This tropical paradise is the ideal location to indulge yourself with the sight and experience of pristine white sands and calm, turquoise water. Leaving history and the colonial architecture of the cities behind, enjoy a new wave of art galleries and handicraft markets. Sit in one of the many cabarets, bars, and cafés or pop in a cigar and rum shop for souvenirs. If you are searching for nightlife, Varadero will be the favorite stop of your journey, but make sure you have first tried a couple of water sports before spending your energy on dancing the night away. Varadero is the largest resort in the Caribbean with a constantly developing network of hotels, shops, aquatic activities as well as various forms of entertainment. It is a seductive place. Its allure and glamour drove people like the famous gangster Al Capone to come back to it again and again. Some of the top sights I will list here, as you might notice, will include more things to be done actively rather than just experiences to take in.
Things to see and do in Varadero
Parque Josone is the creation of a romantic couple, Jose and Onelia (the blending of their names became also the name of the park). Situated in the center of Varadero, it is a lovely spot full of lakes and bridges, birds, parrots, flamingoes, music, street vendors, camel rides for children and much more.
The newest Tropicana, the name of which points to the most famous Cabaret of Cuba, is found in Varadero as well. The five-hour long artistic performance costing 49 CUC features music, dance as well as history.
Seafari Cayo Blanco
Go to Seafari Cayo Blanco by catamaran. Here you can try snorkeling in a coral barrier reef, get lunch and cocktails. Then you have the option of a sunset party for 75 CUC or swim with the dolphins for 85 CUC. You can also swim with the dolphins by going to the Delfinario, or being there you can just attend the dolphin show, which will cost you 15 CUC.
Bellamar Caves are a must-see when you are in Varadero. Operating since the 1860s, these impressive and extensive caves are Cuba’s oldest tourist attraction.
Villa du Pont
This grandiose green-roofed building erected in 1928 used to be the home of Irénée du Pont. It now houses the headquarters of the Varadero Golf Club and has unforgettable dining options for you. If you are staying in one of the five-star hotels and want to keep up this level of luxury, the basement of this hacienda-style mansion has “Las Américas,” the most expensive restaurant in Varadero. For more budget-friendly, but equally ravishing experience, go to the second floor to Mirador bar. The place is a mixture between art deco and Moorish style and is open 24 hours a day. Surely it will lure you to sip some cocktails watching the sunset.
Transportation and dining
You can easily get to Varadero by Viazul bus. They run three times a day from Havana as well as Matanzas or there is one overnight service from Santiago de Cuba. If you accommodate yourself in the town of Varadero, you should be able to get everywhere easily by foot. If you, however, are staying in one of the beach hotels or are planning a trip outside of the town, you will need a ride. There is a double-decker bus going up and down on the place on a regular schedule which touches the tip of the peninsula, the town, the International Shopping Centre and all the major hotels as well as the open-air marketplace. You can get yourself a pass for 5 CUC per day. If you have this pass and are using it on a daily basis, there are plenty of good restaurants to choose from at the International Shopping Centre. It is an ambitious shopping mall with more than one hundred stores and restaurants to cater to all needs.
If you are in for something fancier, the clubhouse at the Varadero Golf Course will welcome you with a wide choice on its menu, as well as a lovely setting for a meal: the posh golf-course from one side and the turquoise ocean from the other. There is, naturally a La Bodeguita del Medio if you are set on adding another one to your collection and popping in for a mojito. Enjoy!