Varadero is a resort town in the province of Matanzas, about 87 miles east of Havana. It's been rated as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world and after visiting just two short weeks ago, I'll agree!
We cruised up the coast on the North side of the island in a 1958 Bel Air, rebuilt with a Mercedes Benz engine. Our driver, Osmel was more like a tour guide.
About 1M tourists come through Varadero each year but you wouldn't know it. The sand is white, the water crystal clear and the sky as blue as can be. The water was a tad chilly but you soon got over that. And for a Cuban like me who was fortunate to have grown up in the US and has known freedom all my life, being at the place where so many have risked or lost their lives, took on deeper meaning.
It was fried swordfish and plantain chips for lunch. To wash it down, the 2nd best mojito in Cuba - the best one was at the 18th floor bar at the Capri Hotel. Actually, all the mojitos were fantastic because of the secret ingredient: Cuban rum!