Varadero Beach

Starfish Rating of 5

Claim to Fame

One of the first resort towns to be established in Cuba (1870), a favorite vacation spot for gangster, Al Capone.

(click image to enlarge)
image courtesy of fullyreclined
  • Where is it?on the north coast of the Caribbean island of Cuba, at the confluence of the Straits of Florida and the Atlantic Ocean, 87 miles (140 Kilometers) east of Havana
  • Coordinates: latitude» 23.1828°
    longitude» -81.194°
  • Water Type: saltwater
  • Climate: tropical
  • Development: small city with beachfront area
  • Length of Beach: 1.2m/2km
  • Type: white sand
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Mostly Canadians and Europeans have patronized Varadero Beach, thanks to restrictions on American citizens traveling to this island country; they don’t know what they’re missing! Not only does Cuba have great beaches (Varadero is the largest and most popular), but also the music culture is major and wonderful.

Situated on the long (12.5 miles/20 kilometers), narrow (.7 miles/1.2 kilometers at its widest point) Hicacos Peninsula, Varadero Beach and the town of Varadero are widely known for superb scuba diving and deep-sea fishing, complete with reefs. The name translates to “dry dock” from the Spanish; this was once home to a productive salt mine. Varadero is served by its own international airport and is the second busiest in the country after the capital city of Havana.

Partly because it has not been popularized by Americans, Cuba is still fairly affordable compared to some other Caribbean islands; Canadians flock here in the winter, many of them taking in a few days of the incredible culture and architecture in Havana and then spending down-time on Varadero Beach. Not far from the beach is the serene, beautiful Hicacos Point Natural Park, part of an ecological preserve filled with birds and animals, and dotted with caves.

The shallow waters off the beach are safe for swimming and very warm. Varadero Beach’s nickname is Playa Azul, or, in English, Blue Beach; the water is the reason for this moniker. Varadero Beach is where tourists can dance to the Cuban/Latin beat, swim with dolphins, go yachting or watch a traditional rowing regatta. This is a top-notch Cuban experience.

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