Varadero seashore is Cuba’s largest resort area but there are lots of different issues to do in Varadero – from points of interest to food, learn how to do it all on a finances.
- 1 East vs West Varadero
- 2 Things to do in Varadero
- 3 Top 5 Seashores in Cuba
- 4 Varadero Tours
- 5 Varadero Accommodation
- 6 How to Get to Varadero
- 7 How to Get Out of Varadero
- 8 Things to do in Matanzas
East vs West Varadero
An extended, thin slice of paradise off the northern tip of Santa Marta, Varadero seashore is 20km of sand & sea. It might run unbroken however to us, it’s definitely not unsegregated.
Varadero seashore is split into 2 distinct sections, the west & the east.
On the western end lies downtown Varadero, with a mix of native residents, day-trippers & Cuban holiday-makers. It’s a prosperous aspect of Cuba although removed from the truth of just about each different city in the country.
The primary road, Avenida 1, is lined with issues to do in Varadero: cafes, bars & eating places, all in CUC costs. The casa particulares & motels right here cater to Cubans & maybe the odd unbiased price range traveller… should you’re on the lookout for Varadero on a finances, that is the world to be in.
Although Cuba is a very protected nation for travel, we advocate purchasing journey insurance before any journey. We’ve been using World Nomads via 80+ nations over the previous 12 years and have been actually proud of their coverage and providers.
You’ll be able to additionally discover different useful ideas in our Cuba Finances Journey guide.
Shifting into the japanese aspect of Varadero seashore, the clientele begins to look markedly totally different. The mega resorts start popping up, catered to foreigners who fly in & out from all around the globe, particularly Europe & Canada.
The additional east you go, the extra unique the resorts & friends.
Most wristband-wearing tourists are on all-inclusive packages, absolutely content material to spend every week or 2 indulging in their little air-conditioned bubble or lazing at the lodge seashore. Granted, down right here, there are virtually no different facilities or issues to do in Varadero & downtown is over 10km away.
While Varadero has one thing to supply for almost every market, it hasn’t fairly obtained the proper stability.
If the town can turn segregation into integration, life & society in this nook of Cuba might be as all-inclusive because it’s legendary holiday packages.
Things to do in Varadero
#1. Avenida 1
Coming from Matanzas, you enter the Varadero seashore peninsula by crossing the bridge over Canal de Paso Malo.
Take the 1st or 2nd left off the Autopista (highway) & you’ll find yourself on the primary strip, Avenida 1.
Together with numerous bars, restaurants, cafes & memento stalls, there are additionally many comfort shops promoting drinks, alcohol & snacks for the seashore.
#2. Varadero Beach
Individuals don’t merely hold flying in from the opposite aspect of the world to spend their vacation at any previous seashore. After Havana, Varadero seashore is holiday vacation spot #1 in Cuba – and it delivers.
In case you solely have 1 week in Cuba, Varadero seashore ought to make the listing.
While the sand isn’t as white as in the tourist brochures, it’s a very pale blonde. Who cares when the seashore is gentle & silky, fronting clear turquoise waters. The seashore appears to stretch on as endlessly as the ocean. It’s undoubtedly worthy of a postcard  on our listing of things to do in Varadero.
We visited the Western finish & Varadero seashore here was lovely to loosen up & swim in: the waves are calm & water is heat & shallow.
The additional west you’re, the extra crowded Varadero seashore is. Kite-surfing could be very fashionable & we even noticed a marriage being set-up:
Cuban’s haven’t fairly gotten the anti-litter message and because the beaches listed here are used virtually unique by locals, there’s sadly plenty of rubbish mendacity round. Loads of it is tied up in plastic luggage although, so there’s hope for the longer term.
We haven’t been to some other Caribbean seashore to examine it to but we flew in to Cuba from Cancun. Whereas Varadero seashore is beautiful & very comparable, it didn’t quite take our breath away as a lot as its Mexican counterpart.
However for us, this still signifies that for now, Varadero seashore ranks on the prime of the greatest beaches in Cuba & in the Caribbean…
Top 5 Seashores in Cuba
Cuba is an island paradise with something for all budgets – find out the 5 greatest beaches in Cuba for snorkeling, diving or simply enjoyable in the sun
#three. Parque Josone
Apart from the seashore Parque Josone is among the most popular Varadero points of interest for native families. This makes it a fantastic place for individuals watching in the centre of the city.
Loosen up on the grass underneath the shade of palm timber or take pleasure in a pleasing stroll around the lake crossing bridges forwards and backwards. In the event you choose to be on the water you’ll be able to lease a paddle boat or water bike.
Have a drink at the Beatles Bar or a meal in the superb cave restaurant. The environment is exclusive and the food is basically good especially the lobster.
#4. Parque Central
Parque Central is smaller and never as nice as Parque Josone but right here you’ll find a nice handicrafts market. It’s geared to tourists but there are some pretty artisan pieces for sale as well as the standard trinkets and souvenirs.
