Varadero, Cuba – Travel Tips and Things To Do
February 26, 2020
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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.
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