15 Articles in this blog

This is a blog that helps travellers get to know more about the true Varadero that lies beneath the surface of glimmering white sands, turquoise waters and glamorous all-inclusive resorts. It offers readers more in-depth information about this popular destination with historical outlines and first-hand suggestions of places to visit -museums, restaurants, bars, hotels, national monuments, theme parks, recreational and leisure centres, as well as the natural attractions in the tourist triangle made up by the cities of Varadero - Cardenas - Matanzas. The hope is that, with the help of this blog, when you decide to stay in any of these destinations, you'll know what to do and where to go.

This blog is for all those travellers interested in visiting Cuba and particularly Varadero. This was the first tourist resort in Cuba and it still keeps intact some of the natural and historical values that have made tourists, journalists and historians call it "The most beautiful beach of the world" for over a century. Through all these years, celebrities like Christian Dior (who made the colour 'Varadero Blue' fashionable), the kings of Belgium and Spain, Federico Garcia Lorca, and many other well-known Cuban and foreign personalities have stayed there. Its proximity to Havana and its natural beauties attract thousands of tourists every year.

In spite of the amount of tours regularly made to Varadero, most tourists never get to know many of its treasures. They leave Varadero without discovering Cardenas and Matanzas, two neighbouring yet little-known cities one should not miss for their rich history, traditions and architectural marvels.

This blog invites you to learn about little-known details, curiosities and stories of Varadero, Cardenas and Matanzas. It is aimed at those who want to get something more than sand, sun and beach out of their holidays in Varadero. It makes suggestions of tours and attractions to see in these cities such as museums, restaurants, bars, hotels, local and national monuments, theme parks, recreational centres and natural attractions.

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Ernesto Alvarez

Ernesto Alvarez's Been There Done That

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Recent articles in Varadero in detail

  • 28 Dec 2016
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  • Travel Advice
  • Ernesto Alvarez
Off the beaten track

An obligatory stop in Cuba's slave route: The San Severino Castle

Among the many, magical, interesting and thought-provoking sites to visit in the city of Matanzas, El Castillo de San Severino stands out as the only remaining witness of the city’s foundation. Located in the vicinity of Varadero, this castle is one historic attraction you should include in your list of places to see in Matanzas.
  • 22 Nov 2016
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  • Travel Advice
  • Ernesto Alvarez
Little known Cuba

Go off the beaten path to discover the Athens of Cuba - a full guide to Matanzas

A few days ago, my wife and I went back to the tricentenary city of San Carlos y San Severino de Matanzas, more commonly known as Matanzas; with the excuse of enjoying the city's International Book Fair. The name Matanzas may not sound too familiar to many, since it's not a place the average tourist stops to visit.
  • 23 Oct 2016
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  • Travel Advice
  • Ernesto Alvarez
Off the beaten track

The Santa Catalina cavern in Varadero, a Cuban speleology treasure

Just a few kilometres from Varadero stands one of Cuba's most captivating natural marvels; the Santa Catalina cavern. Declared a National Monument in 1996 due to its speleological and archaeological values, the visit to this grotto is an excellent choice for those who love adventure and discovering underground treasures.
  • 24 Sep 2016
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  • Travel Advice
  • Ernesto Alvarez
Off the beaten track

Ambrosio's Cave: a site you mustn't overlook in Varadero's off-the-beaten path

La Cueva de Ambrosio is one of the top must-see places in Varadero for those who love ecotourism. Here you'll find nature at its best and rawest with a helping of history on the side. The cave's walls boast 47 pictographs and drawings made by Cuba's original indigenous inhabitants. Its length of 250 metres spans five interconnected galleries, all of which can be visited in the company of knowledgeable guides who show visitors around its exceptional natural and archaeological marvels. This post will tell you where to go and what to do in La Cueva de Ambrosio, located in what many refer to as Varadero's other side – far removed from tourist resorts and floury soft stretches of sand.
  • 11 Aug 2016
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  • Travel Advice
  • Ernesto Alvarez
Off the beaten track

