Ernesto Alvarez

Passionate Historian

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He was born in Cardenas, very close to Varadero Beach, some years ago, but not too many! From a very young age, he used to spend long periods of time in Varadero, a beach resort he knows like the back of his hand.

He was such an inquisitive and curious person by nature that by the age of seven he started doing his own collections and research. Being a pernickety and laborious student as he was, he graduated first in his class with flying colours. He knows an awful lot about the history of Varadero, and he used to be the official historian of the city of Cardenas. Thanks to his professional interest and responsibilities, he has also delved into the history of Matanzas and other nearby cities.

He owns an extensive archive made up of thousands of photos, postcards, books, newspaper articles and booklets on the history of Varadero, Cardenas and Matanzas and he also remembers, thanks to his prodigious memory, many more stories and anecdotes about these cities. He has published 15 books in Cuba and Spain, and he regularly writes on Internet and the Cuban press. He has been awarded about a hundred prizes, distinctions and recognitions for his work as a researcher and oddity collector.

Travelling as a tourist through Cuba, Spain, Italy and other European countries, he is always in the quest of finding new and interesting things; for that reason, he likes to travel around the cities and small towns and talk to the local people; visit libraries, archives, churches, convents and museums; try to convince the locals to show him what tourists normally don't see; discover forgotten monuments and historical places and, ultimately, use all that information in his books, articles and chronicles or simply to make recommendations to friends who visit these destinations. He observes and photographs every detail of the places he visits to turn his experiences into stories.

For Cuba Holidays, he writes the blog "Varadero: more than sun, sand and beach", full of very interesting chronicles accompanied by images of this stunning beach resort and its surroundings.

Ernesto Alvarez

Ernesto's Been There Done That

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Recent articles by Ernesto

  • 29 Jun 2017
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Varadero in Detail

Palacio de Junco: getting acquainted with a few centuries of Matanzas history

The Museo Provincial Palacio de Junco is located in the vicinity of Matanzas’s Plaza de la Vigía (Vigía’s Square). You’ll find it just a few kilometres from the beach town of Varadero, from which frequent excursions depart for Matanzas; a city in which there’s always much to do and see.
  • 02 Jun 2017
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Varadero in Detail

The Oscar M. de Rojas Museum in Cárdenas; a surprise beyond each step

The Oscar M. de Rojas Museum in Cárdenas, which will honour its 115th anniversary in 2015, preserves more than 90,000 Cuban and foreign pieces. Its 12 showrooms enable you to travel through many historic and human knowledge facets, while observing remarkable pieces and curiosities. A visit to this museum only 9 km away from Varadero and reopened by Fidel Castro in 2003, is a pleasant approach to unsuspected and hitherto unknown details of Cuban and world history.
  • 07 Mar 2017
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Varadero in Detail

La Ermita de Montserrat - a worthwile climb to enjoy the best views of Matanzas

Matanzas’s “Ermita de Montserrat”, located a few kilometers southwest of the tourist town of Varadero, is a remarkable relic of 19th century Cuban architecture. It was built on an elevation known as “Alturas de Simpson” (Simpson’s Heights) by the Catalonian migrants who had settled in Matanzas and who wished to pay tribute to Catalonia’s Patron Saint – Our Lady of Montserrat. Its privileged location offers beautiful views over the Yumuri valley and the city of Matanzas; the Athens of Cuba.
  • 21 Feb 2017
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Varadero in Detail

La Chero: a unique shop for the most authentic gifts

Opened quite recently in the historic urban centre of Cardenas, La Chero brings shoppers an excellent new option for those after more than the commonplace arts and crafts typically sold in Varadero’s hotels, street markets and stores. At this new venue you’ll find that longed-for special gift, that truly original present or an exclusive souvenir to take home and remember your visit to Cuba by.
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