Bay of Pigs

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The Bay of Pigs is best known for its historical significance as the site of the failed military invasion of Cuba by the CIA in 1961, but this location is well worth visiting – history buff or not!

Steeped in history, lined with sandy beaches and with some great spots for wildlife-watching, the Bay of Pigs has a lot to offer as a stop on your Cuba itinerary.

Think ‘Bay of Pigs’ and your first association is likely to be a defining moment in Cold War history. This was the site where, in 1961, the CIA mounted an invasion of Cuba, landing on its shores in a mission that was ultimately unsuccessful and deeply embarrassing for the USA. Hostilities escalated until, in 1964, the whole world was watching as the Cuban Missile Crisis unfolded.

If this era of history interests you then be sure to head to the Bay of Pigs Museum, where you’ll get a fascinating insight into a Cuban perspective rarely heard in the West.

When visiting Bay of Pigs, your accommodation will be in the nearby beach towns of Playa Larga or Playa Giron. Stay in a ‘casa particular’; comfortable, government-licensed lodgings in the private home of a local Cuban.

This region to the island’s south is also a great base from which to explore the Zapata Peninsula; Cuba’s largest wilderness area. Here, swampland attracts a host of bird species and there’s a great offshore reef for diving or snorkelling.