We spent 6 days in Varadero and loved it. Stunning beaches, warm water, safe swimming, all inclusive resorts with endless food and drinks all day long. Read our own info on Varadero here.
Weve been researching Varadero to create this extensive guide to help you with your holiday to Varadero. It includes our personal reviews on the beaches, tours and where we stayed. Varadero is on a strip of land poking out into the warm Caribbean ocean, its lined with all inclusive resorts along its stunning beaches.
We went in Oct and the place was pretty busy then, cant imagine what it would be like in peak season.
If youre looking for a week away in a hot, sunny place with great beaches then Varadero in Cuba is ideal. Although its not for everyone, were not great fans of all inclusive resorts and prefer much smaller places without the huge crowds, but thats not possible here.
How to Get to There
Havana to Varadero
$13 USD one way per person — 9am (2 hours & 30 mins)
This is a shared shuttle bus that leaves Havana once a day and comes back once a day. The handy thing is it stops at the resorts where guests are booked so door to door service. Although depending on where you start and finish it can take a lot longer than 2 hours 30mins with departures and arrivals running really late.
All buses are modern and air conditioned. The bus stops half way for a 15min break. Book through any local travel agent, these are mostly located in any hotel.
We asked a yellow cab driver how much it would cost to take us from Havana to our Varadero resort and were quoted $80 CUC. We decided against this option as there was only the 2 of us making it too expensive. If you can share the taxi, its way quicker than the bus and you can leave at a time to suit you.
Taking an old American car is a great option, but theres no air con, not to mention the risk of a breakdown.
We rented a car and drove ourselves to Varadero, which is a great option at only $60 CUC per day including full insurance.
Install the app MAPS. ME before you leave home and download the map of Cuba. Once in Cuba make sure your location GPS is always turned on and youll get fantastic directions using this map. It even works with voice directions. This map works perfectly offline.
Like everywhere in Cuba you still need a card to connect to the WiFi, but unlike most hotels in Havana, these huge all inclusive resorts can have WiFi from your room, well at least our one did, this was so good. Plus it was super easy to buy WiFi cards with no big queues, however only the 1 hour cards are available not the 5 hour. Usually $1.50 CUC for 1 hour.
Best Time to Visit
Varadero is awesome all year round, although the swimming pools might get a bit chilly around Jan, Feb time. To avoid totally packed beaches dont go in Dec or Jan. We were there in October and it was perfect, nice and hot.
Where to Stay
There are not so many casas out in Varadero, especially near the nice beaches, only in town.
Youll find loads of all inclusive resorts in Varadero, it can be really hard to choose which is best. Stick to ones that are as new as possible, the older ones can be really dated.
No need to worry about what the beach will be like, its stunning the whole way along Varadero. These resorts are all self star rated, to get the true rating always knock off at least one of the stars.
We stayed at the all Inclusive resort of Ocean Vista Azul in Varadero it was excellent and well worth it as its modern and new. Be careful you don’t book an old hotel.
Best Things to Do & See
Habana Bus Tour
To get more of an idea of what’s out at Varadeo, take the double decker bus tour. Read our Habana Bus Tour Review to learn all about hop on, hop off stops and attractions.