The Hicacos Peninsula, better known as VARADERO, is the largest and one of the most popular beach resort in Cuba. Its pristine 21 km (13 mi) long white sand beach is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful in the world.
Thousands of visitors come to Varadero every year to relax and enjoy the calm turquoise waters and warm sun of this Caribbean paradise, but Varadero has much more to offer than just a glorious beach. Although it lacks some of the authenticity and cultural-rich environment found in colonial cities such as Havana or Santiago de Cuba, Varadero still provides a taste of the Cuban culture with its numerous art galleries, museums, cabarets, quaint bars and cafes, handicrafts markets, live music, cigar and rum shops, etc. Visit our sections Attractions & Activities and Tours & Excursions to learn more on what to do and see in Varadero and nearby.
Watersports, such as diving, snorkeling, sailing, fishing, catamaran cruise, kite surfing, glass-bottom boat, etc., is of course a predominant sector of activities offered all year long. Nature lovers can also take a break from the beach to enjoy hiking trails, caves, ancient wall paintings, and the fauna and flora of the Varahicacos Ecological Reserve. Varadero is also home to one of the only two golf courses in the country, the other one is in Havana. Varadero will also appeal to people who are looking for a more festive nightlife-scene with its numerous bars, discotheques, cafes, and cabarets.
You’ll find in Varadero a large variety of hotels, resorts, and casas particulares (Bed & Breakfast private homestay). A large part of them are managed or co-owned by foreign hotel chains such as: Melia, Barcelo/Occidental, Riu, Iberostar, Blau, H10, Be Live, Blue Diamonds, Fiesta Americana, Muthu, ROC Hoteles, Hoteles C, etc.. The others (often older and/or modest) are managed by Cuban hotel chains such as: Gaviota, Gran Caribe, Islazul, and Cubanacan. For sure you’ll easily find in Varadero an accommodation according to your budget and taste.
Our varaderoguide.net website has been online since 2009. It contains thousands of pictures and hundreds of webpages. It’s updated regularly, and we humbly believe that it's the most complete and detailed source of information about this Cuban destination. Having no business relationship (or otherwise) with any hotel chain or the Cuban government, our websites are created simply and solely for the purpose of keeping you informed about this beautiful Caribbean island that we had the chance to visit dozens of times. Enjoy you visit!
Note that since the spring 2014, Cuban Immigration systematically stamps all passports when entering and leaving the country. And also: Since May 1, 2015, the Cuban Departure Tax is no longer paid at destination. It should now be included in the price of your trip when buying a flight-only or vacation package to Cuba.
In October 2013, the Cuban government announced its intention to eliminate the dual currency system, unique in the world. The Cuban peso (CUP) would become the official currency and the convertible peso (CUC) would be phased out. No official timetable has been announced, although Raul Castro is firmly committed to implementing this economic project as soon as possible. More information to come.
Lily & Normand