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Cuba

My wife and I visited the Varadaro area in January 2000. We stayed at the Hotel Las Brisas del Caribe situated in grounds directly on the main 23km Varadaro beach. It has been reported elsewhere of the increasingly liberalised attitude of Cuba towards nude sunbathing, and this indeed may be the case, but we saw very little actual evidence of this during our stay. Whilst topless sunbathing was reasonably prevalent within the grounds of the hotel, and in the adjacent hotels, and on the beach, we saw no nude sunbathers on the beach itself. The half mile of beach between the Club Med site and Las Brisas del Caribe was relatively deserted at most times however and so naturism was possible with discretion - though this stretch of beach is used as a popular "beach walk" for textiles. Also, the Club Med end of the beach is patrolled by security guards and although their attitude to naturism was reasonably tolerant their presence did rather generate a feeling of uncomfortableness.

In the opposite direction, [towards Beaches Varadaro] again there were long stretches of deserted beach but again no nude sunbathers using it. This stretch is also a popular area for local horse riding excursions. It is possible to sunbathe au natural here with discretion but there is no shade. Avoid using any beach front hotel-owned sunloungers as the duty guards visit regularly and ask you to vacate if you are non resident at that particular hotel.

Overall, despite us both returning with splendid all over sun tans, the fact that very few others were practising naturism made us feel a little uncomfortable. Far better Caribbean Islands for nude sunbathing opportunities and a more generally 'relaxed and tolerant attitude' are Jamaica, St Maartin, Guadeloupe and Martinique.

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