Varadero



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Varadero
Tempting though it would be not to leave the resort, there are several excursions that are available, including a visit to swim with dolphins. The Delfinario has several dolphin shows a day and the dolphins are kept in a natural setting, rather than a constructed theme park as found in similar attractions around the world.

Another must is the day trip to Havana. Havana is known for its vibrant atmosphere, street life, crumbling baroque architecture and the amazing classic cars that seem to keep going despite the odds. Old Havana has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1982 and it's the part of the city that tourists really want to see.

Cuba's privileged geographic position, it's broad continental shelf (70.000 square kilometers, with edges almost totally covered by carefully preserved coral reeves), and its crystal clear waters (underwater horizontal visibility of 30 meters, or 98 feet, and tempatures usually higher than 24 Centigrade) make the island an ideal site for diving and snorkling.

The Rumbos Tourism and Recreation Group runs a dolphin sea-quarium that is located 11 km of the Autopista del Sur (the highway connecting Matanzas city with Varadero) and which, in addition to three daily shows, offers the oppertunity of swimming with these graceful, harmless sea mammels. And the Gaviota Marina includes in some of it optional programs a visit to Rancho Cangrejo, on the bay of Cardenas, where the visitor can also enjoy a swim with dolphins.

So even though most hotels have party halls, piano bars, and excellent tourist animation programs, a cheerful, excited crowd can be seen filling the night places, something that the visitor is encouraged to also do.

When the evening comes, the look and the pace of Varadero change, and the more than one hundred exciting discotheques, bars, and night clubs open for the enjoyment of those in search of good time out. So even though most hotels have party halls, piano bars, and excellent tourist animation programs, a cheerful, excited crowd can be seen filling the night places, something that the visitor is encouraged to also do.

In town, the small shopping centre opposite Cuatro Palmas Hotel is as good as it gets, with half a dozen shops and a bar. Out of town the overpriced Plaza las Americas centre between the Melia hotels is a little bigger, with a couple of European designer clothes boutiques and a supermarket stocked with foreign produce, but will not set shopoholics' pulses racing. Other local shops may have the necessities but little else. Several tourist markets in town for T-shirts, handicrafts, hats and general tat. Cigars (see our comments in the Havana resort description) and rum are the things to buy.