Giron Beach Beaches, Zapata Swamp. Cuba
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- Zapata Swamp, Matanzas. Cuba
- Destination: Zapata Swamp
- Open: Daily
Playa Girón, on the eastern side of the famous Bay of Pigs, 48 km. south of Boca de Guamá, is named after a French pirate who frequented the area centuries ago. Upon the shores of this beach, on April 1961, an army of cuban exiles based in the USA invaded the island in order to overthrow Fidel Castro’s newly established revolutionary government, and was defeated in less than 72 hours. A museum and several monuments bear witness to this event.
The clear Caribbean waters washing these shores make Playa Girón a favourite destination for scuba divers and snorkelers. A lasting legacy of 1961 is that the entire Bay of Pigs area is strictly out of bound to cruising yachts.
A more accessible site is the Cueva de los Peces, a flooded tectonic fault about 70 m. deep on the island side of the road, almost exactly midway between Playa Larga and Playa Girón. These half-rounded lagoons, called cenotes have arisen from the partial caving-in of cave’s roofs.
Like at Playa Larga, wall-diving can be practised here. Underwater areas are immensely attractive because of the steepness of the ocean wall, which is extremely close to the shore and covered by astonishing coral beds, including black ones, as well as sea fans, sponges and blind fishes
Mapa de Giron Beach
Giron Beach is located in Zapata Swamp
The Zapata Peninsula, one of the most important ecosystems in Cuba and the largest swamp reserve in the Caribbean, is situated in southern Matanzas. It features exceptional species of flora and fauna, many of which are endemic.
The Montemar Great Natural Park is located in the peninsula. Here, you will find beaches, woods, mangrove swamps, rivers, lakes, flooded caves that open on the sea, natural pools and a seabed of particular beauty. In short, it is an ideal place for day and night scuba diving by both beginners and experienced divers, including the exploration of marine caves., One of the park's main attractions is its cave system, which extends along the coast for 70 km (over 43 miles). The roof of some of these caverns has caved in, turning them into semicircular lakes called "cenotes". The park is also an excellent place to go hiking, horseback riding and boating. In addition, many animals live here, and the international flyways of several kinds of birds go over the park, so you can see both native and migratory species. While in you are in the area, Guamá -a restored Taino Indian village on Laguna del Tesoro (Treasure Lake)-, the crocodile-breeding center and the Playa Girón (Bay of Pigs) Museum are musts.
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Beaches in Zapata Swamp
(the Bay of Pigs Area)- These beaches, on the southern coast of Matanzas Province,are in the Zapata Peninsula National Park, which includes the Zapata Swamp world preserve of the biosphere, the largest wetlands in the Caribbean. Giron and Larga beaches offer scuba diving in areas with many Staghorn (Acropra cervicornis), Brain (Doloria spp.), Leaf (Agaricia agaricities), Star (Montastrea annularis) and Flower (Eusmilia fastigiata) Coral formations and Common Sea Fans (Gorgonia spp.), surrounded by schools of bright fish. The sharp offshore drop is covered with sponges, gorgonians and coral, and scuba divers will also find several flooded caves to explore. Those steep-walled depressions in the bare rock are always flooded because they have underground passeges that link them to sea.
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