Varadero Cuba Holidays

The Hicacos Peninsula, or Varadero, is the largest and one of the most popular beach resorts in Cuba. Its beautiful 13 mile long white sand beach is considered to be one of the most beautiful in the world.

In Varadero you'll find numerous art galleries, museums, cabarets, quaint bars and cafes, handicrafts markets, live music, cigar and rum shops, and wonderful all-inclusive hotels.

There is also plenty of watersports to include diving, snorkeling, sailing, fishing, catamaran cruises, kite surfing, and glass-bottom boat rides to name a few. These activities are offered all year long. Nature lovers can enjoy hiking trails, caves, ancient wall paintings, and the fauna and flora of the Varahicacos Ecological Reserve. Varadero has a great nightlife scene with its numerous bars, discotheques, cafes, and cabarets. There is plenty to do in Varadero for everyone! Find all of your beach essentials here for your Varadero Cuba vacation. Continue reading our Varadero Cuba Holidays guide for complete information to help you start planning your vacation today.

Varadero Weather – When to Visit

The temperature usually remains steady in Varadero with an average high of 88°F in the summer. The best time to visit Varadero for heat and sunshine is between July and September. This is when the sun stays out the longest and temperatures have soared to the low-thirties.

The dry season (December to May) is slightly cooler with an average temperature of 75°F. Rainfall is heaviest during the wet season from May to October. Showers can be very heavy and fast, so make sure to pack your raincoat and umbrella if you’re planning a holiday at this time.

If you like cooler temperatures with less rainfall, travel during the dry season. You’ll still get to enjoy plenty of warmth and sunshine, but there’s less chance that you’ll get caught out in a downpour.

Varadero Beach, Varadera Cuba Holidays, best Varadera beaches, Top 20 Beach destinations, best beach destinations in the world

Varadero Beach

It’s considered by many the number one attraction and main reason to visit Varadero, and for a good reason, this white sandy beach is rated as one of the best in the world! Its more than 20 km of fine, white sand along the shoreline, and a continental shelf that softly sinks into a warm, crystal clear water. This is the main attraction of Varadero.

There are numerous caves, cliffs, and lagoons. Also, pristine, easy to reach keys and other interesting natural surroundings on the peninsula's easternmost tip, in addition to a set of cultural, historical, and environmental sites.

Best Varadero Activities

Saturno Cave, Varadera Cuba Holidays, best Varadera beaches, Top 20 Beach destinations, best beach destinations in the world
Saturno Cave

Near Varadero's airport, a path through the scrub descends to Saturno Cave, the star feature of a complex cave system. This hauntingly beautiful cenote or subterranean swimming hole offers a refreshing respite from the beach. Stalactites drip from the roof of the cave, and stalagmites rise from the water's depths. Tourists come here to swim in the pool's azure-hued freshwater, dive off the crystallized columns, and admire the impressive rock formations. Aqua shoes and a snorkel and mask are handy accessories on a visit here.

Varahicacos Ecological Reserve, Varadera Cuba Holidays, best Varadera beaches, Top 20 Beach destinations, best beach destinations in the world
Varahicacos Ecological Reserve

This protected area is a nature reserve with a pleasant beach; a variety of plant species such as cactus and orchids; a bird-rich lagoon once used to mine salt; and a diversity of birds, insects, and lizards. Narrow hiking trails wind through the preserve, but visitors should note that the ground is rocky and can be challenging for small children and those who are unsure on their feet. Sturdy hiking shoes are recommended as is insect repellent.

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Mansion Xanadu, Varadera Cuba Holidays, best Varadera beaches, Top 20 Beach destinations, best beach destinations in the world
Mansión Xanadú

Constructed with Italian marble, rich woods, and thermal insulated ceramic tiles, the Mansión Xanadu was an incredibly lavish retreat back in its heyday. Today, the mansion is a luxury hotel and golf clubhouse. Non-guests can stop by here soak up the spectacular sea views from the second floor and enjoy a meal at the restaurant. On display are some of the original furnishings, information on Dupont, and a series of old photographs.