Take a look at the 2 monuments in the park. One is devoted to the national hero Jose Marti and the opposite is a giant monument to the martyrs of the Cuban revolution.
#5. Centro Comercial Hicacos
Subsequent to Parque Central you’ll find another inexperienced area (beforehand often known as Parque de las 8000 Taquillas) that’s been became a shopping center. The design is sort of fascinating as it’s made up of 6 circles which are semi-underground.
Here you’ll find locals hanging out and it’s also possible to stop for a drink or something to eat. Flick through the outlets or decide up a number of issues from the grocery and liquor stores.
#6. Iglesia de Santa Elvira
Nearby is the quaint Iglesia de Santa Elvira a small Catholic church that dates again to 1938. It’s manufactured from stone and wooden and it contains a little bell tower with a white cross on prime.
Sunday mass is held in Spanish at 10:30 am and everyone is welcome. Some foreigners convey in items to donate which are gratefully acquired. In the course of the week the church is usually open and you may all the time stroll around the grounds.
#7. Museo Municipal de Varadero
If it’s open you’ll be able to study Varadero’s historical past at Museo Municipal de Varadero. Take a look at the period furnishings as you make your approach round numerous reveals.
In any other case admire the crumbling structure of this picket seashore house, if it’s still standing.
#8. Mansion Xanadu
Mansion Xanadu is the clubhouse of the Varadero golf membership and it’s a national monument in Cuba.
It was built in the 1920’s by Irenee Dupont a French American millionaire who was once one of the richest males in America. Nowadays it’s a state-run lodge where you’ll be able to keep in one of many 6 visitor rooms eat on the restaurant or sip cocktails from the rooftop bar overlooking the ocean. The views are beautiful.
Mansion Xanadu is a little run down nevertheless it nonetheless exudes a sure sense of grand luxurious.
We traveled Cuba and Varadero on a finances doing every part on our own. If you would like to make life a little easier for yourselves and see extra of Varadero alongside the best way take a look at these tours:
Crocodile Farm & Snorkle Tour
Expertise the gorgeous countryside around Varadero on a full-day tour to Guamá. Cruise along the Hatiguanico River by speedboat and visit one of many largest crocodile breeding farms in the Americas. Snorkel on the Punta Perdiz Middle and study extra concerning the indigenous Cubans at a duplicate Taino village.
Swim with Dolphins
Take pleasure in cocktails from an open bar as you chill out on a luxurious catamaran earlier than jumping into the water to swim with dolphins.
Yumuri Valley Jeep Safari
Go on a jeep safari and benefit from the scenic drive to Yumuri Valley the place you’ll be able to go horseback driving. Journey down the Canimar River by boat and swim & snorkel at Playa Coral.
See all Varadero excursions
Low cost Food in Varadero
You could be hungry but don’t give in to the CUC eateries… stroll slightly further down from the handicrafts market & there’s a lady promoting great food from her house on Calle 26, in your right – the restaurant-house known as “La Metchora”.
The parts are big – we enjoyed a lasagna (35 pesos / $1.40) & plate of bacon-pork chop, rice & beans & salad (40 pesos / $1.60).
Good native Cuban road meals in pesos, that’s not bread or pizza, is tough to discover so take the prospect for a scrumptious meal on the road.
For those who’re confused about CUC vs CUP peso prices, take a look at our information to Cuba’s dual foreign money system.
Hostels: Hostelworld lists 2 places in Varadero but neither of them are hostels or have dorm rooms.
Airbnb: There are tons of of properties on Airbnb in Varadero with rooms ranging from $10. The typical nightly worth is $45 although you can even lease luxury flats and houses proper on the seashore for over $200.
Inns: We advocate Booking.com as a reliable source of accommodation in Cuba. There are over 150 properties out there with rooms ranging from $14. Yow will discover very nice locations to stay for underneath $50 or deal with yourself to a luxury resort.
Verify lodge costs in Varadero
How to Get to Varadero
Varadero on a price range travellers can contemplate staying in Matanzas & visit Varadero seashore as a daytrip.
From Matanzas, head to the intersection of Calle 79 & Calle 272, the place there’ll be two essential roads branching out of Matanzas. Ready on the fitting, you’ll be able to take an area bus to Varadero for 10 pesos / $zero.40.
We truly stopped at the town of Carbonera to snorkel at Playa Coral – from Matanzas, the bus value 5 pesos.
Then from Carbonera, we caught a passing, small camiones to Varadero for 10 pesos / $zero.40 (real worth may be 5 pesos / $zero.20).
How to Get Out of Varadero
There are camiones on By way of Blanca, the street heading to Matanzas – the journey to Matanzas costs 10 pesos / $zero.40 & takes round 40 minutes.
Things to do in Matanzas
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Straightforward DIY journey outdoors metropolis centres using public transport
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Visited in Might 2016
Updated in April 2019