A stone’s throw off the coast of Florida, but further away mentally, is Varadero Beach in beautiful Hicacos Peninsula, Cuba. Yes, I said “Cuba.” For Americans, this once forbidden land has become the new place where you can open the box to see the magical. From quaint villages to beautiful hills, valleys and mountains that lead down into wonderful and again, magical beaches. All not seen by the American eye for many decades.
Indeed, many have had to go to Grand Cayman to enjoy a Cuban cigar. And from these “foreign” ports we were told how to venture to the Cuban frontier without a trace. Off to enjoy what all other nations on the planet have been soaking up for years.
Here is a narrow peninsula that juts out into the Caribbean sea as if making a fashion statement about Island Life. The northern most point of Cuba, Hicacos can be likened to the best of all inclusive resort areas. Spectacular landscaping that drifts down to even more spectacular – since God made – beach and ocean that is breathtaking on first sight.
And here you have it all – world class scuba diving, and fishing in Cuba that is beyond anything you’ll find at home – all because it hasn’t been exploited. You;ll enjoy each and every side trip you book from your hotel. They are not over done and so touristy that you’ll give them bad reviews when you get back.
In fact, those who have been to Varadero Beach say that it is probably/possibly the most enchanting beach they have ever been to. How many places on the globe can you say that about? We know Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic is a tad overdone. And the hotelmania in Aruba is hard on the eyes. But here – well…we are practically off the beaten path.
The best resort in the area has to be San Miguel de los Baios. Near the city of Matanzas, you will find yourself walking through shops and taking in the very different Cuban culture as you slow your pace from the texting/smart phone world.
There are some exciting side adventures to those who want to see, namely to the Bay of Pigs in southern Cuba and dotted along this northern coast of Varadero you’ll find ancient shipwrecks, cave diving, and great walls of coral. We found that the prices in Cuban make for an excellent vacation – take for example snorkeling. You’ll spend half of what you do at most any other Caribbean destination. Scuba is the same, with prices and day trips very affordable. There is better diving and snorkeling in other locations, but Varadero is fair.
These beaches are very family friendly with help from local hotels to care for your youngsters while you and your loved one explore around the area. The shoreline slants slightly so there are no drop offs and in most areas the waves are gentle letting you catch some rays while you keep an eye on your toddlers.
The food here is great with back to basics of meat and great veggies that you can almost bet have none of the chemicals we may find back home. As for the water, Cuba has sanitary conditions with a good infrastructure for health. You can drink bottled water or the local soft drinks. Don’t expect the same choices you had back home.
Accommodations are the same as you’d expect anywhere in the Caribbean. Open air rooms and beautiful colors with options for air conditioning if you want that. Room service is common as are all inclusive if you choose. The grounds around all hotels are so manicured it is a pleasure just to walk the area and feel good about your stay.
From ginger walks along the beach to the vendors who take there wares right up to your beach chair, Varadero Beach in Cuba offers another world you probably need to experience soon. Savor the freshly grilled chicken just off the shoreline or sit with locals at a pub and ask about shipwrecks of old. Whatever you do, make sure you put Varadero down as one of your best beaches to visit in Cuba in the very near future.
As with other Cuban destinations, check online or with a travel agent on creative ways to get to the island. They welcome your money and you’ll welcome their hospitality. The Cuban people are friendly and you can learn a lot from them. Soak in the culture and enjoy the beautiful peninsula that holds magic for you to discover!
Varadero Beach, Cuba – Beach Index:
- Beautiful, long beach with gentle waves
- Family friendly and not crowded
- Fishing, snorkeling, diving
- Sand is off white, dense
- Few facilities – check with your resort