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Cuban architecture

Varadero

Varadero 150x100 VaraderoVaradero Beach is situated on the Hicacos Peninsula, between the Bay of Cárdenas and the Straits of Florida, some 140 km east of Havana, at the eastern end of the Via Blanca highway. The peninsula is only 1.2 km wide at its widest point and is separated from the island of Cuba by the Kawama Channel. This spit of land however extends more than 20 kilometers from the mainland in a northeasterly direction and its tip, Punta Hicacos, is the northernmost point of the island of Cuba. The area is considered the best sun and beach resort in the country. There are more than 45 hotels (17,000 hotel rooms) on Varadero Beach which is known as the largest tourist resort in the Caribbean. You can find everything from 5 star luxury hotels to a place where you can pitch your tent (away from the hotels).

At the northeastern end of the peninsula there is a nature reserve with virgin forests and beaches called Varahicacos. The Natural Park is a 3.12 km2  ecological preserve established in 1974. It contains the 250 m (820 ft) long Cave of Ambrosio, Mangón Lake (home to 31 species of birds and 24 species of reptiles) and the ruins of the La Calavera (The Skull) Salt Works (one of the first salt works to be constructed by the Spanish in the New World). The cays developed off shore, such as Cayo Piedras and Cayo Cruz del Padre are the western most part of the Sabana-Camaguey Archipelago.

In addition to its most valued resource, the beach, Varadero has natural attractions such as caves and a chain of easily accessed virgin cays. There are also cultural, historical and environmental attractions in the vicinity, such as the cities of Matanzas and Cárdenas, the Zapata Península and the resort of San Miguel de los Baños.

Varadero is a free port and and has three international marinas, with all the technical facilities for handling large numbers of vessels. Piedras del Norte Cay Marine Park, the only underwater park in Cuba is nearby. The Peninsula has exceptionally good conditions for scuba diving, deep-sea fishing, yachting and other water sports, that´s why receives about 500,000 visitors per year. Varadero with is very unique scenery, also has a conference center Plaza América, a professional (18.hole,par 72) golf course and facilities for parachute jumping, incentive travels,weddings and honeymoons.

Juan Gualberto Gómez Airport, situated west of the peninsula, is Varadero‘s airport. It is the second-most-important airport of the island after José Martí Airport in Havana, and serves international and domestic flights.

Places to go:

  • CAYO PIEDRAS DEL NORTE MARINE PARK: Is a good site for the practice of diving and snorkeling.
  • VARAHICACOS NATURAL PARK.:The biggest and most well preserved forest and coastal ecosystem at the Hicacos peninsula. Here are also the Mangón Lake and the Ambrosio Caves, both of great archaeological values.
  • DOLPHIN MARINAS: Swimming with dolphins on the marina, Rancho Cangrejo at Cardenas bay is a pleasant choice.
  • CUEVA DE SATURNO:This cave offers divers a unique gift, diving into the transparent waters of this 150-meter long, ideal for the speleological diving.
  • JOSONE. PARK:  Conceived as a quiet and large garden, this park has a small artificial lake and next to it a large mansion of limestone blocks.
  • AMBROSIO CAVE, A CEREMONIAL SITE, AND THE MUSULMANES CAVE, A RESIDENTIAL SITE: Two of the 15 archaeological sites discovered at the peninsula’s Varahicacos Natural Park.
  • VARADERO GOLF CLUB:  Designed to meet the highest and most demanding international standards.
  • MUNICIPAL HISTORY MUSEUM.

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