Parque Josone, Varadera Cuba Holidays, best Varadera beaches, Top 20 Beach destinations, best beach destinations in the world
Parque Josone

Paths meander around flower-flecked gardens, fountains gurgle, and an ornamental bridge traverses a small lake where ducks bob contentedly. Tourists come here to paddle or glide around the lake on rowboats or relax in the shade of the poinciana and palm trees. The former main residence on the grounds is now a restaurant, as is the guesthouse, which makes for a pleasant afternoon or evening excursion in Varadero. A swimming pool lies at the park's south end.

Delfinario, Varadera Cuba Holidays, best Varadera beaches, Top 20 Beach destinations, best beach destinations in the world
Delfinario

At Delfinario, animal lovers can kiss, cuddle, and commune with dolphins. The experience begins with a show followed by an optional dolphin encounter in an enclosed saltwater lagoon. One by one, paying guests meet their new marine playmates, pat them, swim through the water with them, and participate in fun tricks with these playful creatures. 

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Best Varadero Restaurants

Varadero 60 $11 – 30

With its well thought-out, sixties-themed interior and impeccable service, Varadero 60 is undeniably one of the finest dining establishments on the peninsula. The menu prominently features Italian flavours, with lobster and sirloin steak as the house specialties. Seating available indoors and out on the airy veranda. Telephone: 53 45 613986 Web: Varadero 60

Paladar Nonna Tina $11 – 30

Italian-run Paladar Nonna Tina serves pizzas done the right way (thin-crusted, baked in a wood oven), with personal and family-sized servings available. Other Italian delights include a whole range of pasta dishes, a couple of meat varieties, and a selection of entrees and appetizers, all at reasonable prices. Telephone: 53 45 612450 Web: Paladar Nonna Tina

La Rampa $11 – 30

What keeps guests coming back for more at La Rampa is its excellent lobster, prepared in a multitude of mouthwatering ways. A number of other great value dishes, both meat and seafood, feature on the extensive menu. Try a freshly mixed strawberry daiquiri with the meal. Telephone: 53 45 602414 Web: La Rampa

Dante $11 – 30

One of Varadero's several excellent Italian restaurants, Dante enjoys an idyllic lake setting in the lush Josone Park. The establishment serves up a wide variety of Italian specialties such as pizza, pasta, appetizers and dessert. The wine selection is one of the best in town. Telephone: 53 45 667738 Web: Dante

Xanadu $31 – 60

The marble-floored Xanadu occupies the insides of an opulent mansion commissioned by an American millionaire several decades ago. Prices bite, but an evening here is worth the experience. Views over the ocean unfold from the top-floor cocktail bar. Telephone: 53 45 668482 Web: Xanadu

Best Varadero Bars & Nightlife

Calle 62

Calle 62 is a place unlike any other – at night, part of the road leading up to the establishment is closed off to traffic and gets turned into a makeshift dance floor. The bar is popular with both locals and tourists, hosts live music shows and invites professional dancers to get the crowd going for the night. Web: Calle 62

Casa de la Musica

One of Varadero's hottest meeting spots, Casa de la Musica is where locals and tourists mingle in the upbeat setting of a modern Cuban nightlife establishment, with regular on-stage live performances and dancing till the late-night hours. Telephone: 53 45 668918 Web: Casa de la Musica

La Bamba Disco

Located on Tuxpan Hotel premises, La Bamba welcomes all – hotel guests and visitors from elsewhere alike (this includes both Cubans and internationals). The club is busiest on Friday and Saturday nights, when a clientele of the 20 to 40 age range fills up the dance floor. Telephone: 53 45 667560

Mambo Club

One of the venues to not be missed, Mambo is a live music club that regularly puts on great live shows. The club is known for its added open bar service (unlimited drinks included in the entry fee). There is dancing on some nights. Telephone: 53 45 668565 Web: Mambo Club

