a piece of land that had been exploited for more than 300 years
only because of the existence there of productive salt mines and
dense forests. That is why, it wasn't until late 1920's that,
in the hands of multimillionaire Irenee Du Pont, Varadero started
to earn a place in the north American market and, after the 1930's,
in the vacation itineraries of the Cuban high classes. .
Today, this tourist resort –which together with
the City of Havana, receive some 70% of the total number of visitors who
come to the Island– has an international airport, a solid and diversified
hotel infrastructure and multiple options to satisfy all kinds of preferences.
Very fine white sands and transparent waters of unthinkable
blue hues, are the major virtues of this well preserved beach, perfect
for the practice of all nautical-recreational sports (with or without
engine) and, in particular, for the practice of Scuba Diving, since there
are 32 diving sites in an area whose limits are the Bay of Matanzas and
the eastern tip of the Jardines del Rey archipelago.
Scenarios very praised by divers can be seen at the
so called Blue Eye of Mégano, an enormous cave located in the reefs
near the bay of Cádiz (close to the limits with Villa Clara), and
the Cayo Piedras del Norte marine park, first and unique attraction of
its kind in the country, covers an area of approximately four square nautical
A 40 meter long boat; a rocket launch boat, an _AN-24
passenger airplane; a 102 meters long corvette and a tugboat are the intentionally
sunken pieces that, since 1996, can be seen in this area, located approximately
eight nautical miles to the northeast of the beach. The area is accessible
for professional and amateur divers.
ecological reserve of Punta de Hicacos has a different proposal
for visitors: getting acquainted with the caves of Ambrosio and
Los Musulmanes, where tens of aboriginal paintings are preserved;
visiting La Laguna Mangón, where the existence of 662 bird
species and 24 reptiles has been reported; traveling well back in
natural history to experience the presence of the Patriarch, a cactus
that is more than 600 years old.
An international air dive center; Varadero Golf Club,
unique 18-hole par 72 professional golf court in the country; swimming
with the dolphins of the aquarium; tens of excursions to the north keys
on board sail boats and catamarans; aqua ray rides on to the narrow channels
of the south; the opportunity of organizing a meeting at the Plaza América
Convention Center, or enjoying the services of the green lung of the beach
resort, Josone Park, are some other of the attractions offered by a city
with lots of places to have fun at night.
The famous beach resort is also very close two other
important places: Cárdenas and Matanzas. Cardenas, also called
Flag City for being the place where the national flag was raised for the
first time, is only 13 kilometers away. And the distance to the capital
city is 35 kilometers.
city of Matanzas (founded in 1693), land of poets also known for
its many bridges that enrich the urban area, is also known as the
Athens, and the Venice of Cuba. Right there, next to a wonderful
bay, a popular Cuban rhythm was also born: Danzón.
The caves of Bellamar, with almost 2 kilometers of spaces;
the ruins of the Triunvirato sugar mill; and the fascinating Canímar
River, of navigatable and quiet waters whose limits are marked by an exuberant
vegetation, compliment the charms of the city of Matanzas, close to which
–on the way to the city of Havana– the vast Yumurí
Valley will make a stop and enjoy the privileged Bacunayagua lookout.
In this very area, in the midst of the quietness of
the valley, Matanzas offers to its visitors the opportunity of receiving
specialized anti-stress, beauty and weight loss treatments, as well as
other programs conceived to improve the quality of life under exceptional
Also 40 kilometers away from Varadero, the town of San
Miguel de los Baños gathers natural conditions to attract visitors
interested in enjoying the kindness of its mineral-medicinal waters. Decades
ago, there was here a beach resort and a building known as Gran Hotel
considered by specialists a replica of the Great Casino of Montecarlo.
On the south side of the territory, the Great Natural
Park of Montemar, located in the Ciénaga de Zapata Reserve of the
Biosphere, is particularly attractive for those who prefer to enjoy the
multiple specialties of nature tourism; though there are here many spaces
of interest for those who rather go open sea diving or speleodiving in
A strategy designed for the preservation and care of
its environment during almost four decades, together with scarce presence
of population settlements have allowed this ecosystem to stay almost untouched.
It is also considered the largest reserve of humid soil in the Caribbean,
with outstanding places like the Salt Mines of Brito (ecosystem of coastal
salt marshes), La Boca (the largest crocodile farm in Latin América)
and the shelters of international fauna La Salina and Santo Tomás,
which was classified as the most endemic area in the planet.