Cruising in Varadero, Cuba

Rum and Relaxation March 16, 2014 1
Catamaran and water bikes at the Cuban beach of Varadero.

Catamaran and water bikes at the Cuban beach of Varadero.

Imagine yourself in a 1957 Chevrolet convertible cruising at 60 miles per hour and the only thing that distances you from intimate contact with the charming sea breeze is a Ray Ban sunshade. The choice is yours but it is a difficult task to choose a single spot from 20 km of sugar white sandy beaches that are constantly bathed with waning blue waves of the Caribbean Sea.

The beaches are overlooked by multiple four and five star hotels on the northern side of this strip of land situated on the Hicacos Peninsula.

Varadero Cuba is the perfect place to sip on Cuban rum while relaxing. Located in the province of Matanzas bordered by the Mexican gulf in the north and the Cardenas bay in the south, this travelers paradise is traversed in its entirety by the southern freeway (Autopista Sur) which gives you access to both sides of the peninsula which is only 1.2km wide. Cruising along the road gives you a view of the beaches and marinas, but don’t be too swift to choose as every thought of beauty is swept away by more beautiful thoughts when your eyes behold the super-sized hotels with magnificent golf courses that line the avenues and beaches. These attractions marketed heavily by tour operators have been touted among the world’s best beaches and over one million tourists visit annually.

Most of the tourists are of European and Canadian origin. A number of U.S and Chinese tourists can also be found traversing the neatly constructed streets and avenues that are spectacularly decorated by both flowering and non-flowering floras. Some come for the experience of tasting Cuban rum while relaxing on the beach and other come to puff the smoke after deep inhalation from a Cuban cigar. However whatever the reason that first brings tourists Varadero, they fall in love because there is so much to do.

There are a number of sites which are a must see like the Varadero Golf Club.  It is the first 18 hole golf club in Cuba and is filled with beautiful scenery which can be enjoyed even by persons who are clueless about golf.

There is Cuevo del Saturno (Saturn Cave), a cave that is not too dark because it is not very enclosed, most people enjoy swimming in the dark cold water in this cave that gives you a cool refreshing feeling.

Coral Beach is a also a must visit as it is great for snorkeling, and gives a beautiful underwater view as you explore marine life in the area.

Casa del Ron (House of Rum) has a collection of a variety of Cuban rums, but the best part of it is that visitors are allowed to sample some of these fine spirits.

Varahicacos Ecological Reserve is easily accessible from the southern freeway and gives the impression of life on the peninsula before man’s indulgence. The variety of flora and fauna can be appreciated during a highly educative hiking trip by experienced tour guides. There is also a delfinario that allows jaw-dropping dolphin shows and the opportunity to swim with the dolphins…well that’s if you are brave enough.

A trip to the Sugar Cane museum is a must where you are allowed to take photos with the machete man and chew on some freshly cut joints of sugar cane, a teaser to the taste buds. You can also drink the juice (guarapo) from a number of cane juice venders (guaraperos). The trip to the museum is not yet over before boarding a locomotive which takes you to the city of Cardenas. Each visitor to the sugar cane museum is given two free bottles of rum, as a token of appreciation for their visit.

Many attractions await discovery also in the close by cities of the Zapata Peninsula, Matanzas and Cárdenas, and the resort of San Miguel de los Baños. This free port also allows a range of marine activities, for example, yachting, surfing and scuba diving. The list of activities to do on this spit of land is unending for which reason each person must make his own choice according to his own liking.

Then there is that point when the 1957 Chevy comes to a halt and you remove your Ray Bans only to find that the charming sea breeze that you had an almost intimate contact with was part of a euphoric experience, a dream, which can only be lived at Varadero, Cuba.

 

Author Randell Collins

 

  • Jose Marti

    Beautiful place to be