Havana Club

One of Varadero's favourite nightlife venues, Havana Club is a lively discotheque that attracts both locals and tourists. The party usually starts quite late (usually after midnight), with guests dancing and savoring the excellent mojitos mixed here. Web: Havana Club

Best Varadero Hotels

Royalton Hicacos Adults Only - All Inclusive, Varadera Cuba Holidays, best Varadera beaches, Top 20 Beach destinations, best beach destinations in the world
Royalton Hicacos Adults Only – All Inclusive

Royalton Hicacos Varadero Resort & Spa is located on the white sandy beaches of Varadero, situated on the eponymous Hicacos peninsula. Its beautiful landscapes, and vibrant tourist ambience makes Varadero the perfect background for a tropical adventure where you can explore natural attractions. The luxurious adults-only resort is a cut above other Varadero hotels with its all-inclusive resort facilities designed to create a perfect ambiance for relaxation. Visit Here for reservations and information.

Starfish Cuatro Palmas Adults Only - All Inclusive, Varadera Cuba Holidays, best Varadera beaches, Top 20 Beach destinations, best beach destinations in the world
Starfish Cuatro Palmas Adults Only – All Inclusive

Starfish Cuatro Palmas is an all-inclusive retreat nestled along the sandy beachfront of Varadero, Cuba. Guests will immediately be drawn to the picturesque surroundings – patioed courtyard, red roofs and tropical gardens. Quality accommodations, great dining, daily activities, bar, pool, live music and evening shows fulfill the criteria for an unforgettable Caribbean vacation destination. Visit Here for reservations and information.

Melia Internacional Varadero - All Inclusive, Varadera Cuba Holidays, best Varadera beaches, Top 20 Beach destinations, best beach destinations in the world
Melia Internacional Varadero – All Inclusive

Situated on one of the finest stretches of beach in Varadero, this hotel is the reincarnation of a true classic on the Hicacos Peninsula, Cuba’s ultimate holiday destination. The Meliá Internacional is a modern, All Inclusive 5 star resort, with 11 floors divided into two zones: East and West. It boasts 946 rooms, all designed with smart home technology, including two spectacular penthouses, panoramic lifts and stunning views. Renowned for its varied range of delicious cuisine, served in more than 20 gastronomic spaces and 15 bars. Visit Here for reservations and information.

Be LIve Experience Turquesa - All Inclusive, Varadera Cuba Holidays, best Varadera beaches, Top 20 Beach destinations, best beach destinations in the world
Be Live Experience Turquesa – All Inclusive

Be Live Experience Turquesa is a 4 star all-inclusive establishment surrounded by palm trees and tropical vegetation. The complex is in a garden area that opens up to the spectacular Varadero beach. It is the ideal holiday destination for couples and families, and it is an exquisite location for weddings. It is on the beachfront, 8 km. from the center of Varadero, 4 km. from the shopping center and 36 km. from the Juan Gualberto Gomez International Airport. Visit Here for reservations and information.

Be Live Adults Only Los Cactus - All Inclusive, Varadera Cuba Holidays, best Varadera beaches, Top 20 Beach destinations, best beach destinations in the world
Be Live Adults Only Los Cactus – All Inclusive

Be Live Adults Only Los Cactus is an all Inclusive Resort for adults -singles and couples 16 years and older , where all meals, a selection of local and international beverages, water sports, land sports with equipment and instruction, entertainment and other activities are included in one single price. Visit Here for reservations and information.

For a complete list of hotels, visit here.

24 Comments

  1. JJ

    I went to Cuba about 6 years ago to attend a music conference. We stayed in Havana. We all enjoyed the stay but it seems like we could have extended the time to include this gorgeous place Varadero. It sound like an ideal vacation spotfor myself and family with the variety in entertainment, lots of restaurants to choose from and caves and trails to explore. I am definitely writing down this one as a future destination. Thank you for the review.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Great JJ.  I think you and your family will enjoy Varadero.  Thanks for visiting beach travel destinations.

