Fun things to do in Varadero

  • Beach at Sunbeach
    Beach at Sunbeach
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Most Viewed Things to Do in Varadero

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    Many ways to get around

    by Camping_Girl Updated Jan 23, 2014

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    The most obvious way to get around Varadero is by taxi. Always negotiate your price before you get in the cab. And keep in mind, those old 57 Chevys and Cadillacs are a cool way to get around but their rates are much higher than the plain jane taxis. We rented a pink Cadillac one afternoon for $30 per hour. It was a lot of fun but it's sure not cheap!

    The Coco taxis can be seen all over the place - they are awfully expensive too and the gas fumes coming back into the one we rode in left me nauseous. I'm glad we weren't going very far!

    You will also see men with horses and carriages travelling up and down First Avenue. They will stop and offer to give you a ride, we paid 8CUC to go from Sunbeach to Puntarena, quite reasonable IMO and a very romantic touch too! One thing you should know before you negotiate a price on a horse coche is that the original price they quote you is going to be per person. You can barter for a better rate.

    The bici taxis (bicycle pedal power) will hold two people. Bear in mind, if you are a larger person the operator is likely to want more money than they would otherwise charge.

    The double decker bus goes up and down First Avenue, from one end of the peninsula to the other. For 5CUC for an all day hop on/hop off pass, this is the most economical way to get around in Varadero. You can buy your pass when you board the bus. The bus runs from 9 am to 9 pm, seven days a week. One word of caution - if you sit up top, sit on the left side of the bus if you can. The low hanging trees along First Avenue will have you ducking if you don't!

    Related to:
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Singles
    • Beaches

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    Explore the town of Varadero

    by Jefie Written Sep 23, 2012

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    There isn't that much to see and do in Varadero itself, but it's definitely worth going for a walk around this charming town. After having seen so many rundown buildings in Havana, I was suprised to see how nicely maintained most houses are in Varadero. Most of the souvenir shops, restaurants and bars are located on 1st Avenue, between calles 44 and 64. We did a little shopping in Varadero and found a few well-priced souvenirs, and I enjoyed the fact that the artisans weren't overly eager to make a sale. There is also a beautiful public park downtown called Parque Josone that's well worth visiting. I also went for a walk along Avenida Las Americas to take a peak at some of the other resorts and saw what looked like an old Martello tower, but I've since learned that it actually is an old water tank. I actually wish I could have spent more time walking around town, but unfortunately the heat kept me near the beach or pool on most days :op Oh well, maybe next time!

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    Horse & Carriage Trip

    by trevndebs Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    These guys ply their trade along the main road by the shopping plaza.
    We caught one back to Beaches hotel which took about 15 minutes and cost 20 Pesos per person.
    (A nice way to cool down, especially with all the shopping I was carrying!)

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    scooters

    by cheryl_the_mermaid Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Scooters are a fun and cheap way to get around, and u can find them everywher on street corners to be rented out. The locals don't recocmend it, cuz supposudly its dangerous. We were two on the scooter, with only 1 helmet. We were placed on and sent off, without either one of us ever being on a scooter before. We ended up crashing at one point, and I scratched my ankle. On the way back, we saw 2 tourists that fell off with bloodied up legs.... so be careful! Depending where u go, it's usually 5 cuban pesos an hour, or cheaper the longer you rent it.

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    Little Oasis in the Heart of Varadero

    by Camping_Girl Written Feb 2, 2011

    Josone Park is a wonderful place to spend an afternoon. Stop by the outdoor patio bar and sample the best Pina Colada you have ever tasted! 3CUC is all it costs for this nectar of the gods. You can admire the views at the same time. Service in this patio bar is always fabulous. There are also several restaurants in the park, all of them serve very good food. This is a great place to come for ropa vieja.

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    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
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    Al Capone

    by twilightmuse Written Jul 11, 2010

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    Al Capone had a beach house in Varadero. It has since been converted to a restuarant but the outside is open for tours. You can take a hop on hop off bus that runs the length of the beach from resort to resort and ends up at Al`s. The bus ticket is good from 9am-9pm and you can get off at any stop along the way for shopping etc. If you get the chance take the bus all the way to the end to visit this historic site- he had it really good.

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    Driving Around Varadero

    by risse73 Written Aug 13, 2009

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    Varadero has exponentially grown its tourism industry in the last few years since it appears to aggressively market itself to target the international crowd. It is quite evident that the mass marketing of Varadero has effectively worked in that tourists are coming in droves from all corners of the globe. As a result, you can see new tourist-oriented developments sprouting up everywhere. Driving around Varadero, you'll see not only the views, but the glaring growth of tourist infrastructure such as hotels, and exclusive Golf & All-Inclusive resorts. Although tourist-friendly, it's no wonder why some locals are distrustful of tourists who are perceived to be "taking over" their territory.

    Related to:
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    • Golf
    • Arts and Culture

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  • Dolpins Swims

    by waterfaery Written Mar 29, 2009

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    Please be mindful that when you "pay" for a "swim with the dolphins" excursion, you are contributing to the brutal and sadistic capture of these creatures, often where many are slaughtered.
    Think twice...........for their sake

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    excursions

    by magixr Written Nov 6, 2008

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    Spend some time with the Transur orientation meetings. They break down what you are getting in an all inclusive price.

