Varadero in Cuba, considered the Mecca of Cuban tourism, is a beach, a locality and a special territory of the Republic of Cuba located in the peninsula of Hicacos, northwest of the municipality of Cardenas in the province of Matanzas.
As a beach, it is the most extensive of the six that the referred peninsula has and the one that, with the construction around the spa that today the prestige at the end of the nineteenth century, would give its name, first, to the original town on which it would be founded, to the recognized tourist enclave that would become years later and to the special territory that would be circumscribed for direct attention by the central government with the vertiginous expansion of its infrastructure in recent times.
At present, when one speaks of Varadero inside and outside Cuba, one alludes to the whole peninsula of Hicacos, natural space that occupies, in its totality, the city-spa.
History of Varadero Cuba
When in Cuba or any other country it is said “Varadero Cuba”, immediately that name is associated in first term to a beautiful beach and in second term to the tourism. In doing so, the ancient history of the area where the famous spa is located is unknown.
That at the time of the so-called Encounter of Two Worlds, as the unforgettable Captain Antonio Núñez Jiménez left seated on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christopher Columbus in Cuba, the Hicacos Peninsula was populated by aborigines, the evidence found in the caves of Ambrosio and the Muslims and their, until today, indecipherable pictographs testify.
The Varadero Cuba Museum exhibits the remains of one of the aborigines found in the flap of the “Cave of the Muslims”. The exposed skeleton corresponds to a funerary site that is calculated existed between the 500 years ane and the first 500 of our era.
The doctor Ercilio Vento Canosa assures that his investigations demonstrate that the skeleton belonged to a man between 25 and 35 years of age, sick of anemia and syphilis diseases brought to the Antillean Island by the whites of the Old Continent.
Main Sights in Varadero Cuba
- Xanadú Mansion
- Josone Park
- Marina Gaviota
- Ambrosio Cave
- Varahicacos Ecological Reserve
- Cayo Piedras del Norte
- Church of Santa Elvira
At the peninsula’s eastern tip, state-run Gaviota’s impressive marina, built in the early 2010s, encompasses a wide malecón (main street), luxury apartments and the ultra-posh Hotel Marina Varadero with designer shops and restaurants, and the popular Sala de la Música music venue. Cubans come from miles around to marvel: it’s a little bit more of Florida that’s found its way across the water and the only marina in Cuba worthy of international rating. Great place to visit in Varadero Cuba.
Reserva Ecológica Varahicacos
The Varahicacos is about all that’s left of the ‘wild’ Hicacos Peninsula: hotel developers have been chomping away at its edges for years. There are three underwhelming trails here which, despite their tameness, attract an entry fee. The highlight is the Cueva de Musulmanes with its 2500-year-old human remains, followed by the giant cactus called El Patriarca (separate CUC$2 entrance fee) accessed from a different road near the eponymous hotel.
Cayo Piedras del Norte
Located 5km 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.