      Reply
  2. Ferra

    Hi there,

    I appreciate you sharing this well-presented post about Varadero Cuba Holidays. You have included things to do, where to stay, and how much we would expect to spend for each activity, I think those are great guides for people who have never traveled to Cuba before, like me and my family.

    My husband and I haven’t had our honeymoon yet, so we are saving up for a great honeymoon and make wonderful memories with our baby daughter. She loves water so much. We introduced the swimming pool when she was only 2 months old. so, I am pretty sure she would love Cuba so much.

    My husband and my baby are both U.S. citizens. I am only a green cardholder. Do you think I would need a visa to go to Cuba? 

    Thank you in advance for your response. I have bookmarked your website for future reference.

    Looking forward to reading more great posts from you.

    Cheers,

    Ferra

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Hi Ferra,  as long as you have a valid Green Card, you fall under the US jurisdiction. You can get your Cuba visa for Green Card holders just as easy as any American, disregarding your country of origin. So plan and enjoy a honeymoon in Varadero!

      Reply
  3. Daniella

    Hi Lea,

    Wow, Cuba, this is one of my favorite destinations. After the Corona, I will travel there. We have a second wave of Corona where I live, so they lock down the places again. It’s challenging to travel today. I hope they will soon find an antidote for this virus. I bet there are great deals on flights in Cuba today. Am I right? How would you dress for traveling to Cuba? I am afraid people are very conservative there.

    Thank you for this great guide!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes, we have a second wave here too.  Are new cases are really high right now.  And it is challenging, but we will come out of it stronger and I believe there will be a LOT of traveling LOL.  You do not have to dress conservative.  Just the normal beach clothes you would where on any beach vacation 🙂  I appreciate you taking the time to leave me comments Daniella, thanks!

      Reply
  4. Michael

    Looks like an interesting place. I have not been there but have spent time along Colombia’s Caribbean coast. I am guessing there are some similarities.  

    The resorts all look quite new, luxurious with all the conveniences of a modern American or European resort, which is surprising when you think of the political ideology governing the country. 

    You mentioned the night spots and they all seemed good but ( I may have missed it) you never security. Is it safe for women travellers for example.  

    I like the site, I have booked marked it. 

     

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Hi Michael.  I appreciate you taking the time to leave me comments.  Much of the Cuban coastline is virgin and undeveloped, which is quite rare in the Caribbean. You can drive along coast roads with no luxury villas or even hotels. The coral reefs are some of the most pristine in the Caribbean specifically because of the undeveloped coast. Protected by its isolation, the wildlife of Cuba has remained naturally preserved and widely unexplored. In addition, national parks along the coast have thriving mangrove forests, swamps, and wetlands.  This is Cuba.  A bit different than Columbia.  Stay in a Cuban Guest House.  You will get the most out of your experience 🙂

      Reply
  5. A

    Wonderful location!  I live in the Philippines, and it’s quite refreshing to see a pristine beach destination such as Varadero that’s not yet filled with tourists! I really appreciate a beach destination that’s so peaceful, and well taken care of. Thank you for sharing this.

    Would you know how far is Delfinario from the beach? This would be the highlight of my trip, shall I get to this place. I’m not a fan of dolphin shows, but would love to interact with dolphins nonetheless. Best experience I had with dolphins was to wake up too early to catch the dolphins play around in the middle of the sea! Great memories. Thank you for this, now I missed traveling. Nostalgic vibe, but very much appreciated. Cheers, A

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I am glad you enjoyed 🙂  Varadero itself is a skinny strip of land that protrudes out from Cuba.  The entire length is beach, so you will find that Delfinario is really on the beach.  That is also why I only listed Varadero Beach.  It is the length of this area.  So in answer to your question, you won’t have to travel to get to Delfinario depending on where you are staying.

      Reply
  6. Carole

    You know I keep hearing people around telling me about Varadero, how nice it is, and how were vacations there, so I decided to look into it, that is how I found your site.  I had no idea where to start and quite frankly I am very impressed with your site!  I will look no further.  As soon as that covid-19 is safe to travel I will make plans using your site!  Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are welcome Carole,  Please let me know if I can help with your planning of your Varadero Cuba vacation and thanks for visiting beach travel destinations.