    The Habana overnight tour was very informative on learning stuff about Cuba you might not have gleaned just sitting on the bus to Havana. If you want to educate yourself about the country the tour guides are a wealth of information and happy to have a job.
    Aside from the interesting places we went to, the tour afforded us an opportunity to connect with the other travelers and form friendships that can last beyond Cuba. We are setting up our own trip DVD!

    I also did the Catamaran trip which was not perfect but again i made friends and it was still a good experience. The dolphins are not free. They are penned in a concrete facility which allows ocean water to flow through. There was a baby dolphin in the pen.
    The lobster dinner is not as illustrated unless you pay an extra 10 pesos for three good sized lobster tails.
    Still 99 pesos for such an excursion is a lot better value than 89 pesos at the Dolphinarium and you might not be able to swim with the dolphins there. The lagoon has questionable hygiene levels for humans and the dolphins.

    My last excursions was south towards the Bay of pigs. Informative and gave me a visual of the wilder parts of Cuba. Nothing like getting out there to see Cuba.

    My acquaintance also rented a car and had her own road trip to the smaller towns and places, but she's a brave soul.

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    • Family Travel

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    Varadero Sunsets

    by SabrinaSummerville Written Jan 22, 2008

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    I was surprised that the sunset in Varadero is so colourful. So far I've been used to those glorious orange Caribbean sunsets, so perhaps it was due to the inclement and cloudy weather that we were treated to such a variety of colours as the sun went down.

    It's very romantic and as I was with Mum several loving couples stopped me on the beach and asked me to take their pics.

    Next time I go back with a man;-)

    Related to:
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Photography

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    Car Heaven

    by SabrinaSummerville Written Jan 21, 2008

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    Having dated a biker for ten years, I am still left with a passion for things motorised with a particular penchant for classic cars.

    You can imagine my delight, therefore, to discover that Cuba is the classic car capital of the world. This is, of course, a political thing in that it's hard for them to get new cars, but afficionados will have a ball here.

    Some of the vehicles are better maintained than others but all are delightful. They range from the big old American cadillacs to yellow boneshaker school buses to open backed big grey trucks which are used to ferry people from place to place.

    Take a look at some of the pics attached, but for these vehicles I plan to create a whole page.

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    • Road Trip

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    Hop over to Havana

    by SabrinaSummerville Written Jan 18, 2008

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    Most, if not all, hotels in Varadero have a representative of the Cuban tourist board on duty. I would advise you to seek the advice of this rep in your hotel rather than the travel company rep. These people are paid by the government and are out to get you the best deal on your daytrip.

    We were prepared to pay 68 pesos each for a group tour from Varadero to Havana. However, when we explaind to the rep about Mum's disabilities and about what we wanted to see, she suggested that we should hire a taxi. She agreed to get a suitable English speaking driver for us. She informed us that the cost for car and driver was 180 pesos. As this included a visit to the cigar factory shop it turned out to be terrific value as the group tour, to include the cigar factory, was 88 pesos per person.

    When we got to Havana our driver let us off on our own for a while to wander. When we met up with him again he brought us to a typical Havana restaurant for lunch and then suggested various things we might like to do. He waited patiently for us at each stop and watched over us protectively.

    I'll give more details on my Havana page, but suffice for now to say it was exceedingly good value for money.

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    Get yourself a handmade straw hat

    by SabrinaSummerville Written Jan 12, 2008

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    We noticed people wearing gorgeous hats made from woven palm leaves. A little straw palmleaf mozzie sat atop each hat. I wondered at their source and longed to acquire one. A search of the shops proved fruitless.

    Then we changed hotels and, first sunny day out, we discovered that the hotel gardeners were weaving these hats for the guests, little baskets too. They give them to you as a gift, though a small tip was always appreciated:-)

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    Drink Coconut Milk

    by SabrinaSummerville Written Jan 12, 2008

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    First of all, did you realise that coconut milk is actually water? I didn't know until I came across these two elderly gardeners on the beach in Varadero.

    They were working as a team. I was sitting alone on a rock watching the rough waves when I was approached by the swarthy guy. I was bemused when he asked me if I had ever had coconut juice, and then he sent the older guy off into the fields to find coconuts.

    The swarthy guy then took out a huge machete - I looked around warily to make sure there were people around!!! He hacked the coconut and then hollowed out the top to reveal the sweet water-like juice.

    I must say I enjoyed it - but beware that machete:-)

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    • Adventure Travel
    • Beaches

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    Ecological Reserves

    by SabrinaSummerville Written Jan 11, 2008

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    Varadero is a particularly fabulous area of interest for Ecologists and photographers. At the edge of the beach by Paradisus Varadero there is an Ecological reserve. I spent several very happy days walking through this ocean side area of coral reef photographing fossils and other items of interest. We were particularly lucky in thay we arrived just after a huge storm and so there was a lot of interesting debris washed up by the sea. Rock pools were a haven for ocean life. You need to take care though and watch out for things like freak waves and blow holes in the reefs.

    Guided tours are arranged by some of the hotels in the area and these are generally free of charge.

    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism
    • National/State Park
    • Beaches

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