Things to do in Varadero
What to do in
Our first stop in Cuba was sunny Varadero. The ideal place to relax on the beach and enjoy a delicious mojito. Although there is more to do in this area than just lying on the beach. You can read what that is in this ‘What to do in Varadero?’
1 Being at the beach
Lying by the beach or pool is the most popular activity in Varadero. And that is not so surprising because you can find beautiful beaches and a clear blue sea here. Due to the extremely long coastline of Varadero, tourism on the beaches is also well distributed. Which ensures that you can also find peace on the beaches.
2 A trip to Matanzas
The city of Matanzas is half an hour’s drive from Varadero. A relatively small city that has not yet been taken over by tourism, which creates a cozy atmosphere. The city with beautiful colonial buildings is sometimes called ‘the city of bridges’ or ‘the Venice of Cuba’. This is because two major rivers run through the city, over which 34 bridges have been built. No other city in Cuba does better. If you are in Matanzas, be sure to have a cocktail at the Velasco Hotel.
3 Cuevas de Bellamar
The Bellamar Caves are also easily accessible from Varadero. The cave, discovered in 1861, is no less than 23 km long. However, as a regular tourist you can only visit 2 kilometers. You pay about 8 euros per person for this. This is on the high side for a 45 minute ride plus a 3 minute 3D movie. You can plan this tour yourself by taking a taxi, or you can buy tickets during a tour at one of the hotels in Varadero.
4 Visit Sugar, Rum and Cigar Factory
It is no secret that Cuba is known for its rum, cigars and sugar. Visiting one of the factories or farmers that produce these goods is therefore one of the popular excursions. It is best to book this through a tour operator in your hotel. You pay about 60 euros per person for this with food included.
5 Cueva de los Peces
Whoever thought that you can only spot a cenote in Mexico will be disappointed, because this is also possible in Cuba! Cueva de los Peces is one that can certainly count in terms of beauty. Unfortunately you have to drive 3 hours from Varadero for this. You can combine this trip with a snorkeling trip nearby. Or you can stop in one of the local small villages along the way.
6 Trip to Cienfuegos
A visit to the student city of Cienfuegos is also an interesting trip, but certainly not the most impressive. For example, are you going to Matanzas? Then a trip to Cienfuegos is unnecessary in our opinion. Yet these cities are often offered together in a tour, despite the fact that you then have to sit in the car for almost 8 hours a day. A bit of a waste of your time.
7 Day trip to Havana
A day trip from Varadero to Havana may seem a bit short. But in our opinion, this is enough to get acquainted with the city. Because you can see all the major sights in one day. You can make this trip for 20 euros return with the viazul buses. Book such bus rides at least a week in advance online or at the station itself. You can also book a guided tour in one of the hotels. You then pay an average of 90 euros.
8 Water Activities
As in any seaside resort, Varadero also offers a wide range of water activities. You can dive, snorkel, sail and even pedal boats. Every hotel has a different offer. Although clear prices are indicated for these activities, negotiation never hurts.
9 Oldtimer ride
One of the most striking aspects of Cuba is the beautifully colored vintage cars. You will find them not only in Havana but also in Varadero. A taxi ride with one of these cars should therefore certainly not be missed during your holiday. The best option is to call one of the old-timer taxis and ask for a tour of the resort. Because you can also book this in the hotel, but then you pay about 50 euros for an hour, while this may cost a maximum of 20 euros with a taxi.
10 Nature Jeep Safari
A tour that we have not tested ourselves, but is offered everywhere, is a jeep safari in nature. You are then on the road for a whole day and you pay about 90 euros per person for this. Food included. We did not do this because of the price and the duration of this trip, because in the heat it seemed a bit long to be on the road all day.