Results 1-2of 2 Reviews
May 1, 2007
This fully air conditioned bus, a step up from the community bus we’d seen for locals, followed in the wake of the tourist bus and didn’t do badly for customers, delivering us efficiency to the site of Varadero’s downtown market, apparently the high spot for the visitors to Varadero town. We disembarked and continued to walk a step or two away from the market before deciding that there was little else to be seen.
We returned to the market where there must have been at least fifty stalls selling a whole range of Cuban memorabilia, including the classic Che T-shirt, we later get a couple of these from a government shop for nine pesos each rather than the ten pesos at the market, which just goes to show that markets aren’t always cheapest.
There were cigar boxes by the score, straw hats, baseball caps, Cuban figurines, carved wooden cars, jewelery at reasonable prices, musical instruments, leather works, and a multitude of ornate accessories making use of shells (fairly tacky I felt).
Typically, music was playing and the bustle of the market gave the place a real sense of importance. There was a large open-air café with a small memorial to Cuba’s hero, Josef Marti.
From the marker, we set off at a saunter down Main Street where the streets have been named after numbers! So, conventionally, Varadero was built on the block basis and we walked up to about forty. At many parts we could see the sea on both sides from the main street, this bright turquoise showing the white beaches off to perfection. We couldn’t resist a wander to the beach—all beaches in Cuba are in the public domain—to once again appreciate the bobbing white foam on the top of the vibrant blue waves.
Back to the main street, where there were the odd shop or two, a number of restaurants and cafes, and a couple of smaller markets. It’s worth saving your shopping for these small markets, as they are a few pesos cheaper than the main one. We finally succumbed and bought a couple of Cuban figures. I’m sure I’ll regret the purchase when we get home, but at ten peso a pair, I’m sure they’ll give value as decorative pieces for a couple of years.
Varadero didn't have a particular charm about it, and without tourism would have been a small Cuban village with little or no attraction to it, but we did love pottering around the markets.
From journal Relaxing in Varedero
January 16, 2004
At the local market, you can find many fine handmade crafts. Thanks to the rise in tourism, many local artisans (craftsmen) are students, graduates from art schools, or people who have some knowledge of design. The best buys are woodcarvings and statues!
The best area to walk in Varadero is along Prima Avenida.
To view more photos, go to Varadero, Town Site, Cuba and Images from Varadero, Cuba.
From journal View on Cuba from Varadero