Hotels in Varadero
Essential information for Varadero
- Fly direct to Havana from Gatwick.
Do I need a visa?
All UK passport holders flying directly from the UK require a Tourist Visa. These can be purchased at the time of booking or from the Virgin Holidays desk at the airport for £15pp. Non-UK passport holders and UK passport holders flying into Cuba from outside of the UK should contact the consulate: Cuban Consulate, 167 High Holborn, London WC1V 6PA.
What you need to know about Cuba
Not sure what to expect? We've got it all here for you, so you can enjoy your holiday in Cuba. Read through our top tips on what you need, and how to prepare for your adventure on this unique Caribbean island.
Varadero - Vibrant Varadero Holidays Highlights
Like a long, lazy arm flung out to give you a holiday cuddle, Varadero is a peninsula of golden beach stretching out into the beautiful blue Caribbean Sea on Cuba’s north coast. Home to a nature reserve and several world-class resorts, this is the country’s number one beach destination, and for good reason – it’s simply a stunning place to be.
Since Al Capone and other more… reputable tourists ‘discovered’ this perfect stretch of beach and virgin forest in the 1920s by following American millionaire Irénée du Pont’s example, holidays to Varadero, Cuba have been high on the wishlist for those seeking sun and sea in a sophisticated setting. That’s as true today as it was a hundred years ago. Varadero beach is superb, with powdered sands and calm, shallow enticing waters that make it ideal for swimming and all kinds of water sports. Despite its fame, Varadero beach has kept its breathtaking looks, and stretches for miles all along the peninsula.
Situated right on the beachfront and with a staggering 11 restaurants and 16 bars, kids clubs, teenagers clubs and much more, the Paradisus Varadero all-inclusive resort may be the only place you need to go on your entire holiday to Varadero.
As well as swimming in the surf, Varadero beach offers a host of other water sport opportunities.
- Varadero diving is excellent, with clear water, a kaleidoscope of tropical marine life, and even a few intriguing wrecks to explore, too.
- As for water sports, there’s surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, sailing, and myriad boat trips.
- You can also take a catamaran trip out along the cays – offshore islands that are host to abundant wildlife and flora.
Varadero is beautifully lush and verdant. There’s even a nature park on the peninsula, the Varahicacos Ecological Reserve, where you can encounter hummingbirds, lizards and snakes, plus, if you’re feeling brave, the preserved skeleton of a 2,000-year-old man in one of the caves. The luxurious, all-inclusive Iberostar Varadero resort is right by the park, and is highly recommended for families.
Varadero is not one of those 24-hour-party-people resorts crammed with international superstar DJs, but that doesn’t mean there’s a lack of late night fun to be had. There are plenty of cool places downtown to go and sip a Cuba Libre or a Mojito while listening to phenomenal local music.
- Have a novel experience and go clubbing in a cave at the Cueva Del Pirata.
- Dance with the locals at the Casa Del Musica, a proper Cuban nightclub.
- Unleash your jig at Calle 62, the club so good they shut the road every night, and where the barbecue chicken can’t be beaten.
The all-inclusive Hotel Los Cactus set in the middle of a tropical garden and with a huge swimming pool and lots of outdoor sports facilities, is ideally located for making the most of Varadero’s nightlife.
As you would expect in one of the world’s premier beach destinations, there’s luxury aplenty to be found. Wander around Marina Gaviota, at the peninsula's eastern tip, to eye-up luxury boats, apartments, hotels, designer shops and restaurants, plus the popular Sala de la Música music venue, featuring live Cuban music. This purpose-built Marina was constructed in the early 2010s and is where the yachting elite come when they visit Cuba. Which they do, quite a lot. With an opulent spa and full-service beauty salon, superb restaurants, and a king-size bed in every room, the Royalton Hicacos offers all-inclusive pampered living at its most indulgent.
No holiday to Varadero is complete without a visit to Cuba’s capital Havana (only two hours away). We organise day-long or overnight trips for you to get a taste of this incredible, time-slip city with its iconic ‘50s cars and pastel-shaded colonial architecture. You’ll get to shop, see the sights, and experience live latin music all as part of an unforgettable adventure. There are some other amazing trips you can take while you’re here too:
- Canimar River. A stunning day of swimming, snorkelling and boating. You’ll swim in the incredible underground lake at Saturno Cave among stalactites and stalagmites, then cruise down peaceful Canimar River to Arboleda Natural Park where you’ll have authentic Cuban food for lunch.
- Sport Fishing. Roll out your inner Hemingway, as you follow in the famous writer’s footsteps and bring home red snapper, blue marlin, or barracuda for supper, after a day on the waves rod-and-line fishing with a small, experienced crew.
- Speed Boat Adventure. Get soaked driving a speed boat or WaveRunner for the ultimate adrenaline rush. Cruise through the mangroves before taking to the high sea.
- Jeep Safari. Learn about Cuba’s local towns in Matanzas province while being chauffeur-driven through the island by Jeep. This adventure tour gets you out into the real Cuba and provides an exhilarating blend of history and on-land safari.
Varadero has plenty of shops for you to find souvenirs and specialities from the area.
- Street market. Easily found along the main road running through the whole peninsula. Take the red bus ‘til it stops moving for crowds and get off!
- Cigar shops. Dotted around near the market, these are great places to pick up a few gifts for the curious.
- The Taller de Ceramica and Artecru both offer the chance to buy some unique art from the area as a souvenir of your Varadero holiday.