Caribbean,  Cuba,  Travel Guides,  Varadero

Varadero, Cuba – Travel Tips and Things To Do

Travel information for Varadero, Cuba 

* as of 2013

Although many people stay on the property of their all-inclusive resort while visiting Cuba, here are some suggestions for you if you plan to venture out.

Things to bring:

  • You NEED to carry a letter from a travel insurance company verifying that we have travel health insurance!
  • Bring a Photocopy of your passport to leave at front desk and to use equipment instead of actual passport (Critical).
  • Bring Canadian currency (NOT US$).
  • Bring your own large cups or insulated mugs.
  • Bring a fly swatter, pillow covers, wash cloths, and air freshener for the room.
  • Bring your own Snorkel and Mask (theirs is dirty), Power Converter and Adapter (they have 220v euro plugs), travel clock, sunscreen, mosquito repellent, and inflatable ball.
  • Bring lots of extra shampoo, conditioner, soap, and toothpaste, cosmetics, toys, and kids clothes & sweaters to use as tips (more valuable than money).
  • Bring a power adaptor for your electronics. Some resorts have do not provide North American outlets and power supply.

Tips for the town of Varadero:

  • Go to Club Kiki for pizza or El Sangria for seafood dinner in town.
  • Take the double-decker tourist bus for 5 CUC to the end of the peninsula and back.  Also, you can use the free hotel shuttle bus or the “hop on, hop off” bus around all Varadero for 5 CUC.
  • They also have cool looking “Coco Taxis” that basically look like a yellow coconut built on top of a motorcycle.
  • You can rent scooters to drive around.
  • Shop at the Americania store (Plaza Americanos?) & buy the honey.
  • Look for artisan craft markets.
  • Go to Parque Retiro Josone for a nice walk, restaurants, a few locals selling things, colourful birds, kids activities, amusement park, and live salsa music in the evenings.
  • Go to the Varadero museum on Saturdays for free Cuban music & kids activities.
  • Go to Casa de la Cultura Los Corales for local music and art
  • BUY CIGARS!!!

Activities and Day Trips from Varadero:

  • Find the representative of the Cuban tourist board on duty in the hotel because they will tell you where to find better rates on things like excursions.  You can get a car and driver for the whole day for $200 to show you around Havana and take you to the cigar factory.
  • Do a day trip to Havana (if cheap).  Go for music, Havana Carnival, artisans market, food (ex. Cubano sandwich) and architecture.  You can tour a cigar factory on the way to Havana.
  • Visit Ambrosio’s Cave to see 72 rupestrian drawings-one of the largest collection of Indian pictographs in the Caribbean islands & lots of bats (entrance 3 pesos pp)
  • The show and “swim with the dolphins” activity in the Delfinario in Varadero was great. It was especially good for kids.
  • The Cactus Patriarch is a huge cactus (600 years old).
  • The bridge across the ‘Yumuri Valley’ is breathtaking.

Negative comments about Varadero:

  • There is a strong smell coming from the petroleum refinery.
  • In town, you are not allowed to bring a purse or bag into most stores.
  • People are very poor in Cuba and will ask you for your towel or sunglasses and will even ask you to go into your hotel and bring them out a drink. “Where are you from” is their opening line and you will be asked this several times a day so prepare you response beforehand.
  • Don’t give large bills (they sometimes try to short-change you).
  • The food in Cuba generally does not taste or look good to Canadians and it is nothing like the Cuban food in Miami.

 

Happy Travels,

Kev

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