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Varadero, Cuba

Enjoy one of the most idyllic places in Cuba, with its glamorous hotels and amazing beaches

Varadero, Cuba
© Chantal Nederstigt

Varadero, located 36 km from the city of Matanzas, in the Hicacos Peninsula, is Cuba's closest point to the US.


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Tower in Varadero
Tower in Varadero
© Marc Ross

With an expanse of 30 km, of which 22 km are beaches, Varadero is considered, due to its consistent tropical light, its exotic, exuberant vegetation and the warmth of its waters, as one of the main touristic attractions for the European travellers. The Playa de Varadero Beach, or Playa Azul Beach, a beautiful settlement of pink and golden sand and glistening water, is mentioned among the names of the most outstanding beaches of the world. Doubtless, it is the most beautiful in the entire Cuban archipelago.

Varadero, Cuba
© Marc Ross

The Varadero area does not follow traditional Cuban seasons; it is more similar to some Californian areas in summer and, to a lesser extent, the Canary Islands. Main hotel chains have built luxury results at the edge of the beach, equipped to satisfy every tourist’s wishes, which makes Varadero the ideal place for those seeking a well-deserved rest where drinks, cocktails and nightlife have priority. 

Varadero began its rise to fame in the 19th century, when the richest families of Cuba discovered its natural potential as holiday destination; this potential being appreciated in the 50s by North American tourists, when Cuba was under the control of Fulgencio Batista.

What to see

Currently, a large amount of the Europeans come to enjoy the delights of Varadero, escaping the consistent cold of the majority of the continent.

In addition to the beach and the sun, Varadero hosts other attractive features which make it a very desirable area to spend a few days.

What to do

It is famous for the variety of sports it has to offer, especially the aquatic. It is a goldmine for divers, there being an amazing quantity of species which inhabit Playa de Varadero Beach’s seabed. Multicolored fish, corals and mollusks are only some of the wonders you will find if you decide to take advantage of the possibilities offered by this enriching sport.

One of the best known events in the area is the golf championship carried out at the Golf Country Club House, to which golf lovers come from all over the world.

Horseback riding or bicycle rides are a good alternative to combine with bathing in the sun and sea on the fabulous beaches of Varadero.

Museums, culture and art

Although sometimes some speak of the lack of Cuban flavour in Varadero and its lack of a culture, the truth is that, for those who enjoy this, the city hosts many fascinating places to visit. An example of this is, among others, the Cultural Assets Fund, where you will see exhibitions of the best plastic works by artist from Matanzas, and paintings of famous Cuban painters, such as Roberto Fabelo or Zaida del Río.

It’s worth noting the discovery in Varadero of the bone remains of one the island of Cuba’s first inhabitants. You can get a closer, more detailed look in the local museum.

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Varadero, Matanzas, Cuba.

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