Cuba // Varadero, Matanzas and Mayabeque //

Balneario San Miguel de los Baños

Located near the centre of the village, the turreted, mansion-like Balneario San Miguel de los Baños had its heyday in the 1930s but is now completely derelict, though you can still wander through its entrancingly overgrown gardens. At the rear of the building and spread around the garden, the red-brick wells and Romanesque baths built to accommodate the sulphurous springs that were discovered here in the mid-nineteenth century are still more or less intact, though the pools of water slushing around in them are no longer fit for human consumption. The three wells are themselves only about 3m deep; each was supplied from a different source and the supposed healing properties of the waters differed accordingly. With the stone benches encircling the centre of the garden and the wall of shade provided by the old trees, this is a pleasant spot for a picnic, the silence broken only by the sound of running water.