What is special about Varadero in Cuba? These stunning beaches are truly amazing!

What Is Varadero Known For? 10 Things You Need To Know Before Traveling! (2023)

I am fairly sure you have heard about Varadero at some point if you have researched Cuba, but do you know exactly what is Varadero known for?

As I have lived in Havana for over two years, which is just a couple of hours from Varadero, as often as I can, I venture off to Varadero to relax by the pools for a while!

Varadero is a long, narrow peninsula, a beautiful resort area located in Matanzas Province, Cuba. It is known for its stunning beaches and picturesque sea views, and it also has a rich history.

In fact, situated on the northern shores of this enigmatic island of Cuba, only 100 miles from the southernmost point in Key West, Florida, Varadero is even the largest resort area in the Caribbean region!

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Varadero On The Northern Coast Of Cuba

The beatles bar and restaurant in Varadero, decorated with insignia and memorabilia from the famous band.

Varadero is considered to be one of the most beautiful destinations in the Caribbean region, attracting tourists from all over the world with lots of tours, activities, and things to do.

Situated east of Havana, you can fly to either Varadero Airport or Jose Marti in the Cuban capital.

This vibrant town offers a perfect mix of relaxation and adventure, making it an ideal vacation spot for families, couples, and solo travelers alike. It is also only a couple of hours from Havana, making a trip from Varadero to Havana possible in a day!

This listicle will highlight ten things that make Varadero special and why it’s a must-visit destination for travelers who love pampering resorts and Caribbean beaches.

So, let’s dive into what makes Varadero such a unique and beautiful place!

1. Magnificent Varadero Beaches

The stunning awarded Varadero Beach that runs all the way along the Hicacos Peninsula on the northern coast of Cuba a couple of hours from Havana.

Known as one of the best beaches in the world, Varadero boasts over 20 km of pristine white sandy beaches.

Varadero Beach was even voted the second most beautiful beach in the world by TripAdvisor a few years ago!

With crystal clear waters and powdery sand, it’s no wonder why this beach town is a popular vacation spot for tourists who just want to venture off on a tropical holiday to relax and recuperate!

There are plenty of high-end resorts to choose from in Varadero along the miles of white sands.

You can even book a casa particular in Varadero Town, which is also just steps from the beach if you prefer to stay out of the large resorts and be a little bit closer to “Cuba”!

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2. Perfect Holiday Weather (Mostly)

The weather in Cuba and Varadero normally is great for outdoor activities, and doing a guided sightseeing in one of these brightly colored convertibles that are among the classic American cars roaming the streets of Cuba still.

Varadero has a tropical climate with warm temperatures all year round. Well, most of the year, anyway!

The average temperature in the summer months is around 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit), making it an ideal summer destination for sun-seekers, although it might be on the hot side for challenging activities.

Choosing Varadero as your destination, the issue will not be temperatures but rather the wet season and hurricane season in the Caribbean.

If you really don’t like afternoon showers, you should probably not visit between June and October as this is the wet part of the two seasons you find in Cuba.

August through early October is also the core of the hurricane season, which you probably should be aware of.

The perfect time to visit is in the shoulder seasons, March through May, in the dry season when the temperatures are nice, and not excruciating.

And the risk of hurricanes is at its lowest in this period.

3. Plethora Of Water Sports

A super nice catamaran tour to Cayo Blanco outside Varadero on a bright sunny day!

With its crystal clear waters, long beaches, and large marina, Varadero is the perfect place to try out various water sports, such as snorkeling, scuba diving, and parasailing.

The calm waters and diverse marine life make it a really great spot for both beginners and experienced water sports enthusiasts.

Outside Varadero, a little to the east is one of the largest coral reef systems in the region, called Jardin del Rey, or “the king’s garden”!

This is a wonderful destination for snorkeling and scuba diving off the Cuban coast!

4. Pampering All-Inclusive Resorts

One of the luxurious and pampering resorts in Varadero, Cuba. This is the open airy foyer, it is huge, held in almost all white with columns and pools, and you can go straight out to the pool area and the beach on the other side.

Varadero is home to some of the most luxurious and all-inclusive resorts in Cuba.

These resorts offer everything from delicious dining options to in-house entertainment, water sports activities, and a lot more, making it the perfect place for a stress-free vacation.

As you are in Cuba, you will not get out of learning the Salsa Casino in any Cuban resort, the Cuban salsa style that anyone visiting Cuba will get in touch with!

So just embrace this opportunity, odds are, you will not meet a dance partner in your own country who can do the casino like a Cuban!

5. Varadero Golf Club

Golf lovers will definitely appreciate the 18-hole golf course located in Varadero.

With an impeccable location, vast views of the Atlantic Ocean, and challenging holes, this golf course is a place most golfers will thrive playing at!

6. A Rich History

Varadero, like Cuba, has a rich history dating back to the early 16th century when it was first discovered by Spanish conquerors.

Although there are other destinations in Cuba that better reflect Cuban history, there are some options in Varadero as well.

You can explore the town’s history through museums, such as Casa del Ron (House of Rum) and Museo Municipal de Varadero (Municipal Museum of Varadero).

