Western Cuba: Places to Explore

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Península de Zapata

The Península de Zapata, so called for its slipper-shape outline, is also known as La Ciénaga de Zapata (the Swamp of Zapata). Home to Cuba's largest wetland and wildlife sanctuary, the peninsula backs onto the Bahía de los Cochinos (Bay of Pigs), named for the cochinos cimarrones (free-range or runaway pigs) that Spanish colonists lost or deliberately stocked in the Zapata swamps during the 16th century. The Bay of Pigs, known to Cubans as Playa Girón, was the location of the failed 1961 invasion executed by Cuban exiles with the backing and training of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.

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