Varadero offers golden sands, blue ocean and every kind of holiday accommodation and diversion you could wish for all located on a narrow peninsula that curls into the Straits of Florida.
Hotels in Varadero
Essential information for Varadero
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.
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.
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 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.
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:
Varadero has plenty of shops for you to find souvenirs and specialities from the area.