      Reply
  7. Chris

    I just want to go here for the Saturno Cave, although I do enjoy the idea up sipping on tropical drinks as I relax in the suns rays. What a dream! Is it fairly cheap for Americans to visit Varadero? 

    I also want to know, is it safe for Americans? I do find myself to be a little bit uneducated in Cuban crime rates or lack there of. We have only just in recent years been allowed to begin visiting the country.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Flying to Cuba is actually really reasonable.  Depending on where you are flying from.  I know I can get there for a little over  $100.  Cuba is generally a safe country to visit, although you may enounter “minor” crimes such as currency scams, pick pocketing, and theft. It is also advisable to not drink the tap water.  Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

      Reply
  8. LineCowley

    Oh how I long to be able to go on a holiday of my choice. This just looks so amazing with beaches to die for. And there is so much more than just the beach here, with an ecological reserve, swimming with dolphins and so much more. 

    You have given us a fantastic selection of hotels to choose from that I will have to spend more time exploring all these great options.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Great!  I believe you would love a vacation to Varadero Cuba.  Great way to enjoy and relax after the corona virus settles down for sure.

      Reply
  9. Manfred

    Hi thank you so much for such an information. My wife and I have been wanting to visit Cuba as part of a cruise destination.  This gives us some ideas for restaurants and where to have a drink as well as some activities would could enjoy while there.  Thanks for the great guide!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are welcome Manfred.  I appreciate you taking the time to leave me comments.

      Reply
  10. Cameron

    Hello, 

    This was a great read and adding the drone video was absolutely helpful so thank you. 

    You included lots of information about the hotels and restaurants. 

    Thanks for the advice on the weather so you can choose the season that works best for you.

    A lot of research was done on this and my hat comes off to you. 

    I would love to visit Cuba but maybe in 2021 if the world is getting back to normal. Are there daily flights to Cuba?

    Best wishes, 

    Cameron

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Hi Cameron, yes there are daily flights.  They do have restrictions right now, but that will change hopefully when the pandemic eases up and we head back to our normal.  But Varadero Cuba is an awesome choice with so much beach front.  Then you have the great atmosphere and culture.  Can’t be beat!

      Reply
  11. Sami

    I am sorry to say that Cuba had not been high on my list to visit, but after reading your article, It may have pushed everything else way down the list.  Varadero sounds like a vacation a dream.  The white beaches, pretty water, all the kinds of sailing, all the sports played in the water, the hiking trails.  With all the cliffs and lagoons and caves, time on, in, and around the water would be so much fun.  There are also environmental centers to share what is going on there as well. 

    The Dupont’s Xanadu Mansion for a glimpse of luxury, The gardens, Parque Jesone, and the Delfenoreo to meet Dolphins up close and personal.  I know that by the time you got to all the wonderful dining available, you would be ready for a feast, and apparently it is easy to find a feasting place.  The restaurants you talked about with the amazing menus each has with an idea of price is so helpful.  Then there is the nightlife, apparently so much fun along the way. There seems to be something to fill the wish list for everyone.  Great read.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes, there is something for everyone in Varadero Cuba!  And yes, most would not consider Cuba as a destination.  I live very close being in Florida.  I can’t wait until the pandemic is over.  

      Reply
  12. Letsret

    I’m itching to take a nice warm vacation somewhere, we have friends that had recommended Varadera, they go there every second year.  I wondered what would draw people to go to the same place year after year, but finding your article on the internet has answered those questions.  What a beautiful place!  When this pandemic is over I’ll be booking a trip.  I can’t wait to explore the Santurno Caves.  Thanks for such an informative article.  

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are welcome.  I can truly see why they keep going back. I do that as well with my favorite destinations.  Now if I could win the lottery, I would travel year round to wonderful beach destinations!

      Reply

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