Located on the northernmost part of the island of Cuba, Varadero Beach runs along
the narrow Hicacos Peninsula for 22 Km (over 13.5 miles). It has a wide strip of
fine, white sand that slopes gently into the sea, whose warm, clear waters encompass
an incomparable range of blues. The 22 km long Peninsula de Hicacos is connected
to the main land with a lift bridge.
At the end of the 19's some Cardenas families bought pieces of land and builded
their summerhouses. In 1920, Varadero town was officially founded. The Varadero
beach became the center of the rich and famous. After 1959, this area opened again
for all kind of people. Its more than 20 km of excellent beaches, white a broad
strip of fine, white sand along the shoreline, and a continental shelf that softly
sinks into a warm, crystal clear sea of the most varied of blues, are the chief
tourist attractions of Varadero, a tourist city that is presently well-positioned
in the International circuits. These natural wonders are enriched and complemented
by the existence of numerous caves, cliffs, and lagoons.
Also, pristine, easy to reach keys and other interesting natural surroundings on
the peninsula's easternmost tip, in addition to a set of cultural, historical, and
environmental sites provided by the nearby cities of Matanzas and Cardenas and the
Zapata Swamp Biosphere Reserve.
A nice weather, little rain, and low humidity are among the conditions that make
Varadero an ideal spot the year around. The city of Varadero which extends over
14.4 square km and has a population of approximately 8.000, accounts approximately
for half of each hotel rooms in Cuba. Because everywhere is within reach in the
city and resort, the visitor feels constantly invited to move around, be it walking
along any of the 5 Avenues that run the peninsula: Kawama, Primera, Playa, Las Americas,
and Autopista del Sur, boarding a tourist train, or driving a car, a moped or a
bicycle, or even taking one of these old, horse drawn coaches.
Cuba's privileged geographic position, it's broad continental shelf (70.000 square
kilometers, with edges almost totally covered by carefully preserved coral reeves),
and its crystal clear waters (underwater horizontal visibility of 30 meters, or
98 feet, and tempatures usually higher than 24 Centigrade) make the island an ideal
site for diving and snorkling. Varadero has 32 wellestablished diving sites at Matanzas
bay and on the western side of Sabana-Camaguey archipelago, home of a must for any
experienced diver: the Ojos del Megano Blue Hole, and enormous under-water cave
located between the Los Cabezotes and Mega-no Chico reefs, at the Bay of Cadiz.
Three International diving centers have branches in the Peninsula, all of them with
coaches and dive masters certified by the World Federation of Under-water Activities
and the American-Canadian Under-water Certification, and with modern equipment and
Most hotels also offer diving courses for beginners, and some tourist packages include
in their price a number of day- and night-time dives, in the open sea or at underwater
caves. A national network of specialized medical services and decompression chambers
are available as well to guarentee maximum safety in this activity, which is highly
in demand in these beautiful natural surroundings.
The Cayo Piedras del Norte Sea Park:The only park of its kind in Cuba, and
suited both for snorkling and diving, it is located some 8 nautical miles northeast
of Varadero and extends over an area of 2 square nautical miles. The park combines
beauty adventure, and security, and features among its attractions the sunken remains
of a yacht, a rocket launcher boat, a 102-meter long frigate, an AN-2 passenger
plane, and a towboat, deliberately disposed of to create this attactive sea.
The Saturno Cave: One the way to the "Juan Gualberto Gomez International
Airport", the Saturno Cave provides lovers of underwater world with an option that
is different: diving through the crystal-clear waters of this 150 meter long and
20 feet deep, cavern, ideal for speleological exploration.
Nature tourism, a product of growing demand in the International tourism market,
has a promising site at the eastern end of the Hicacos Peninsula, with its rich
natural diversity. A practical virginal zone, the area covers 31% of the total territory
of the Peninsula and was declared an ecological reserve in 1974 in consideration
of its exceptional natural botanical and fauna values. The area is home of the largest,
most well preserved forest and coastal scenery.
Most of them of great archeological value, some of them underwater, others turned
into night clubs, the Varadero Caves and their surroundings deserve all attention
of the visitor.
The Ambrosio (ceremonial site) and the Musulmanes (dwelling site)
Caves Two out of the 15 archeological sites discovered at the Peninsula that
reveal the customs of the areas indigenous population are both located in the Varahicos
natural Park. The first one is a 250-meter long cave with five interconnected galleries.
Inside there are 72 rupestrian paintings, which constitute one of the largest sets
of such drawings in the Caribbean islands. During the colonial period, it also served
as safe heaven for maroons, or Black runaway slaves.
Calero Funeral Cave remains of who was reportedly the most ancient inhabitanat
off Cuba, dating back to some 8.000 years, were found in this cave, where an Indian
cemetery was also disco vered in which 66 induviduals, and 1 skull showing Europoid
features, were identified. The cave is located some 15 km from the town of Cantel,
South of Varadero.
Santa Catalina Cave - Proclaimed a National Monument, this cave has great
archeological, scientific, and natural values. It is located in an area known as
Predios de Camarioca, on the Matanzas-Varadero Highway. Aside from the evidences
of pre-Colombian communities that were discovered in them, the caves 8 km of galleries
shelter several local fauna species and show secundary formations that turn it into
a true natural wonder.
Bellamar Caves Located near Matanzas city, was discovered in 1861 and is
considered the island's oldest tourist attraction of its kind. Its more than 28
explored cavities treasure large mural paintings, numerous fossils, and evidences
of communities that inhabited the area some 1600 years ago. Proclaimed
a National Monument in 1987, it is well-knwn for its capricious crystallized
formations, among them the one called El Manto de Colon (ColumbusCloak) an emble-matic
12 meter high column formed by a stalagmite and a stalacite that fused together.
Programmed tours take the visitor down for a length of 1500 meters, half the caves
Juan Gualberto Gómez International Airport is located close to the Varadero beach
resort and Matanzas city.
It’s the second largest and busiest airport in Cuba after the José Marti International
Airport in Havana (the country’s capital). It's named after journalist and black
rights activist Juan Gualberto Gómez (1854-1933). The airport handles both international
and domestic flights and approximately 25% of Cuba’s air traffic.
Varadero airport has one terminal building where you can find snack bars, cafeteria,
shops, duty free shops, kiosks, public and VIP lounges in the Departures Area. The
terminal building is air-conditioned and non-smoking except in one designated area.
There are three jet bridges, but air stairs are also used for the remaining aircraft
parking spaces on the apron by the terminal.
Please click these links to check Varadero International Airport Juan Gualberto Gomez