Varadero, located on the sinuous 20km-long Hicacos peninsula, stands at the vanguard of Cuba’s most important industry – tourism. As the largest resort in the Caribbean, it guards a huge, unsubtle and constantly evolving stash of hotels (over 50), shops, banks, water activities and poolside entertainment; though its trump card is its beach, an uninterrupted 20km stretch of blond sand that is undoubtedly one of the best in the Caribbean. But, while this large, tourist-friendly, if strangely soulless, mega-resort may be essential to the Cuban economy, it offers little in the way of unique Cuban experiences. For these you’ll need to escape the wrist-band wearing crowds from Canada and Europe and dip into the readily accessible hinterland for nearby ‘reality checks’ in Matanzas, Cárdenas or Bahía de Cochinos.
Most Varadero tourists buy their vacation packages overseas and are content to idle for a week or two enjoying the all-inclusiveness of their resort (and why not?). However, if you’re touring Cuba independently, and want to alternate your esoteric rambles with some less stressful beach life, Varadero can provide a few nights of well-earned sloth after a dusty spell on the road. For the best prices book online before you leave home, though there are plenty of economical hotels and casas particulares in the western end of the town that can be bagged on-the-spot.
Best places to stay in Varadero
The other side of Varadero: leave the resorts behind
A 20km peninsula of white-gold sand flanked by fifty plus all-inclusive hotels: it’s no wonder the foreign tourists flocking to Varadero, the largest resort in Cuba (and one of the largest in the entire Caribbean), have passed the one million mark.
Varadero destination guides
Family - Viva Cuba!
From tobacco fields to fishing villages, and revolutionist monuments to relaxing beaches, Cuba is home to one of the most captivating cultures in the world. Take in the crumbling facades of colonial buildings, meet chilled out locals puffing on cigars and wiggle your toes in the sand on an isolated beach.
Viva Cuba! Family Holiday
From tobacco fields and fishing villages, to revolutionist monuments and relaxing beaches, Cuba is home to one of the most captivating cultures in the world. Take in the crumbling facades of colonial buildings, meet chilled out locals puffing on cigars and wiggle your toes in the sand on an isolated beach.