Need some help getting from Havana to Varadero in Cuba?
In this guide, I’ll show you the most effective way to get to Varadero.
Many travelers to Cuba have heard about Varadero and some know it as one of the most tourist beach destinations in Cuba.
Popular with Canadians you can easily arrive here from Havana. Let’s look at exactly how.
It’s worth noting that there are numerous ways to get to Varadero from Havana. All depending on your time, budget, and overall needs.
As a backpacker and cultural traveler in Latin America, I like to know all the methods.
In this special guide, I have created, though, I’m going to cover the three main methods of using public transport that is suitable for all travelers to Cuba.
Getting From Havana to Varadero
It’s true what they say. Varadero is very much a tourist attraction in Cuba but you can quickly connect with locals and acquainted yourself with everyday life in this windy beach town.
The distance from Havana to Varadero is approximately 140 km and the scenery along the way is very pleasing to the eye so ensure you have a decent camera at hand.
If you’ve read my guide to planning a trip to Cuba you’ll know so many of the other places you can visit on the island. As you’ll get further in the province of Matanzas you’ll pass delights such as Yumurí Valley and Bacunayagua Bridge.
How far is Varadero from Havana?
Using the map of Cuba below you can get a rough idea of how the journey traveling from Havana looks.
Where ever you travel, even if it is back from Varadero to Havana I recommend you travel during the morning hours. The earlier the better.
How far is Havana from Varadero? As you can see on the map above google estimates this journey to be 145km so you can expect this journey to take around 3 hours.
All my travel in Cuba was done first thing in the morning. Also, even though it can be quite difficult to achieve in Cuba, I tried to have a good idea of where I was going to stay when I arrived.
With that in mind, at least when you arrive in Varadero, you’ll have some idea about where to stay. This will be normal for you when trip planning for Cuba.
Havana to Varadero Travel Advice
Before you take any public transport in Cuba there are some crucial things you should know.
I will list below some tips to help you get familiar with traveling around Cuba. My wish is for you to feel as comfortable as possible no matter which mode of transport you take to get to Varadero from Havana.
Here are some crucial things you’ll need to know:
- A shared taxi collectivo costs around 20-25 CUC
- The journey should take around 3 hours
- Private Taxi will be the most comfortable
Not so important but useful things to know:
- Carry a bottle water and snacks with you
- Best to book the Viazul bus a day or two in advance
- Remember that 25 Peso Cubano is equal 1 CUC
These practical tips should give you something to think about before you decide which mode of transport to take.
Backpacking in Cuba I had found five different ways to get to Varadero using public transport. As I mentioned earlier, which you decide to take will depend on your requirements.
My goal here is to help you make the right decision. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the main methods below.
Bus – Viazul
If you have already done any travel in Cuba, you’ll know that Viazul is the main company for transporting tourists around the island.
You’ll find that the bus stops various times along the way, so I looking for speed this is not the fastest method. The great thing about using Viazul’s service is that you can reserve your tickets online.
Taxi – Colectivo
I don’t mind traveling with others on the road. In fact, whilst in Cuba, it was how I made friends along the way. Talking a Colectivo or (shared taxi) in Cuba is quite normal.
This is a great way to get from Havana to Varadero, especially if doing solo travel in Cuba. This method allows you to split the cost of the taxi fare with others.
Bear in mind, though, if traveling in the evening the cost of the Colectivo can cost more. Ask your host about Colectivos if in doubt. You can also find them outside most bus Viazul bus stations looking for extra passengers.
Taxi – Private
Traveling in a private taxi is most likely the quickest way to get to Varadero from Havana. You can find a private taxi all over the city and they are easy to flag down.
With the Colectivo taxis, you can arrange them through your Casa Particular, or, hotel if you prefer to use a state-run taxi.
Let’s suppose you want to travel in sheer style, this is how to do it. Expect to pay anything from 90 to 130$CUC in a private taxi(the yellow ones).
This is a great way to fit in personalized stops and extra detours that you may want to check out. The journey should take around 2 hours in total.
Train – Le Coubre Station
A less popular method with most tourists but one of the most adventurous ways to get from Varadero from Havana. The train is also the longest out of the three options but works out the cheapest.
All you have to do is visit the Le Coubre Station located in Havana to purchase your ticket. There’s a great site that explains everything about catching the trains in Cuba which you get the relevant information from.
Varadero – Where to Stay
To know exactly where you’re going to stay in advance whilst in Cuba can be challenging. Luckily over the years and thanks to platforms like Airbnb, it has become easier to reserve accommodation ahead of time.
I’ve listed a few great options for places to stay in Varadero that you may want to check out.
- Beautiful Family House
- Roof Top For Relaxing
- Awesome Breakfast
Want a more local experience whilst in Varadero? Check out Papo’s house. It’s in a great location close to the beach and many restaurants.
Things to do in Varadero
We all know that Varadero is one of the largest beach resorts in the Caribbean and Cuba’s most popular tourist destination. But, let’s take a quick look at some things to do in Varadero for when you arrive.
It is highly likely that if you are visiting Cuba that you want to acquaint yourself with some of the best beaches in Cuba.
Varadero Beach is just incredible. Expect white sand and crystal blue water. If you like swimming in the sea you can safely swim out and see hundreds of fishes.
Carry some durable flip-flops, though, as you’ll find the sand get so hot your bare feet can hardly touch it during peak times in the day, especially if traveling to Cuba in July or August.
Thinking of doing some type of tour in Varadero? You’ll likely see the Saturno Cave up on the itinerary. This is because it’s a spectacular landmark to visit.
You’ll walk around 100 footsteps into a crevasse to get to a beautiful blue pool that lies at the bottom of the cave. You can also do scuba diving too. Saturno Cave is not to be missed if you’re looking for the best things to do in Varadero.
House of Rum
You read it correctly! In Varadero, you’ll find Casa de Ron which is an idealistic pitstop for anyone that likes or loves to drink rum. The perfect place to come if you want to buy rum as a gift for relatives.
Even if you’re not an avid rum drinker you’ll find there’s a lot to learn about rum. Here you’ll get the chance to taste test different rums and they’ll even explain the whole rum-making process as you taste.
This attraction in Varadero is for people who want to learn about the history and culture of Cuba as they travel.
The Varadero Museum is not your typical museum, more so a typical beach house built in the 1920s. Similar to the Constructed with all wood there are very few structures like this left on the island.
If you’re interested in architecture and want to have a rest from the beach this house is worth a visit.
Travel Insurance for Cuba
Whilst traveling around Cuba using public transport it’s wise to be insured.
I always recommend backpackers and travelers (no matter who you are) use World Nomads Insurance for fully comprehensive cover.
If you are traveling to Varadero soon, you can get a Get A Free Quote by clicking the link or the image above and filling out your details – that way you’ll get instant cover from the exact date that you choose.
On many occasions World Nomads has provided me with reliable insurance cover for travel in the Caribbean and the rest of the world.
Maybe you need to know how to get to Varadero from Havana? You can take the same advice above and apply it to Varadero.
You’ll find that when you are Varadero that the prices are higher than Havana for most things. So when traveling from Varadero to Havana, even though the prices should roughly be the same, you may find they are slight elevated in some cases.
Havana to Varadero
So, no matter how you decide to get to Varadero from Havana this simple guide should have provided you with some ideas on how you can get there.
No need to plan too far in advance to make this trip possible, however, if traveling by bus, bear in mind there are many travelers trying to get to Varadero.
Travel safely and enjoy the ride.
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