Don Qko: an oasis of gourmet food close to Varadero

Don Qko restaurant, situated in the city of Cardenas, only a few kilometres from the tourist hub of Varadero, Cuba, has become a favourite among locals and visitors alike. Comprising excellent offers and boasting several gastronomy awards, this venue is an ideal spot to dine with friends and family, celebrate special moments or simply taste delicious dishes, cocktails and desserts in a gourmet's paradise. Don Qko is one of the largest and best known private restaurants in Matanzas.
  • 20 Apr 2016
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  • Travel Advice
  • Ernesto Alvarez
Little known Cuba

The rarely told story of Varadero

Varadero is Cuba's main and largest tourist beach resort. Founded in the 19th century; the city is located on the Hicacos peninsula, just a few kilometres from Havana. It stands out for the unparalleled beauty of its beach, the warmth of its people, and for its culture, heritage and the safety of its tranquil and laidback streets; all of which are features that no tourist visiting Cuba should overlook. For these reasons and many others, in Varadero; a paradisiacal spot which never fails to win over the hearts of those who visit it, you'll come across much more than just a sunny beach setting. To this date the resort has many secrets and curiosities unknown to most of its regular visitors, and to its dwellers as well. Moreover; it boasts many sites to visit, thus ensuring a pleasant stay packed with novelties for all ages.
  • 19 Oct 2015
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  • Ernesto Alvarez
Little known Cuba

Cardenas - the perfect cultural stopover during your Varadero holiday

The city of Cardenas, located very close to Varadero on the northern coast of the Cuban province of Matanzas is the cradle of the famous Havana Club rum as well as other national treasures. It is known in Cuba as the Ciudad Bandera (Flagship City), Ciudad de las Primicias (City of Firsts) and Perla del Norte (Pearl of the North). Cardenas preserves valuable cultural, historic, natural and heritage treasures that delight those who tour its streets, museums, restaurants and historical sites.
  • 30 Sep 2015
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  • Ernesto Alvarez
Little known Cuba

Pay a visit to a magical museum that'll ferry you back to Varadero's past

Remarkable archetypes of wooden architecture can still be found in Varadero; the famous Cuban beach resort. One of them; built between 1920 and 1921, houses the Museo Municipal de Varadero (Varadero's Municipal Museum) since 5th December, 1981. Since its opening the museum exhibits a collection of important pieces related to the resort's history.
  • 16 Jul 2015
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  • Travel Advice
  • Ernesto Alvarez
Getting ready for Cuba

"The Beatles", a nightlife spot in Varadero with live music in English

"The Beatles" Bar-Restaurant in Varadero, has become one of the beach town's most popular nighttime haunts, especially among young people who particularly enjoy the live performances of some of the island's best rock bands. But older visitors can also have a great time here; whether they come on their own, with a group of friends or a partner. Regardless of party size everyone will still enjoy the best rock music entertainment from the three latest decades of the past century.
  • 12 Jun 2015
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  • Ernesto Alvarez
The best of Cuba

The Xanadu Mansion - A dream palace in Varadero

La Mansion Xanadu in Varadero, currently a hotel, is a marvel of Cuban architecture. It used to be a beach house owned by millionaire Mr. Irenee Dupont. Located next to the Varadero Golf Club, it's one of the best places to visit in Varadero to learn more about the development of this beach resort during your holidays in Cuba.
  • 09 Apr 2015
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  • Travel Advice
  • Ernesto Alvarez
The best of Cuba

Retiro Josone park, a green paradise in Varadero

Parque Retiro Josone (Retiro Josone Park) located in Varadero, within the municipality of Cardenas, in the Cuban province of Matanzas. It's a place in which nature's beauty blends harmoniously with its variety of attractions, to offer Cuban and foreign tourists, unforgettable moments of relaxation and recreation.