The largest beach resort in the Carribean is Varadero Beach Resort. It’s an easy reach from Havana just under 2.5 hours away.
It’s 20 kilometre stretch of pure white sandy beach and uninterrupted views are very inviting. So, why not spend a few days relaxing in Varadero and have some fun!
During the day it’s a place to lay idle, stress-free, relax and top up your tan. Night time it comes alive with bars, restaurants, cafes and live music.
Also, we suggest that you take advantage of the many hidden gems and sights nearby this vibrant seaside town. Here’s what we recommend:
A Bus Tour of Varadero Beach Resort for 5 Cuban Dollars (CUC)
We discovered the ‘Hop on Hop Off Bus’ which is a great and cheap way to get an overview of Varadero town, surrounds and beach:
- The ‘Hop on Hop Off Bus’ is the only bus service in Varadero. These double decker buses with open tops have two routes; ‘Varadero Beach Tour’ and ‘Panoramic Bus Tour’.
- It’s the most practical and economical way to travel along the Varadero peninsula. One day tickets cost 5 CUC.The loop includes 46 stops, linking hotels, shopping centres, markets, marinas, a golf course and Downtown Varadero. You can hop off and on as much as you wish using your 5 CUC ticket which lasts 24 hours.
- The bus passes every half hour, so it would be hard to miss it and cool to take one on your next visit to Varadero.
If you’d also like to know what our favourite way of getting across Cuba is, be sure to check out our blog on A Fun Way To Travel Across Cuba.
Discover Varadero Beach Resort and Surrounds
The main tourist attractions here in the Caribbean are the beaches. Varadero Beach Resort is blessed with a shoreline of fine white sand and crystal clear blue waters.
Also nearby, Varadero Beach Resort is enriched with numerous natural wonders such as caves, cliffs and lagoons for you to discover.
Other interesting natural surroundings on the peninsula’s eastern most tip include; cultural, historical and environmental sites. These are located at the nearby towns of Matanzas, Cardenas and the Zapata Biosphere Reserve.
Don’t miss the beautiful sunsets head down to the sand around 6 or 7pm, and watch the sunset as it turns the water and skies from shimmering gold to deep, fiery orange.
Browse the Local Markets in Varadero Beach Resort
Galeria de Arte Varadero Artisan Markets sells antique jewellery, museum quality silver and glass. Also interesting paintings and other heirlooms from Varadero’s bourgeois days.
Gran Parque de la Artesania Market is the largest open-air artisan market. It lines Primera Avenida with vendors selling mainly Cuban themed items.
Although, most items are all priced accordingly get ready to bargain with the laid back Cuban people, they love to haggle.
Picnic at the Historical Josone Parque
Josone Parque with its 9 hectares of landscaped gardens dates back to the 1940’s. Named after the former owners Jose Fermin Iturrioz y Llaguno and his wife who also owned the local Arechabala Rum Distillery. The couple built this park to celebrate their silver Jubilee.
The park is centrally located between 56th and 59th streets. A peaceful retreat and change from the beaches. A great place to picnic, so why not grab some local Cuban delicacies and head to Parque Josone.
Discover a Local Cuban Eatery
Located on 1ra y 38 Varadero is ‘La Vicaria’. Near 36th street on the main strip.
This cafe style restaurant serves non-refined, yet hearty and flavourful Cuban fare at very decent prices which makes it one of the most affordable in the area. Portion sizes are generous, so bring your appetite.
Seating is offered in a cool and funky outdoor patio or grab some takeaway and head down to Parque Josone or Varadero Beach Resort for a picnic!
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Discover the Popular Buzzing Beatles Bar
Yes, Varadero has a bar dedicated to The Beatles (and there are many others across Cuba), unmissable due to the life-size statues of the infamous Beatles quartet outside its front doors and memorabilia displayed throughout the bar.
You’ll have to shun aside your inner off-the-beaten-track nature just for one or two drinks. It won’t take you long to embrace the energetic atmosphere. Excellent cover bands perform popular live rock music from 1pm to 1am every day.
After this experience you’ll be looking for all the other Beatles Bar’s across Cuba.
Some Important Facts about Cuba
- The official language is Spanish, with a typical Cuban accent. Most Cubans speak (some) English, and some Cubans also speak a bit of German, Russian, French and Italian.
- Cuba has a warm and comfortable sub-tropical climate. This means you can visit Cuba throughout the year. They have two seasons – dry and wet:
- November to April is the dry season averaging 21 to 28°C
- May to October is the wet season averaging 30°C with a tropical shower in the late afternoon and high humidity
- Hurricane season is from June to November but most likely if it’s going to happen it’ll be September and/or October
- Cuba is a developing country so don’t drink the water (as you wouldn’t in Asia). You don’t want a nasty tummy upset – blame the cocktails for that!
- Currently there is no airport tax when leaving Cuba, it’s usually bundled into the ticket
For more tips on Cuba check out our ‘Our 20 Quick Tips When Travelling Cuba’ blog now.
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