Discover Cuba's other Varadero at the Varahicacos Ecological Reserve
Varadero Beach is one of the most popular travel destinations in Cuba and every year, thousands of holidaymakers flock to the area to soak up the sunshine and breathtaking scenery. However, at the other end of the Hicacos Peninsula sits the thriving Varahicacos Ecological Reserve, known as the Other Varadero.
The Caribbean island of Cuba is becoming an increasingly popular travel destination for curious travellers and Varadero Beach on the Hicacos Peninsula is among the leading hotspots for visitors.
Varadero Beach is a favourite with holidaymakers who are seeking sunshine and breathtaking natural scenery thanks to its white sandy shores and turquoise ocean waters.
While Varadero attracts thousands of tourists every year, further along the Hicacos Peninsula sits the thriving Varahicacos Ecological Reserve, which is known as the Other Varadero.
The area boasts 124 acres of lush forests that are thriving with flora and fauna, mangroves, and an abundance of wildlife such as lizards, butterflies, and mollusc shelters.
The Ministry of Science Technology and Environment (CITMA) carried out a study of the nature reserve which supports a natural space and provides an alternative to beach tourism, creating a "Protected Area" in the Cuban national system that is home to 220 plant species, 159 birds and over 40 animal species, including the lizard Aristelliger Reyensi, which was recently discovered by one of the workers.
Those interested in eco-friendly holidays can also visit the area's archaeological and pictographic sites which are home to a collection of caves. These include "La Cueva de Ambrosio" (Ambrosio's Cave) which spans an area of 300 metres and is divided into five rooms. The main features of the caves are the fifty aboriginal pictographs which are painted in red and black and said to be more than two thousand years old.
One of the main attractions in Varahicacos is the Patriarch, the Giant Cactus, which is said to be the oldest tree in Cuba and sits intact between two large hotels.
Located in the north-western province of Matanzas, 140 kilometres east of Cuba's capital Havana, Varadero Beach has an array of oceanfront hotels and all inclusive resorts, gourmet restaurants, and a full size golf course.
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