Cuba, Varadero, View over Varadero beach towards Xanadu mansion

Getty Images/AWL Images RM

Mansión Xanadú


Everything east of Varadero's small stone water tower (it looks like an old Spanish fort, but was built in the 1930s) once belonged to the Du Pont family. Here the millionaire American entrepreneur, Irenée, built the three-story Mansión Xanadú. It's now a small hotel perched on a bluff in the middle of Varadero's 18-hole golf course. The mahogany Mirador bar on the top floor is conducive for sipping sunset cocktails.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Varadero attractions

1. Parque Josone

2.72 MILES

If you're set on sightseeing in Varadero, ensconce yourself in this pretty green oasis. These landscaped gardens date back to 1940 and take their name…

2. Iglesia de Santa Elvira


Just east of Parque Central is this tiny colonial-style building resembling a displaced alpine chapel.

3. Cueva de Ambrosio

3.66 MILES

For something completely different in Varadero's tourist circus, decamp to this large cave 500m beyond the Club Amigo Varadero on the Autopista Sur. It's…

4. Reserva Ecológica Varahicacos


The Varahicacos is about all that's left of the 'wild' Hicacos Peninsula: hotel developers have been chomping away at its edges for years. There are three…

5. Marina Gaviota

5.81 MILES

At the peninsula's eastern tip, state-run Gaviota's impressive marina, built in the early 2010s, encompasses a wide malecón (main street), luxury…

6. Arechabala Rum Factory

8.63 MILES

To the northwest of the center of Cárdenas, in the industrial zone, is this famous rum factory founded in 1878 by Spanish immigrant José Arechabala…

7. Flagpole Monument

8.83 MILES

No, not just any old flagpole. Follow Av Céspedes past Catedral de la Inmaculada Concepción to its northern end and you will see this flagpole is attached…

8. Catedral de la Inmaculada Concepción

9.13 MILES

Cárdenas' twin-towered cathedral was built in 1846, though it looks older. The main ecclesiastical building of Cárdenas, it is noted for its stained glass…