Veradero is a peninsular approximately 3.5 hours from Havana. This tranquil popular destination on the Florida Straits is lined with all inclusive hotels. For three nights, we stayed in Cuatro Palmas, Mercure Hotel, with its own private swimming pool overlooking the sea with four restaurants (International, Cuban, Italian, Buffet).
A tourist bus will take you up the peninsular where you can visit other hotel resorts or go into the central market to purchase handmade Cuban souvenirs. At night the resorts display plenty of entertainment and there are always late night street parties. Varadero is a popular destination for gay couples enjoying their honeymoon or a romantic break away.
The tourist boom has created artists and business people out of nearly every single Cuban. Many who have a spare room will become a Casa Particular, a bed & breakfast; this gives you the chance to get a good peek into the lives of these diverse people. Casa’s will earn a good extra income if they can keep guests coming, owners are subjected to a high standard fixed monthly tax whether they have guests or not. Be sure you provide your passport on arrival, as they must log each guest.
You can certainly find gay-friendly Casas in the country; Jorge Silvio accommodates gay tourists from Europe and Canada advising on where to go and how to get by. Jorge has an excellent network of friends who offer additional rooms, flats, meals, and airport transfers all for a fixed and reasonable price.
Santa Clara is also home to a network of gay-owned Casas including Alba Hostal and Hostal Florida Central. These two hostels are national treasure chests. They boast more antiques than the local museums and serve the largest meal portions in the country.