Varadero is a holiday village of Matanzas, which is at the north of Cuba. Varadero’s center is made out of a 5 kilometer, narrow bulge. To let the small boats and sailers go through, some channels were carved in.
The other name for Varadero is Playa Azul, which means the Blue Beach. It has 20 kilometers long, pearl white beaches, but unfortunately only tourists enjoy it, not Cubans. There are many 5 star hotels through the shore. But, the citizens of the country, has to go through a control point when they pass through the hotels area. And they can not enter the hotels.
We stayed at Hotel Punteranas. It is a beautiful hotel next to the ocean. When you can watch many different kinds of channels in the sattelite tv in hotels, the public can only watch 1 channel, which belongs to the government. It is forbidden for hotel workers to open the tvs in the rooms. Most of the bellboys are university gradudates. The guy who carried our luggage, was an engineer. 1 Euro is a great tip for them. When you make 30 euros a month with an engineering degree, 10 euros from 10 luggages a day would be pretty great.
More than 5000 tourists come here through the year. As much as the beaches are beautiful, the underwater is also very colorful here. There are 25-30 diving points.
It suddenly starts to rain cats and dogs in this tropical island. And it suddenly turns back to sunny. The best season for Varadero is the dry season, from December to April.
You should definitely see the Cayo Blanco (White Island) with the spectacular nature of it. It is half an hour away from Varadero. Enjoy the pearl white beach made by seabream reefs, deep blue sea and the coconut milk you are going to drink to refreshen. It was February when we were there and it was pretty fun to swim with dolphins in 26o C water. So many marine sponges and seabreams, that broken pieces are all over the shore. We collected some sponges and breams from here. Water is not deep at all. It won’t go over your head no matter how far you go. You can also take catamaran tours in this island.
You can go to the Josone Park, in the middle of the city and buy souvenirs from the local stores there.
Food? Any kind of seafood really. And the prices are really affordable compared to Turkey.
For shopping, you can try the Plaza Americano, close to the city. It takes 10-12 pesos from the center to get there.