Banes city, it has been said, was once the most Americanised town in all of Cuba. It was the headquarters of the omnipresent United Fruit Company; an American monolith that owned huge sugar plantations in the district and whose managers set about transforming half of Banes into a faithful reconstruction of an American town.
Banes was the birthplace of Fulgencio Batista, one of Cuba's Presidents, who was sometimes called the Guajirito de Banes.. but never to his face!
Rumour has it that Banes is the very same town where Fidel Castro spent a great deal of time as a young man, courting the woman that would become his first wife.
Although nowadays Banes city is somewhat faded and becalmed it is home to two of the province’s most significant museums, one is Bani Cuban-Indian Museum and the other is called Chorro de Maita Site Museum.
The drive from Guardalavaca to Banes is one of the most scenic in the province.
Definately worth a visit is Playa Puerto Rico Libre, for its prestine wildness and numerous caves.
Now Banes serves as a commercial centre for the surrounding agricultural district, which mainly produces sugarcane, but also bananas and other fruits. Produce is shipped from the city's small port, Embarcadero de Banes, which lies on Bahía (bay) de Banes, 3 mi (5 km) to the south. Pop. (2002) 34,452.
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