Legend has it that Punta de Maternillos is a place of buried treasures and great riches. The Columbus lighthouse (Faro Colon) was built in 1847 as observation post, the lighthouse beacon a savior for sailors passing through the treacherous Bahamas Channel on their way to Havana, Florida and Mexico. Further along the coast on Cayo Sabinal is the fortress of San Hilario that served as a fortified tower and barracks for Spanish artillery and troops, Built to defend against repeated pirate attacks in the 17th and 18th centuries, the fort kept marauding corsairs at bay. The San Hilario fort later became a prison and, in 1875 was used as a base for a short lived uprising against the Spanish monarchy in Cuba.
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