If you want to dig more and immerse yourself in Cuban history, you might want to take a day trip to Havana, Trinidad, or even Santa Clara, where the decisive battle of the revolution took place at the end of 1958!

7. Beautiful Ecological Reserves

Visit the Hicacos ecological reserve and explore the flora and fauna of Cuba like these giant cactuses I saw when I was hiking there.

Nature lovers will enjoy exploring the ecological reserves in Varadero, such as the Punta Hicacos Ecological Park and the Bellamar Caves.

These natural attractions offer a unique glimpse into Cuba’s diverse flora and fauna, and it is super close to your hotel and does not require a lot of transport.

If you don’t mind a bit of transport time, there are a variety of destinations not so far from Varadero that you might consider visiting, too!

Across to the southern part of the island is Trinidad and Cienfuegos, as well as the infamous Bay of Pigs! You will be able to go here on a day trip if you want to, or you can book a casa particular and stay a night or two!

Outside Trinidad, you find the Toped de Collantes Natural Park, where most visitors love to explore and swim in the waterfalls!

8. Tasty Cuban Cuisine

Delicious ropa vieja, pulled pork, dish prepared in Cuba! This is one of my favorite dishes visiting Cuba.

No trip to Cuba is complete without trying out some of its delicious cuisine, and Varadero is no exception.

You need to try the Ropa Vieja (“old clothes,” which is basically pulled pork Cuban style), fried plantains, arroz morro, and of course the famous Cuban sandwich!!

From mouth-watering seafood dishes to traditional Cuban flavors, you get to dig into a variety of delicious dishes here in Varadero that are not as easily available in other places in Cuba.

9. Cultural Events

Topes de Collantes natural park outside Trinidad on the southern shores of Cuba, where you find this stunning waterfall! This is a very popular destination for travelers in Cuba.

Varadero hosts various cultural events and festivals throughout the year that showcase the vibrant Cuban culture.

Some are evergreen, like the museums and music venues, and others are seasonal.

These events include music festivals, art exhibitions, and traditional dances, providing visitors with a unique experience.

10. Friendly Cuban Locals

Last but certainly not least, Cuba is known for its warm and welcoming locals, and Varadero is no different.

Although Varadero almost exclusively consists of large hotels and resorts along the peninsula, in Varadero town, you find local Cubans living there too!

Cubans are known for their hospitality and friendly nature, making you feel welcome and right at home in this beautiful beach town.

If you don’t want to stay at an all-inclusive resort in Varadero (or not just in a resort), you can also book a casa particular in Varadero town and stay with a local Cuban family for a few days!

Why Visiting Varadero Is Not “Visiting Cuba”

Sunset along the malecon, and a trubadeur singing and playing the guitar while people relax along the promenad.

Being the unique, complicated, challenging destination it is, what you see in Varadero, Cuba, is very different from what Cuba is today.

In Varadero, you will have a great Caribbean holiday, quite like many other places with all-inclusive resorts in the region.

But if you visit Cuba to experience Cuban culture and life, you also need to leave the resort bubble on this luxurious peninsula and go exploring other destinations.

Here are the most popular destinations in Cuba outside of Varadero.

Traditional narrow streets in Old Havana surrounded by old classical architecture. This is an area of Old Havana that has been successfully restored the last decades. Not all parts of the old city looks as good as this.

FAQs Varadero Cuba

What Is A Fun Fact About Varadero?

Well, the salt mines in Varadero that closed in 1961 actually supplied practically the whole Spanish Latin America Fleet for almost 400 years, from 1587 until just 60 years ago!

Is Varadero Cuba Worth It?

That will depend on what you want to experience when you visit Cuba. If your main goal is to relax in a resort and enjoy water sports and pools, you are in the right place in Varadero.

If you really want to explore Cuban culture and history, Varadero is not the best place for that.

Maybe you can split your holiday up and spend some time in Varadero and some time exploring the other destinations to get the best of both worlds?

Is Varadero One Of The Best Beaches In The World?

Well, Varadero Beach was voted the second most beautiful beach in the world by TripAdvisor a few years ago.

So I can safely say that the beach in Varadero is considered one of the best beaches in the world!

Why Go To Varadero?

You go to Varadero for your holiday if you want to have a pampering Caribbean holiday in an all-inclusive resort in Cuba!

Varadero is the largest resort area in the Caribbean region and has a plethora of hotels, resorts, and tropical activities and sights to offer you as a visitor!

Can You Walk Around Varadero?

You can walk around Varadero Town Center, where you find the bus station, restaurants and bars, a market, banks, and Varadero Beach.

However, Varadero town also covers a larger area and the peninsula that is also often referred to as Varadero is super long, over 20 miles.

So you will need a car, a taxi, or take the hop on hop off bus!

Wrap-Up: What Is Varadero Known For

So there you have it: 10 things that are special about Varadero that I hope are enough for you to decide if Varadero is a destination for you or not!

From its stunning beaches to its rich history and vibrant culture, Varadero truly has something for everyone in love with the Caribbean beaches, waters, and vibe.

So plan your next vacation to this tropical paradise if luxury, water sports, and relaxation are your holiday objectives, and experience all that Varadero has to offer.

Happy travels!

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