Varadero: Attractions and more...
Varadero is a city built for the tourist, accounting for over 55% of all hotel rooms available in Cuba. Its beach is known for its fine white sand, and the pristine waters of the ocean average a temperature of 24 to 26 degrees Celsius all year round. To the northeast of the resort town, the Cayo Piedra Underwater Park features shipwrecks where divers and snorkellers can watch the colourful schools of tropical fish swim through the wrecks.
Near the beach, Josone’s Oasis is just that, an oasis where visitors can relax in the gardens or beside the lagoons, or enjoy a meal in one of the old mansions that have been converted into restaurants. Varadero’s restaurants offer a wide variety of cuisine to suit every taste, from Asian, Italian, and Spanish specialties to traditional Cuban dishes including barbequed meat and shellfish.
The Ambrosio Cave is probably the most important historical site in Varadero. This archaeological site was first used for ceremonies by the island’s first inhabitants, and later became a haven for runaway slaves. At the end of the Hicaco peninsular, near a natural salt pit that was used to prepare leathers and meats for centuries, grows one of the area’s natural wonders: a 600-year-old cactus as tall as a tree.
In nearby Matanzas City, visitors can enjoy an interesting glimpse into the
past through Le Triolet French pharmacy, which is still stocked with the medicines
and medical utensils used at the time of construction in 1882. Vigía
Square was the site of the original town, home to the Junco Palace Historical
Museum, the Sauto Theatre, an example of 19th century architecture in the region,
and the former military headquarters, which today house an exhibition of ancient
fire-fighting equipment. Just outside the city, on the mouth of the river, a
small colonial castle called El Morrillo houses the bodies of two revolutionaries,
as well as an archaeological museum.