Within easy reach of the Cuban capital, Varadero Beach is just two hours west of Havana along good roads. The near-white sand stretches out into the Caribbean Sea on a thin peninsula of land for a staggering 20 kilometres (12 miles).
Also known as Blue Beach (Playa Azul) because of the colour of the sea at this point, which laps it with warm waters all year round. No surprise then that it is regularly rated as one of the world’s top beaches.
The pristine pale sands are lined for much of their length by shade-giving palms. Behind them, visitors to Varadero Beach will find a selection of international-grade and family-friendly resorts suitable for all budgets. At the peninsula’s northernmost tip, Hicascos Point, is a small nature reserve. It protects Mangon Lake and Ambrosio Cave, which extends for around 250 metres.
The destination of choice for America’s jet set (including Al Capone) before the Cuban Revolution, Varadero Beach today offers some of the Caribbean’s best water sports. Hotels are able to provide their guests with kayaks, while independent operators hire out kiteboards and other gear. Scuba diving is another top draw, since the Varadero peninsula has around 30 different dive sites, from underwater caves to sunken military hardware.
- Diving & snorkelling
- Kite surfing
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