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Varadero ready to awake

Varadero The renowned Matanzas beach resort, intent upon being the world’s most beautiful beach, and better equipped to welcome visitors when tourism is definitively re-opened.

Those who are able to return, surely in short order, will be amazed by the novelties and how much Cuba’s principal sun and sand destination has changed.

The central boulevard’s attractive new design, the renovated Plaza America Convention Center, and a refurbished Josone Park are among the projects undertaken here to better face the challenging international panorama and welcome the next International Tourism Fair, re-scheduled for May of 2021.

Despite the adverse circumstances created by the health emergency, over the past five months, these have been busy times at the beach, where construction at more than a few sites has continued nonstop.


Ivis Fernández, Ministry of Tourism representative in the province, insists that the workforce here has not stood idly by, waiting for the COVID-19 epidemic to be contained, but rather focused on the revitalization that is giving the renowned resort a new face, creating the conditions to better provide excellent service.

“No one has stopped working here. There are hundreds of construction crews working to beautify the resort, without overlooking epidemiological precautions,” she states proudly.

One of the most visibly busy sites is the Plaza America Convention Center. An emblematic building, one of a kind in Cuba’s tourism sector, where significant changes have been made.

Project manager Osvaldo Hernández explained that the work involves a capital renovation and includes the plenary hall, as well as other rooms for meetings and events, now equipped with the latest technology, to meet international standards for such facilities.

The effort also involves expansion and improvement of basic services, replacement of flooring and other structures, as well as the updating of aluminum trim to offer a more attractive, modern image. Maintenance and redecorating of outdoor areas and landscaping has not been overlooked, he added.

This will be a new plaza, a convention center with better conditions, emphasized Prime Minster Manuel Marrero Cruz, during a recent visit to Varadero, that included a tour of works underway.

In addition to the renovations, a significant amount of sand has been deposited on areas of the waterfront suffering erosion, a procedure begun decades ago that has proved effective in maintaining the world-famous beach.


Nonetheless, the pride of the comprehensive project is the downtown boulevard, that includes some seven hectares in the central historic district, and will surely add to Varadero’s unique attraction. The novelty is that the pedestrian mall does not follow a linear path, as is customary.

It covers a distance along several blocks where various services are available, including those offering classic Cuban coffee, rum and cigars, with others featuring cultural products and activities valued by our people, commented Ramón Pupo Finalé, project manager.

All work being done is of the highest quality, according to Rafael Velázquez from Las Tunas and Villa Clara native René Rodríguez, two specialists supporting the project.

All are paying careful attention to progress being made on the boulevard, expected to become Varadero’s stellar attraction.

They insist it is a kind of gift for the destination that will play an important role in the resort’s future development.


Another site being renovated is Josone Park, known as the resort’s green jewel, expected to once again become its cultural and recreational center, as one the town’s most historic and beautiful sites.

Rafael Rivero Brito, administrator of facilities here, with several buildings of significant heritage value, explained that work is underway to improve the principal gathering spots La Estrella, El Golfito and La Campana, noting the complexity involved in cleaning the lake, in which years of sediment has accumulated.

Another laudable effort is the restoration of the 200-meter tunnel that connects the park and the beachfront, an attraction for visitors.

These constructive projects are fundamentally intended to reinforce the prestige Varadero has gained in the leisure industry, to further distinguish the resort on the basis of the quality of services available and the beauty of the small town, in addition to the renowned white sand and clear waters.

The construction is advancing on schedule and will be completed as planned, authorities report, while insisting that this is only the beginning of even greater growth.


Since the resort was re-opened to the public, as the province entered the first stage of recovery from the COVID-19 epidemic, without overlooking any hygienic-sanitary precautions, tens of thousands of Cuban vacationers have been accommodated in the resort’s hotels.

Luis Martínez, a member of the Ministry of Tourism’s staff in the province, noted that this confirms the increasing importance of the internal market, which is in no way relegated to a secondary level.

Over the last few years, Cuba itself has become the second largest emissary of visitors to the resort, and takes the first spot during the months of July and August, he added. For us, there is but one type of tourism and we treat all visitors the same, he insisted.

Martínez reported that the 15 hotels operating at this time have a high occupancy rate, in line with the reduced capacity approved from this stage of the recovery, and thanks to strict adherence to preventative measures, no cases of COVID-19 have been reported.

Vacationers surveyed, like Orlando and Barbarita, a couple from the municipality of Colón, reported that they were pleased with the service provided and sanitary conditions in hotels, adding that they plan to return next summer.

Varadero’s doors remain open, Martínez stated, noting that the recent tropical storm Laura caused no significant damage in the area, where the focus is still on providing quality services and protecting the health of visitors and staff. Discipline and careful adherence to sanitary protocols continue to be the number one priority, he stressed.

Mother Nature made this beach an exceptional site, but beyond this magic, the people of Matanzas are intent upon making clear that the resort’s greatest attraction is the fraternal attention provided by those who work in Varadero, this little piece of our land that contributes to recognition of Cuba as a special place in the world.


What is Varadero doing to become the best beach in the world?

Work is underway to be earn designation as an environmentally friendly resort area, a Cuban recognition that has already been attained by ten installations here.

Efforts are intended to reinforce the attributes cited in February of 2019, when Varadero was chosen as the world’s second best beach in the world, in the Traveler’s Choice awards, published annually by the popular website TripAdvisor, on which users provide the largest portion of the content, reporting on their travel experiences.

The natural beauty of the beach continues to be the main attraction for visitors, making careful environmental management a priority, along with further improvement of services.

Every new season will begin with greater diversity and quality of services offered in and beyond hotels, as well as the addition of new air travel operations.

Varadero is an established destination and maintains its status as a preferred vacation spot for many tourists, receiving more than a million visitors annually since 2008, who consistently report high levels of satisfaction.

With 53 hotels and some 22,000 rooms, work is underway in Varadero to ensure that, every new season, accommodation capacity is increased, with novel products available; that positive security ratings and recognition of the excellency of services are reaffirmed.

(Source: Granma)

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