Next stop on our tour was a river cruise on the Miramar River. While at this stop we also got to watch a traditional Cuban dance and do some more souvenir shopping. Lobster dinner was offered on the boat for 10CUC and it was very good - lobster tail, potatoes and salad. Drinks were served on the boat as well, for a fee.
We left the Miramar River and we were taken to a Cuban farm. The farmers explained the various vegetables and fruits that they grow and we were then taken to a big table loaded with various fresh fruits and sugar cane for us to sample.
This was the last stop of the day and we arrived back at our hotel at about 9 pm.
We then made a quick stop at a monument along the ocean before driving through Matanzas and into the Miramar Valley. Our drive took us through rural areas until we arrived at Rancho Gaviota. Here we were served a traditional Cuban lunch and a beer (included in our tour price) and we had about an hour afterwards to ride the paddle boats on the lagoon, ride a horse or a bull, chase the chickens and pigs and have another beer. (Yes, we did it all, LOL)
After lunch we returned to Matanzas and were taken to a hilltop lookout with fabulous views of the city of Matanzas and the ocean.
The Jeep Tour can be booked from virtually any hotel in Varadero, just ask at the front desk. This tour costs $80 USD and it is well worth it. A shuttle picks you up at your hotel in the morning and takes you to the Jeep Tour office. They try to put 3 or 4 people in each jeep, so if you are single or travelling as a couple, you can expect to be placed in a jeep with other people. I believe we were gone from the jeep office by 9:30 in the morning. This is a very long and action-packed day, I was actually tired by the end of it!
First stop was a cave where we went swimming. We were here for about an hour. There is a bar at this stop too so if you're not a swimmer you can amuse yourself there. Next stop was a small beach where we were allowed to go snorkeling. We couldn't snorkel on the day we went because the jellyfish were too bad. So we did a little souvenir shopping and enjoyed a pina colada, served in a fresh coconut, instead.
... to be continued in the next tip....
there are two Jeep Safari, one is more expensive and less fun, pick the cheaper one, pay the US$39 to drive one of their 4x4 jeeps through rough terrain and local towns. it's an all day adventure, they take you to a cave where you go snorkeling, a beach where you go snorkeling (don't forget to buy a banana leaf hat for US$0.50) another under cave with 100% humidity. Make sure you drive through the mud puddles!