- This airticle is aboot the Cuban toun. For the motorcycle, see Honda Varadero.
|— Municipality —|
|Eik-name(s): Playa Azul (Blue Beach)|
|Foondit||December 5, 1887|
|Established||3 Julie 1976 (Municipality)|
|- Municipality||32 km2 (12.4 sq mi)|
|Hicht||4 m (13 ft)|
|- Municipality||approx. 20,000|
|- Densitie||771.3/km2 (1,997.7/sq mi)|
|Time zone||EST (UTC-5)|
Table o contents
It is situatit on the Hicacos Peninsulae, atween the Bay o Cárdenas an the Straits o Florida, some 140 km east o Havana, at the eastren end o the Via Blanca heich-gate. The peninsulae is anerlie 1.2 km wide at its widest point an is separatit frae the island o Cuba bi the Kawama Channel. This spit o laund housomeivver extends mair than 20 kilometres frae the mainland in a northeasterly direction an its tip, Punta Hicacos, is the northmaist point o the island o Cuba. At the northeastren end o the peninsulae thare is a natur reserve wi virgin forests an beaches. The Hicacos Point Natural Pairk is a 3.12 km2 (1.20 sq mi) ecological preserve established in 1974. It contains the 250 m (820 ft) lang Cave o Ambrosio, Mangón Lake (hame tae 31 species o birds an 24 species o reptiles) an the ruins o the La Calavera (The Skull) Salt Works (ane o the first salt wirks tae be constructit bi the Spainyie in the New aorld). The cays developit aff shore, such as Cayo Piedras an Cayo Cruz del Padre are the wastren maist pairt o the Sabana-Camaguey Airchipelago.
Juan Gualberto Gómez Airport, situatit wast o the peninsulae, is Varadero's airport. It is the seicont-maist-important airport o the island efter José Martí Airport in Havana, an serves internaitional an domestic flichts.
The first mention o Varadero wis in 1555. The place wis first uised as a dry dock (Spainyie: varadero) an the salt mines o the peninsulae (closed in 1961) suppleed maist o the Spanish Latin America Fleet since 1587. Housomeivver, the foondation date o Varadero as ceety wis anerlie on 5 Dizember 1887, when ten faimilies frae the ceety o Cárdenas obtained a permission tae build their vacation hames atween the day's 42nt an 48t Street.
It was established as municipality (Spainyie: municipio) at the admeenistrative re-distribution o 3 Julie 1976 frae territories previously pairt o Cárdenas. In August 2010, the Varadero municipality wis abolished accordin tae a Law appruivit bi the Cuban Naitional Assembly, becomin again pairt o the Cárdenas municipality.
Varadero is foremaist a tourist resort toun, boastin mair than 20 km o white sandy beaches. The first tourists visited Varadero as early as the 1870s, an for years it wis considered an elite resort. In 1910 the annual rowin regatta wis stairtit; five years later the first hotel, namit Varadero an later Club Nautico, wis built. Tourism grew in the early 1930s as Irénée du Pont Nemours, an American millionaire, built his estate on the peninsulae. Mony famous an infamous fowk stayed in Varadero, for example Al Capone.
Efter the Cuban Revolution in 1959, mony mansions wur expropriatit frae their rich awners. As a seembol o the new integratit tourism for Cubans an foreign visitors o aw social classes, the Park o the 8000 Cubicles (Parque de las 8000 Taquillas) wis built in 1960. Visitors coud leave their belangins in the basement o the pairk, haed access tae sanitar installations an gastronomic services on the first floor, an coud rent bathin airticles an swimsuits. The surroondins o the pairk became the centre o the ceety. Atween the 1960s an 1980s Varadero transformit itsel intae a cultural centre. Durin those years the central pairk (8000 Taquillas) (locatit atween 44t an 46t Street) saw coontless concerts, festivals an sportin events.
The 1990s brocht the stairt o anither hotel biggin campaign, maistly in the 4-starn an 5-starn segment. Mony o the hotels are operatit or co-awned bi foreign businesses like Melia, Barcelo, TRYP, etc. (Fraunce's Club Med uised tae hae a property but haes syne left Varadero.) As internaitional tourism wis opened up, the local population expandit wi the arrival o fowk, some in key economic positions, frae ither pairts o Cuba. As a consequence, Varadero haes lost hintle o its social an cultural life an its tradeetions. The central pairk, the cinema an various cultural meetin places wur neglectit in favor o a hotel-centred aw-inclusive-tourism an feenally closed. The International Carnival, an initiative o Cubans an foreigners stairtit in the 1980s, ceased an aw.
In addeetion tae its maist valued resource, the beach, Varadero haes natural attractions such as caves an a chain o easily accessed virgin cays. Thare are cultural, historical an environmental attractions in the vicinity an aw, such as the ceeties o Matanzas an Cárdenas, the Zapata Peninsulae an the resort o San Miguel de los Baños. Varadero, which is a free port, possesses facilities for scuba divin an aw, deep-sea fishin, yachtin an ither watter sports.
Varadero is primarily visitit bi European an Canadian tourists. The nummer o U.S. tourists visitin Varadero, although increasin, haes been limitit acause o the U.S. govrenment restrictions that make it difficult, but no illegal for U.S. citizens tae visit Cuba as tourists.
In 2007, the municipality o Varadero haed a population o aboot 20,000 atween the Hicacos peninsulae (7,000) an the twa incorporatit localities o Santa Marta an Boca de Camarioca. Wi a total aurie o 32 km2 (12 sq mi), it haes a population densitie o 771.3 /km2 (1,998 /sq mi).
See an aw 
- Statoids (July 2003). Municipios of Cuba. Retrieved on 7 October 2007. .
- Stat. Year Book 2007
- Cuba Travel. Varadero, Cuba. Retrieved on 14 October 2007. .
- Cuba Travel - Varadero history
- Fifth United Nations Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names, Vol. II, published by the United Nations, New York, 1991
- Varadero. http://www.netssa.com/varadero.html
- Article from the Cuban newspaper Juventud Rebelde about an initiative of the inhabitants of Varadero that aims to save their traditions: Añoranza por el parque ("Longing for the Park") see an external link to a translation below
- Statistical Yearbook 2007
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