Varadero Cuba

Written by Abby Luttrell
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If you're vacationing in Varadero, Cuba, don't miss out on some of the sights outside of the peninsula just because you're having such a good time at the beach. Away from the popular Cuba resorts, you'll be fascinated by some of the places just a few miles inland. Matanzas, the large city at the head of the peninsula, is famous for its beautiful architecture, and with its many bridges over the Yumuri and San Juan rivers, is known as the "Creole Venice".

Matanzas--A Gem Near Varadero, Cuba

Matanzas has beautiful examples of colonial and neo-Classic architecture, and is like a small time capsule compared to bustling Havana. A fine example of a 19th century pharmacy is now a museum, the Museo Farmaceutico Ernesto Triolet. The classic Teatro Sauto was built in 1863. Its exceptional acoustics make it one of the foremost concert halls in the Americas, and concerts are still held there.

On the other side of the island of Cuba from Varadero, the Peninsula de Zapata beckons. It is a huge swamp that is one of the most varied and complete wildlife preserves in the Caribbean. The habitat supports 150 species of birds, including the zunzuncito, the Cuban pygmy owl, the Zapata rail, and many species of parrots. Along the coast manatees, crocodiles and dolphins are plentiful.

Halfway between Varadero, Cuba and the Peninsula de Zapata is the holiday resort at Guama. At Guama, a reconstructed Pre-Columbian Indian village consists of earth huts, a common building, typical tools and utensils, and 25 life-size statues of Indians by sculptress Rita Longa. Guama also has a small museum, Muestras Aborigenes, which displays some finds that date back to the Taino civilization.


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