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Visit Varadero, a paradisiacal town in Cuba

Mon 22 Jan 2018

In Bed and Breakfast in Cuba we will like to talk you about an amazing location in Cuba. On your next trip you should visit Varadero, this is a paradisiacal town in Cuba. It has glamorous hotels and incredible beaches.

Basic information about Varadero

Varadero is a Cuban town located in the Hicacos Peninsula, in the Cardenas Municipality. It is 36 kilometers away from Matanzas and 130 kilometers far from Havana.

Punta Hicacos is known as the most northern point in Cuba, this means is the closets place to the United States of America.

This town has more than 20 thousand inhabitants. And 7.000 of them lives in the peninsula itself.


Varadero has 30 km of extension, 22 km of these are beaches. The sand is between 700 and 1200 meters wide, fine, white, and has a soft descent to the sea. So, the main economic activity is the tourism, most of the locals work in this industry. There you can practice scuba diving, fishing, yachting and so many more aquatics activities.

It has its own terminal, Juan Gualberto Gomez Airport, it is an international one. It is about 10 km from Varadero. Although if this is a medium-size airport, it handles around 25 % of the air traffic in Cuba. It is the second one in importance in the island.

You can fly to that airport from Canada and Europe. In the terminal, you will find an office for currency exchange, and other facilities for tourists.

There are different options to get from the airport to the accommodation you booked:

  • Taxi: the ride from the airport to the town will cost you between 20 and 30 CUC. If you walk to the parking lot, you could save some money, and pay 5 – 10 CUC to a tour bus driver for the ride to your accommodation.
  • Viazul Buses: buses that go from Havana to Matanzas three times per day. They stop at the airport.
  • Renting a car: you can rent a car at the airport or in the hotels.

You can get to Varadero taking a bus from Havana, it will cost you around 10 CUC. It is two in a two-hour distance by car, and just a few minutes by plane. You can even go there by the seaway.

Varadero History

If you say Varadero everyone will think of an amazing beach and tourism. But, there is so much history behind this town. The region was the home of aborigines before the Almirante Colon arrived at the island. The evidence of this is in the Ambrosio and Musulmanes Caves. And there were also found some animals fossils.

In Playa Azul, during the XVI and XVII centuries, the conquered exploded the Salinas of the place to the point of satiation, to self-supply or send to Mexico and other American colonies.

In the same way, they damaged large extensions of forest in the area, planting cane and coffee and raising cattle on a large part of its plains.

In the mid of XIX century, some locals from Cardenas were attracted by the beauty of this beaches, and they build houses there. This project didn´t go well, but they tried again, three times without success.

Then, 10 cardenens build their houses there. Nothing could scare them, they stay there, built the church, square and park. The official foundation date is December 15th of 1887.

It was not easy to get to Varadero, that is why at the beginnings of the XX century there were no more than 25 buildings there. Enrique Torres founded a kiosk, a store, and then in 1926 the hotel, with his last name, this was the first one there.

The tourist started to arrive at Varadero in the late XIX century. In the beginnings of the XXI century, this town became a tourist location for wealthy Americans, who had a house on this beach. 

It was a vacation spot for people like the crime boss Al Capone. Some of them had mansions, big hotels, in general, it was a resort for an elite tourism.

Varadero after the Revolution

Varadero was in its heyday when the revolution triumph, in 1959. This meant the nationalization of the tourism industry, but also some other changes in the town. Between the 60s and 80s, Varadero was a cultural location, especially a place for the Cuban music; there were concerts, festivals, sports events and more.

The main intention of the new government was to improve the people’s lives, so they put less effort in the tourism industry. They expropriated many of the mansions that we mentioned before, and turn them into museums, embassies, and art galleries.

In the 80s the international tourism grew, and a new festivity was born, the annual International Carnival of Varadero.

In the 90s the government started again to pay attention to the tourism industry. They began the development of hotels for the international tourism.

Visit Varadero, a paradisiacal town in Cuba

Now you have the basic information about Varadero. We will talk to you about what can you find there and how is the town nowadays.

  • Varadero is a great town right now, the human development index and the lifestyle of its population is one of the highest in Cuba. 
  • The more modern hotels are from the 2000s, they are more friendly with the environment.
  • The beach has great garbage service.
  • Varadero has one of the greatest hotels infrastructures of the Caribbean region.
  • Data from 2007 says Varadero receive every year more than 1 million tourists.
  • It is the main tourist center of the island, represents 30-40 % of the income.

scuba diving varadero

Reasons to visit Varadero

The Varadero beach is an important tourism destination, the landscapes are rich in diversity. It has white and fine sand and blue, warm and transparent waters, all the year-long. Depending on the spot on the beach, people can walk some meters inside the water without getting cover.

This is also known as Playa Azul, Blue Beach in English, it is a big city surrounded by water. The estimation today is that it has more than 25 thousand rooms. As we say, it is the main tourist center in the island, because, it has the largest amount of 4 and 5 stars lodgings.

The luxury hotels are made with the intention of satisfying every traveler needs. Is the perfect place to relax, enjoy the beach, cocktails and of course the parties at night.

Varadero, besides hotels, has a great structure of restaurants, bars, stores, scuba diving centers and more facilities for the tourists.

And hotels are not the only option of lodgings, there you can find villas, Casas particulares in Varadero, bungalows and more. All in the first line, near the beach.

Sports in Varadero

If you travel to Varadero looking for adventure, you will find it there. It has 23 zones of scuba diving, there you will appreciate the life underwater, so many colors, fishes, lobster, and many other species that will amaze even the most experienced diver.

Other sports that you can practice there are surf, sky, windsurf, among other options in the waters of Varadero.

But not everything in Varadero is under water, you can ride horses, bikes, and take a ride in a horse car. You also can enjoy golf and tennis; the golf course is 62 hectares and more than 3 km long.

If you are eager for more adventure, you can learn skydiving, there you will find everything for your preparation and practice.

golf course in varadero

Culture in Varadero

As we mentioned before, Varadero became a cultural and art town after the Cuban Revolution, and still maintains as one. There you will find art galleries, museums, cinema, libraries and the workshop of ‘Ediciones Vigía’, and unique editorial company in Cuba.

In the art galleries in Varadero, you will see art from different and famous Cuban artists and painters.

As you can see Varadero is not only the beauty of its beaches, it is also culture. There you will find entertainment for every taste and age.

In Varadero were found the body remains of one of the first settlers of Cuba, and you will be able to see them in a local museum.

Varadero as a vacation destination

Varadero is a tourist-friendly town, there are more than 60 resorts. They have activities for the visitors inside them, and shops, bars, and water sports activities.

You can book an all-in resort for a vacation in Varadero. Or you can go there from other cities in Cuba, and stay a few nights to get to know this beach life, different than any other on the island.

It is said that because this town is so open to tourist it doesn´t offer some of the unique Cuban experience that you will find in other cities like Havana, Playa Larga or Trinidad. But, it's a place you should visit, the beach is beautiful and there are so many activities for tourists.

You should Visit Varadero, a paradisiacal town in Cuba with turquoise water, white sand and activities for the tourists. If you are planning your next vacation to the island contact us to book the best accommodation for you.

map varadero

map cuba varadero


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