Access to one of Varadero's best beach areas
Most tourists travelling to Cuba choose to spend time enjoying the magnificent beaches of Varadero, located on the long, narrow Hicacos peninsular. Some of the most luxurious resorts in Cuba are located in this area, a stretch of more than 20 kilometres of white sand and crystal-clear sea that gently laps the shore. The Cuban hotels in Varadero offer many attractions, such as naturally shaped swimming pools surrounded by palm trees and lush gardens. They offer a peaceful break for those who need to unwind from the stresses of work and daily life, although these hotels could also be the beginning of a unique Cuban adventure.
In Cuba, there are nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites, a tribute to the country’s rich history and vibrant culture. Just 150 kilometres from the Cuban resorts in Varadero, Old Havana attracts the majority of the visitors. The city is particularly recognised for the authenticity of its Spanish colonial architecture and the fortification system that once protected its main industry, shipbuilding. A short stroll around the city offers visitors impressive views of its Baroque and Neoclassical architecture. Another slice of Cuban history still circulates Old Havana: brightly coloured vintage cars. These vehicles are a result of the 60-year trade embargo. As no new cars were imported from the U.S., old cars were maintained and are now used to transport tourists around the city streets. A visit to the Bellas Artes National Museum will give you a fascinating insight into Cuban history through its art. The exhibition begins on the upper floor with the first examples of indigenous art and continues through to modern art, with examples from the turbulent era of the revolution. Those who visit the city of Trinidad will be rewarded with a journey back in time. To be precise, back to the 19th century. Horses navigate the cobbled streets, street vendors offer their produce and buskers play their guitars. This meticulously preserved city was built during the prosperous years of the sugar plantations at the beginning of the 1800s. Rich plantation owners filled their mansions with Italian artwork and French candelabras. The Escambray mountain range dominates the Trinidad skyline. A trip up the mountains will reward visitors with spectacular panoramic views.
Cuban cigars are internationally famous and U.S. visitors can now buy up to US$100 worth to take back home with them. Ranking them by brand is a difficult task, but visitors can't go wrong when choosing Cohiba, the preferred brand of Fidel Castro before he gave up smoking in 1977. Rum is another sought-after product and guests at Cuban hotels in Varadero are able to sample and buy a variety of rums at the nearby Rum Museum. Varadero Market is full of hand-made leather goods, sculptures, paintings, textiles and jewellery. The friendly sellers are open to haggling and it's a great place to take in the local atmosphere while you search for interesting souvenirs to take home as mementos of an unforgettable holiday.