Diving & Snorkeling
Varadero has several excellent dive centers, although, this being tourist-ville, the prices are double those in the Bahía de Cochinos on Matanzas Province's south coast. Additionally, all of the 21 dive sites around the Península de Hicacos require a boat transfer of approximately one hour. Highlights include reefs, caverns and a Russian patrol boat sunk for diving purposes in 1997. The nearest shore diving is 20km west at Playa Coral. The centers also offer day excursions to superior sites at the Bahía de Cochinos (one/two immersions with transfer CUC$50/70) – or you could bus it there yourself and dive unrushed with local instructors, including an overnight stay at a local casa for just a fraction more.
Note that when the weather is inclement on the north coast, divers are often bussed over to more sheltered Bahía de Cochinos in the south.
Varadero has three marinas, all of which offer a similar variety of nautical activities and facilities.
There are sailboards available for rent at various points along the public beach (per hour CUC$10), as are small catamarans, banana boats, sea kayaks etc. The upmarket resorts usually include these water toys in the all-inclusive price.
Varadero has good conditions for kiteboarding and the sport has become popular over the last five years, with several private operators setting up at various points along the beach.