Aquamarine waters, azure skies, soft sandy beaches, and swaying palm trees attract tourists from around the world to this magnificent destination. However, it is the warmth of the locals, and the authentic hospitality that keeps them coming back. Considered by many as home to the world’s most beautiful beach, Varadero is ideal for sun-worshipers, water babies and golfers.
Top Things To Do:
Cueva de Ambrosio
For something completely different in Varadero’s tourist circus, decamp to this large cave 500m beyond the Club Amigo Varadero on the Autopista Sur. It’s known for its 47 pre-Columbian drawings, discovered in a recess in 1961 and thought to be around 2000 years old.
Cayo Piedras del Norte
Five kilometers north of Playa las Calaveras (one hour by boat), Cayo Piedras del Norte has been made into a ‘marine park’ through the deliberate sinking of an assortment of vessels and aircraft in 15m to 30m of water, done during the late 1990s.
At the peninsula’s eastern tip, Marina Gaviota’s impressive marina built in the early 2010s encompasses a wide malecón (main street), luxury apartments and the ultra-posh Hotel Meliá Marina Varadero with designer shops and restaurants, and the popular Sala de la Música music venue.
Here the millionaire American entrepreneur, Irenée, built the three-story Mansión Xanadú. It’s now an upscale hotel atop Varadero’s 18-hole golf course with a top-floor bar conducive for sipping sunset cocktails.
Museo Municipal de Varadero
Varadero’s Museo Municipal, is balconied chalet displaying period furniture and a snapshot of the resort’s history. It’s more interesting than you’d think!
If you’re set on sight-seeing in Varadero, ensconce yourself in this pretty green oasis. The landscaped gardens, Parque Josone, date back to 1940 and take their name from the former owners, José Fermín Iturrioz y Llaguno and his wife Onelia, who owned the Arechabala rum distillery in nearby Cárdenas and built a neoclassical mansion here: the Retiro Josone.
Reserva Ecológica Varahicacos
Varadero’s nominal green space and a wildlife reserve is about as ‘wild’ as New York’s Central Park. Highlights are the Cueva de Musulmanes with its 2500-year-old human remains, followed by the giant cactus called El Patriarca, accessed from a different road several hundred meters further on again towards the peninsula tip.
After the sun sets, Varadero heats up with a festival of cabarets, fabulous nightclubs and outdoor amphitheaters, featuring a variety of shows such as Cabaret Tropicana – a super show with more than 200 dancers donned in sequin; feather costumes, and chandelier headdresses, swaying to Latin jazz and Afro-Cuban salsa beats and merengues.