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Varadero's beach is lined with a necklace of beautiful cays

© Creative Commons / David G. Romero's

Varadero beaches

Located in the province of Matanzas, Varadero is the most famous beach resort in Cuba, and one of the largest resorts in the Caribbean. Also known as 'Blue Beach' because of its clear, calm waters, Varadero is fronted by a 20km (12-mile) fine white sandy beach, which is bathed by the warm waters of the Gulf Stream.


The beach, Varadero's main attraction, is the 'backyard' of all hotels in Varadero, whose 20km (12 miles) of turquoise water and sandy beach allow tourists to take long walks along the ocean. It presents a necklace of virgin cays easy to reach and a very well preserved natural landscape at the northeastern end of the peninsula. It is possible to dive, and the best place to take diving lessons is the Barracuda International Diving Center (Avenida Primera, esquina 59).

Beyond the beach

Cárdenas City, 12km (8 miles) from Varadero, is a small and colourful city noted for three unusual structures: a replica of a bicycle, a horse-drawn carriage and a big crab cast in concrete representing the abundant crustaceans in the area. There is also a bus stop in the shape of a big nose. Matanzas City, 32km (20 miles) from Varadero, is the capital of the province and has a beautiful harbour. Guamá, 140 km (86 miles) from Varadero, is a UNESCO Reserve of the Biosphere, and boasts the largest crocodile breeding centre in the country. Crocodile meat can be eaten here.

Family fun

Varadero is a family-friendly destination. Its beaches, museums, cafes, restaurants and parks are all accessible to children. The natural pool for dolphins, the Delfinario (Carretera Las Morlas, kilómetro 13), is one of the main attractions offered here.

Exploring further

Josone's Park (Avenida Primera y Calle 56), is an old mansion converted into a restaurant in a lush palm trees grove with a beautiful artificial lake, four restaurants serving international, Italian and Cuban cuisine, and a bar on the shore of the lake. Varadero's Golf Club (Carretera de las Américas), just beside Villa Xanadú, is a magnificent 18-hole championship course, with an intricate system of lagoons in the 'British' link tradition. Its attractions include fairways in the shape of islands, lakes and, because the peninsula is very narrow, natural obstacles such as the wind and sea on both sides of the course.

Splashing out

Villa Xanadú (Carretera de las Américas), the house of the founder of Varadero, has beautiful rooms decorated with precious wood and Italian marble. A panoramic piano bar on the top floor, offers a more intimate setting, where gorgeous sunsets can be enjoyed in a peaceful atmosphere.

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