. Tourists usually move either on foot, or by taxi, or by rented car.

Main transport in CardenasBicycle monument

How to get to Cardenas?

The easiest way to get to the city is from nearby Varadero, located 10 km away. From Havana, which is 175 km away, Cardenas can be reached by car, following the highway through Carr. Central de Cuba. Travel time is about 2 hours.

Crab - a symbol of the city