Its crystal clear blue waters and fine sand have placed the famous Varadero beach located in the Cuban province of Matanzas among the top twenty-five resorts in the world, according to the Trip Advisor website.
In a recent meeting with Ibis Fernandez, the Ministry’s delegate in the region, we learnet about plans for development in Varadero—also known as the Playa Azul or Blue Beach in English. Last year 1.3 million visitors came to the resort, mainly from Canada, Spain, the UK, France and Italy.
Today Varadero’s incomparable beauty makes it Cuba’s top tourist destination after Havana. Its twenty-five kilometers of sandy beach place it among the favorite spots for tourists who come to take refuge from the harsh winters of Europe and North America.
Its fifty-two hotels house some 20,600 rooms of which 84% are high standard and this wonderful resort also boasts many other attractions. Cultural shows like La Fiesta Guajira, The Beatles, and the Tropicana Matanzas Cabaret complement over fifty cafes and restaurants of assorted styles, both state and privately owned.
For water sport lovers Varadero is ideal with two international marinas and a total of nearly 1,400 docks, 32 diving sites and two nautical points. In addition it has two dolphinariums, one offshore where visitors can swim with dolphins as part of the Cayo Blanco tour. A kite surfing school recently opened giving both experienced clients and beginners the chance to practice this extreme sport.
For those who like museums and history, the city of Matanzas about thirty kilometers from Varadero is home to many attractions including the Cathedral, the Pharmaceutical Museum, the French pharmacy—declared a national heritage site—and the White Hall, home to the town’s symphony orchestra.
Other places of interest for tourists coming to Varadero include the Zapata Peninsula, the largest wetland in the Caribbean and a biosphere reserve that is also home to a crocodile farm. Villa Guamá located in the Peninsula de Zapata National Park in Laguna del Tesoro and the historical Playa Giron beach stand out among many others.
Plans for the development of this area are ambitious. Scheduled up to 2030 they include a complex of luxury villas that will comprise an 18-hole golf course, individual docks plus other facilities and apartments. The new International Hotel is being built with 300 rooms, the Oasis hotel’s services will be overhauled, the Marina Gaviota is due for completion with new apartments and docks for mega yachts, and a French bakery and beer house are due to open.
All this along with the resort’s extensive existing facilities will make Varadero an even more popular site for domestic and foreign tourists.