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Varadero

Varadero, located on the sinuous 20km-long Hicacos Peninsula, stands at the vanguard of Cuba’s most important industry – tourism. As the largest resort in the Caribbean, it guards a huge, unsubtle and constantly evolving stash of hotels (over 60), shops, water activities and poolside entertainment; though its trump card is its beach, an uninterrupted 20km stretch of blond sand that is undoubtedly one of the Caribbean's best. But, while this large, tourist-friendly mega-resort may be essential to the Cuban economy, it offers little in the way of unique Cuban experiences.

Most Varadero tourists buy their vacation packages overseas and are content to idle for a week or two enjoying the all-inclusiveness of their resort (and why not?). However, if you’re touring Cuba independently, and want to swap your backcountry rambling for some stress-free beach life, Varadero can provide a few nights of well-earned sloth after a dusty spell on the road.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Varadero.