Varadero tour

Varadero, the largest and most visited beach resort in Cuba.


Varadero, in Matanzas province east of Havana, is Cuba’s beach par excellence. Sure, there’s strong competition from the Jardines del Rey (another of the island’s most gorgeous beach destinations) but Varadero is still reigning champ for fun in the sun.

Varadero, also called Blue Beach (Playa Azul) is sister city of Cancun in Mexico. It is a skinny peninsula, some 20 km long, but just 1.2km wide. Though seemingly modern and new, Varadero was founded in 1887 and thereafter served as a harbor for Spanish galleons.

But such a gem couldn’t remain undeveloped for long: in the early 1930s, American millionaire Irénée du Pont Nemours built his estate on the peninsula; today his mansion houses a restaurant and is part of the Varadero Golf Club, with a decent 18-hole, par 72 course.

Varadero offers some of the Caribbean’s finest white sand beaches and excellent hotels and resorts – most of the 60 or so properties here operate on all-inclusive plans. With more than 300 days of sunshine per year and batik blue seas, it’s no wonder this is Cuba’s most famous beach destination. The most exclusive resorts are located on the tip of the Peninsula de Hicacos, about 8 kilometers from the town center.

Most all-inclusive programs include an array of (non-motorized) water sports such as catamaran sailing and pedal boats. Big-game fishing tours are offered daily.

Varadero also boasts various outdoor arts and crafts markets, plenty of restaurants, and exciting off-resort nightclubs.

Varadero is only two hours from Havana, making a hop into the city for a weekend an attractive proposition.

Alternatively you can opt for one of the many full-day Havana excursions. Swimming with the dolphins at the Dolphinarium is extraordinarily popular, as is the seafari on the Crucero del Sol catamaran, which includes an interaction with dolphins.