Aquamarine waters, azure skies, soft sandy beaches, and swaying palm trees attract tourists from around the world to this magnificent destination. Considered by many as home to the world’s most beautiful beach, Varadero is ideal for sun-worshippers, water babies and golfers.

The nearby cities of Cárdenas and Matanzas (the provincial capital) are known for their art, history and culture. Southwest of Varadero, on the province’s Caribbean coast, is the Zapata Peninsula, famous for its ecotourism and history.

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Top Things to Do

Varadero Beach

Cuba’s trademark beach boasts 21 kilometres of fine, white sand and an average year-round water temperature of 24ºC – 26ºC.

Cayo Piedra Underwater Park

This park to the northeast features several shipwrecks where schools of colourful, tropical fish and crustaceans gather.

Varadero Golf Club

Is a magnificent 18-hole championship course on the peninsula, marked by an intricate system of lagoons in the British “links” tradition.

Ambrosio Cave

An archeological site first used as a ceremonial spot by the area’s primitive inhabitants and later by runaway slaves, has well preserved pictographs.

Punta Frances

A 600-year-old-cactus as tall as a tree grows at the end of the Hicacos peninsula, near a natural salt pit where leathers and meats were prepared over the centuries.

Matanzas City

Canímar woods on the outskirts of Matanzas are best seen from the river. At the mouth of the river is a small colonial castle (El Morrillo) where a the bodies of two revolutionaries rest in a mausoleum. The castle also has an archaeological museum with ecological displays.

Bellamar Cave, on the outskirts of Matanzas, is one of the Caribbean’s largest and most beautiful underground formations. Two kilometres of underground passages are covered in peculiar stalagmites, stalactites and calcite crystals.


Havana is a never-ending symphony of movement and music. See colonial Havana and visit one of its museums, lunch at the Havana Libre Hotel in modern Havana, shop or just relax, then enjoy the Supershow (with more than 200 dancers on stage) and dinner at the Tropicana.

Hemmingway Museum

Take a day trip and walk in Hemingway’s footsteps by visiting his haunts: the fishing village of Cojimar; his former home, Finca Vigia—now the Hemingway Museum.


In the heart of the Zapata Peninsula, Guama resort is home to a reconstructed Indian village on Treasure Lake. Life-sized sculptures of Taino Indians tell their story, while a nearby crocodile breeding farm lets you get up close and personal with those unique reptiles.


This ancient city founded in the 16th century has narrow cobblestone streets, remarkable churches and colonial dwellings built in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. The drive from Varadero takes you through Cienfuegos and stops in Trinidad for lunch at the Las Cuevas Motel, followed by a tour of the colonial city, with visits to the Romantic, Natural Sciences and Archaeological Museums.

For more information and overnight tour ideas, click here.