What to visit in Cuba – Varadero
A peninsula 21 kilometers long with white sands and crystal clear waters, Varadero is the main coastal destination of Cuba. Regularly paired with Havana and Trinidad as part of our combined city and beach vacations, Varadero is a heavenly place to rest after a busy tour. With a dazzling landscape, a vibrant atmosphere of bars and restaurants, an underwater world as colorful as Cuban culture, Varadero is the perfect complement to any holiday itinerary.
At night, Varadero vibrates with a tropical party with Latin and international melodies filling the warm night air. Local bands perform on the streets and everyone dances to the hypnotic rhythm of salsa.
Awaken your senses in a resort or spa by the beach and make the most of your stay with unforgettable excursions.
What to see in Varadero
The beach itself is the unrivaled star of Varadero, which stretches for more than 21 kilometers. Taking a walk in the sand early in the morning or just before sunset is a Caribbean experience par excellence. The feeling of soft sand between the toes and the sound of the ocean is a memory that will treasure for years to come.
In the center of the city, we suggest a brief visit to the street markets where artisans fill the colorful souvenir stands. Josone Park, with tropical gardens and a beautiful lake is also worth a visit, providing a different, but no less relaxing, place.
We offer a series of interesting and exciting excursions in Varadero. The excursions include day trips to the city of Matanzas, crocodile farms in the Zapata Swamp, Bay of Pigs, Long Beach and the Saturno Caves. A catamaran trip to Cayo Blanco and swimming with dolphins are particularly popular options.
Where to stay in Varadero
Varadero hosts more than 60 all-inclusive beach resorts, equipped with bars, restaurants and swimming pools. Blau Varadero, Iberostar Blue Lagoon, Royalton Royal Hicacos and Melia Las Americas are among our favorites.
How long to stay in Varadero
Our vacation specialists recommend four to six nights in Varadero, which gives you enough time to relax properly. If you are planning to spend a 10-day vacation in Cuba, we suggest you spend three days in Havana, two in Trinidad and the last five in Varadero, a proven winning formula.
How to get to Varadero
Varadero is just over two hours from Havana, connected directly to the capital by Via Blanca, a good quality highway. Toll charges apply when entering or leaving Varadero using this road.
The services of taxis and coaches go regularly from Havana to Varadero. Those with a rental car can enjoy a beautiful walk along the north coast, passing through Matanzas. Regardless of how you choose to travel to Varadero, our vacation specialists will be able to offer you a smooth transfer service.
Where to eat in Varadero
Most of the all-inclusive resorts in Varadero offer a choice of buffet and a la carte restaurants. However, if you want to diversify your dining experience, there are a number of good dining options in Varadero.
With an excellent food and a warm atmosphere, La Vaca Rosada is highly recommended by our staff. There are few better places to enjoy the sunset than your rooftop terrace, so you may want to make a reservation to secure a table. This restaurant is located in the center of the city, on 21st Street.
La Campana, located in a rustic cabin in El Parque Josone, serves traditional Cuban dishes. Their fixed menus are good value for money.
Nightlife in Varadero
All-inclusive hotels in Varadero have their own entertainment programs and nightclubs that work every day. However, if you want a more authentic experience and the opportunity to interact with the locals, the nightlife in Varadero is abundant and lively. Here are some ideas:
On 62nd Street, locals and visitors gather for a great outdoor party. The bands play Cuban music live and the street is full of people dancing, all with the help of some tropical cocktails (around 3 CUC for a mojito). The fun starts each night around 10:00 p.m. and since it is a street party, there are no admission fees. Just show up and join the fun!
The House of Music in Varadero (Calle 42) offers live music and the opportunity to practice some salsa steps. Once the show ends, a DJ takes the stage to put the best lists of Cubans: wait a lot of reggaeton.
Other popular options include La Rumba, La Bamba, Pirate Cave, La Comparsita and Habana Café.
Things to do in Varadero
One of the best things about this coastal city is the wide range of activities on offer, there is plenty to entertain travelers of all ages. This is where Varadero is distinguished from the Keys, a slightly more luxurious beach option.
Spend the days relaxing in your resort, diving or snorkeling in the sea, strolling along the beach and enjoying the entertainment on site. Alternatively, explore further with a panoramic catamaran trip to the surrounding cays or wander through the markets, open-air theaters and museums of the city. The largest wetland reserve in the Caribbean, the Zapata Peninsula, is a short distance away and hosts a wide variety of endemic fauna. Culture enthusiasts should spend at least one day in the nearby city of Matanzas, famous for its poets, its rich culture and Afro-Cuban folklore.
Suggested itineraries in Cuba
Visitors for the first time confuse this Caribbean island as an exclusive destination for the beach, reserving their entire stay in a resort in Varadero. As the British travel journalist Fred Mawer (The Telegraph) puts it: The most fascinating country in the Caribbean: an intoxicating mix of discolored Spanish colonial cities, showing Cadillacs of the fifties, wonderful live music, world-class cigars and a Archaic Communist … With so much to enjoy in Cuba, you may regret staying in an all-inclusive hotel for your entire trip. – Fred Mawer, The Telegraph, Travel Destinations, Cuba.
Cuba offers visitors a lot of history, culture and natural beauty, which are best appreciated in a mix, like a Cuban cocktail. That is why we always recommend that our clients, at least those who visit for the first time, combine their time on the beach with a stay in the capital. Most of our itineraries are designed to offer customers the best of both worlds, offering a few days in the city (for music, dance, architecture and history) followed by a relaxing season on the splendid beaches of Varadero or Cayo Santa María. Depending on your vacation style, we recommend combining your stay in Varadero with time in Havana and Trinidad.