"Resort Paradise in Varadero" Top 5 Page for this destination Varadero by Alicja1

Varadero Travel Guide: 447 reviews and 895 photos

Welcome to Varadero

The 18 kilometer-long Varadero peninsula lies in the Hicacos region of Matanzas province and boasts the most famous beaches in Cuba. The luxurious stretches of blue Caribean water, with a temperature that holds steady at a pleasant 25 º Celsius year-round, have a long history of enticing visitors.

Long before the arrival of the Spanish, this land was inhabited by the Siboney Indians, a sub-group of the Cubacanán people. Hundreds of years ago, they decorated many of the caves in the region with drawings and geometrical designs. One site in particular, the San Ambrosio cave, can be visited today and continues to fascinate tourists, both Cuban and foreign. The arrival of black slaves left another equally vivid stamp on the area as the Africans used the same caves to perform their religious rites. The strong Spanish influence in Varadero is observed in everything from architecture to cuisine.

The Spanish began mining salt at Las Salinas in 1587 and the town of Matanzas was founded in 1693. The names, which means "Killings" in English, is said to refer to the massacre of local indians by the conquistadors, although an alternative explanation attributes it to the killing of hundreds of Spaniards by marauding pirates. Despite the grim history, Matanzas, in its heyday, had a more benign reputation as the "Athens of Cuba", a great cultural center that drew many musicians, poets and writers to its fold. Still today, much artistic activity occurs here. A third title, "City of Bridges", owes to the city's many bridges crossing the two rivers, the Yumuri and San Juan, that cut through it.

The swimming in Varadero is excellent, and in the 19th century it was a popular destination for Havanans who would make the trip here in steam boat. Today, the beaches are surrounded by hotels that offer vacation packages for the whole family.

  • Last visit to Varadero: Jul 2006
  • Intro Updated Jul 25, 2006
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Reviews (18)

Comments (4)

  • Hermanater's Profile Photo
    Jun 12, 2007 at 11:48 AM

    Happy Birthday.....liked your tips.

  • MURRA's Profile Photo
    Oct 27, 2006 at 4:54 AM

    i going there for a week

  • Ben-UK's Profile Photo
    Aug 16, 2006 at 11:35 AM

    The beaches look fantastic here -- good warning on currency exchange -- the husslers sound a real nuisance ! -- looks great though.

  • AndYolland's Profile Photo
    Aug 3, 2006 at 12:22 PM

    Dear Alicja, thanks for showing me and so many other aorund on Cuba. It was a real pleasure and I enjoyed it very much. Good luck with more travelling, Andrew

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