136 Years of Caribbean Enchantment

December 15, 1887 marks the birth of Varadero, Cuba's main beach resort and one of the most outstanding destinations in the Caribbean and the world. Founded by the Cárdenas City Council, this 22-kilometer beach paradise celebrates its 136th anniversary with a rich history full of anecdotes and characters.

A Glimpse of Varadero's History and Significance

When Sebastián de Ocampo discovered the Hicacos Peninsula in 1508, he could not have foreseen that centuries later this place would be internationally recognized as the second most beautiful beach in the world. During the 16th century, the Spanish conquistadors expelled the indigenous population from the peninsula and turned the place into a salt marsh and salt works by clearing its forests in a short period of time. Throughout the centuries, Varadero was a refuge for pirates and slaves, as evidenced by Ambrosio's cave, which houses the largest pictograph in the Caribbean.

Varadero's coat of arms symbolizes its rich heritage, from aboriginal evidence to Spanish colonization and the 10 founding families of Cardenas. But how did it evolve from a refuge to Cuba's premier tourist destination?

Growth and Development: 1915 to 2023

In 1887, Varadero was officially established as a town, but for decades it was difficult to access. At the beginning of the 20th century, the first hotels, such as the emblematic Hotel Varadero, started the tourist boom. In 1915, the Varadero Hotel, with 10 rooms, marked the beginning of this era. Since then, personalities such as R.H. Johnson and Al Capone recognized its potential.

The 1930s attracted Cuban and foreign high society, marking the construction of luxurious mansions. The Xanadu Mansion and Josone Park are examples of this splendor. Varadero was also the scene of historical and political events in the 1940s and 1950s.

Since the 1990s, Varadero has experienced a new tourism boom, going from three hotels in 1959 to 61 in 2023, consolidating itself as Cuba's main tourist center with 22,741 rooms.

Discover the Authentic Varadero

Varadero is much more than beaches and hotels. With 15 archeological sites, including the famous Ambrosio Cave, it offers an immersion in history. From salt flats to the influence of celebrities like Irenée Du Pont Dehaumors, Varadero has evolved gracefully. It also boasts numerous leisure and cultural options, such as the dolphinarium, the municipal museum, the amusement park, the Tropicana cabaret and various festivals and events.

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