Cuba’s top beach destination sits on a peninsula over 21 kilometers long, but only one kilometer wide, with white powder-soft sand lapped by clear water. Varadero is situated on the long and skinny Hicacos Peninsula, which geography experts say is an island. The peninsula is flat with the beach facing the Gulf of Mexico, and to the south, bushes and mangrove.
Resort hotels are found along the shore discovered in the 1920s by US celebrities and gangsters, including Al Capone. The Varadero peninsula is almost exclusively populated by tourists and the hotels who accommodate them. There are over 500,000 visitors per year in Varadero. Havana is about 140 kilometers west, about a two-hour drive.
The airport is approximately 30 minutes from the main resort area. During the ride in you comfortable charter bus, a guide will provide a bit of history about Cuba, the culture and economy of the country.
Of the 60 major resorts in Varadero, most are all-inclusive, and offer a variety of activities such as swimming, kayaking, sail boating, snorkelling, beach volleyball, soccer, dance lessons and more. However, Varadero is mostly for vacationers who want to rest and relax under a palapa at the beach or by the pool.
The hotels are located on the east side of the peninsula, and have higher ratings as you move toward the tip of the peninsula. All resorts are beachfront. Only a very short walk separates you from your hotel and the powder white sandy beach.
Varadero is an ideal vacation destination for families with young children, couples getting married or honeymooning and groups of friends. Everyone loves this relaxing beach destination. In Spanish, Varadero means “to relax, repair or rebuild”.
While in Varadero, in addition to the beaches and the clear water, you can enjoy the following:
Rent a scooter. You can explore the surroundings and even go to the village to do some shopping.
Book a jeep tour. There are many jeep excursions possible. Some offer a driving experience in the local village and swimming, others include snorkelling and a mini speed boat tour.
Catamaran. Enjoy a catamaran ride all day, including snorkelling, lunch at Cayo Blanco, and a real dolphin kiss.
Diving. There are 32 diving sites in the area of Varadero including a wall dropping 300 meters. There’s also a few shipwrecks for those who are interested.
Skydiving. You can jump in tandem with a professional over the Caribbean sea from more than 8,000 feet and land on the beach. The view from the sky is spectacular.
Explore the town of Varadero. Go to the local market to buy a souvenir, meet local people and see the everyday life of Cubans.
Golf. The only 18-hole golf course in Cuba is located at Varadero. Bring your clubs to play a round early in the morning under the Cuban sun.
Tobacco Route, for cigar lovers. From Varadero Visit tobacco farms as well as processing centers and factories. Along the roads, you’ll see fields of sugar cane, banana trees and, of course, tobacco.