Varadero Travel Blog› entry 1 of 14 › view all entries
In 2005 a dream came true. A vacation in Cuba. I saved money to travel across the entire country. It became my best vacation ever. Cuba is so pure. It is like traveling back in time in another time. This country is unique. It is impossible to compare Cuba with another country. Cuba is an island located in the northern Caribbean. It is situated by the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Cuba is south of the eastern United States and The Bahamas. Cuba's main island is 1,233 km long, the world's 17th largest.
Cuba is a communistic country, visiting was difficult. But after the pope visited Cuba in 1998 more and more Europeans were allowed to visit this unique country. Still the number of tourists from the US are restricted, but we met Canadians who have less difficulties visiting the country.
Because our plane was overbooked, we spend the first day in a resort Varadero and not in Havana. Too bad that we had only one day to visit Havana, but these things can happen when you go on a holiday. After a flight of 11 hours form Amsterdam we reached Varadero in the middle of the night. The Cubans showed immidiately their hospitality, we arrived at 1 o'clock at night in our hotel in Varadero, but they prepared a dinner packed especially for us. OK, Cuba does not always the very best food (alltough, the fish there is absolutely great, and in the resorts the food is excellent), but the idea of a warm welcome makes all good.
Varadero is first and foremost a tourist resort town, boasting more than 20 km of white sandy beaches. First already visited in the 1870s, tourism grew in the early 1930s as Irenee du Pont Nemours, an American millionaire, built his estate on the peninsula. Many famous and infamous people stayed in Varadero, for example Al Capone. After the Cuban Revolution in 1959, many mansions were expropriated from their rich owners. As international tourism was opened up in 1998, the local population expanded with the arrival of people, some in key economic positions, from other parts of Cuba. It brought the start of another hotel building campaign, mostly in the 4 and 5 star segment. In addition to its most valued resource, the beach, Varadero has natural attractions such as caves and a chain of easily accessed virgin keys.
Varadero is primarily visited by European, Latin American and Canadian tourists. The number of U.S. tourists visiting Varadero has been very limited because of the restrictions that make it illegal for U.S. citizens to visit Cuba as tourists. In the afternoon we left Varadero to got to Havana.