Whilst having a base on holiday means somewhere to lay your head on the beach, you know which restaurants to go to, and shopping is easy, it’s always a good idea to head out on a few [a href=“http://www.debbiescaribbeanresortreviews.com/debbie_meets/115_travel_article_caribbean.html”]excursions[/a] specially if weather is not the best. If you know some other [a href=“http://www.debbiescaribbeanresortreviews.com/debbie_meets/115_travel_article_caribbean.html”]excursions offered form Varadero[/a] please comment in this thread and if you are interested to know more about excursions in Varadero please read our latest article http://www.debbiescaribbeanresortreviews.com/debbie_meets/115_travel_article_caribbean.html
we did two half day excursions in Varadero: we did the snorkeling in the ocean (the day I learned that face masks and beards don’t do well together); followed by a swim at Saturno cave. We also did the jetski excursion, which was enjoyable and we saw wild dolphins swimming nearby. Both excursions were on a bus and were fun, and we were back in time for lunch.
@hfxjohn do you remember how much did you pay for excursions in Varadero so that others who wish to go can know approximately how much it will cost for half day excursion?
It was in 2011, and I have a hard time remebering what I paid for lunch today. The jetskis might have been 40-50 cuc for the two of us (on one jetski) and 30-40 cuc each for the snorkeling/saturno cave. The cave was great, particularly since I’m more of a floater than a swimmer.
the water was about 20 celcius, (much too cold to swim in said the Cubans), it was about 45 celcius outside, very refreshing.
On our last trip to Cuba we did an excursion from Varadero to Havana. We arranged travel and accommodation through http://www.cubaccommodation.com/ They provided the car, 85 cuc each way, and we also selected a casa through them, http://casadaniahabana.com/ 30 cuc for the one night. We did a self guided tour using Loneyplanet guide and http://www.7daysinparadise.com/smf/index.php?topic=6052.0
For 200 cuc it was a great trip.
As I had a rental car that weekend at Varadero we did a self tour of the Yumuri valley area inland and west from Matanzas. Stopped at the Hotel Horizontes Casa del Valle and had cold drinks, pool looked clean and the hotel would have been worth staying at as a base for hiking and biking in the area. Most of the guests at Casa del Valle hotel were Cuban families.
Driving through the valley we stopped at one of the large dams and talked with local fishermen about what was biting. Carried on to the town of Jibacoa and bought some honey and fruit along the way. Got back on the Via Blanca Havana to Varadero highway at Santa Cruz, stopped at Breezes Jibacoa but security wouldn’t let us in to check out the resort, stopped in Matanzas for snacks and cold drinks and then back to Varadero for supper.
Most of the valley is small farms and villages connected by narrow farm roads with little traffic perfect for biking and with some native forested areas with hiking trails. Local farmers are friendly and we got invited to visit several farm yards. Nice break from the beach and tourist hustle of Varadero.
As I recall there was an organized Yumuri Valley bus tour offered by some of the hotels, but we are more into diy.
Sounds like a nice day out flygt.
These tours/prices aren’t completely up-to-date, but they’re fairly accurate…
Cubatur Varadero Holiday Planner
Colonial Havana - Visit the most famous city in the Caribbean and the heart of Cuba. This tour covers both the Colonial and modern Havana. Free time for shopping. Lunch included.
Adult 67CUC Child 51CUC
Havana Special - Visit the most famous city in the Caribbean and the heart of Cuba, plus the famous Tropicana show in Cuba. Change of clothes is required. No jeans, sneakers or sandals.
Adult Only 135CUC
Three Cities Tour - City tour of Cienfuegos on the way to Trinidad. Make a short visit to its Central Park. Visit the Monument City of Trinidad, declared World Heritage by UNESCO. Visits to the Municipal Museum, “Palacio Cantero” the Romantic Museum and La Canchanchara bar, with its typical cocktail made from sugar cane. Lunch at Santa Ana Restaurant. Visit to the Che monument.
Adult 89CUC Child 67CUC
Nature Tour Jeep Safari - Spend a day exploring the countryside. Pick up at your hotel by jeep. Snorkeling and swimming in the Saturn cave and at Coral Beach. Cruise down the beautiful Canimar River will give you a chance to observe the birds and vegetation, time for aqua rays. Included activities such as horseback riding, canoeing. Sightseeing tour of Matanzas and the “City of Bridges”.
Adult 73CUC Child 55CUC
Rio Canimar Back to Nature - A full day adventure - snorkeling in the Saturn Cave and at Coral Beach. Horseback riding and canoeing along the river, with time to relax in a hammock. Cruise down the beautiful Canimar River will give you a chance to observe the birds and vegetation of the region. Sightseeing tour of Matanzas, “City of Bridges”, flea market and liberty park. Lunch included.
Adult 55CUC Child 42CUC
Tropicana Varadero - A night out at the famous Tropicana Varadero, for a spectacular show similar to the Tropicana Havana but closer to your hotel. Dancing, music and fabulous costumes. Free welcome cocktail. Transportation included.
Adult 49CUC Child 34CUC
Seafari Crucero Del Sol - A lazy day, Catamarn cruising. Snorkeling at an amazing coral reef and a visit to a secluded island. Time for photos with dolphins. Lunch, open bar, equipment included.
Adult 99CUC Child 49CUC
Swimming with Dolphins - Daily departures from hotels. Please book early as there is limited space. An unforgetable experience - you will be picked up at your hotel and taken to the dolphinarium to see the Dolphin Show and afterwards, swim with the dolphins. This tour is very popular, so book early in your vacation as possible to avoid disappointment.
Adult Swim 89CUC Child Swim 67CUC Show Only 15CUC
Havana Colonial with Cigar Factory - Visit the most famous city in the Caribbean and the heart of Cuba. This tour covers both Colonial and modern Havana. Free time for shopping, including a visit to a cigar factory. Lunch included.
Adult 85CUC Child 64CUC
Matanzas and Bellamar Cave - Spend an afternoon exploring these beautiful natural caves. The oldest and deepest caves in Cuba with stalagmites and stalactites and rare fossils in its many underground tunnels. A city tour of Matanzas is also included.
Adult 25CUC Child 20CUC
Boat Adventure - Ride an aquaray for about two hours through the mangroves lagoons, visiting a small zoo with flamingoes, crocodiles and other local animal life. This price is for sharing an aquaray. Ask your rep about supplement if you dont want to share.
Canopy Tour - Canopy Tour is the latest exciting activity to hit life. Fly from platforms high above the jungle floor on zip lines - its like you’re a monkey swinging in the trees. This canopy tour is the hottest ticket in the area so you’ll want to make sure to reserve in advance. Time for swimming in San Juan river. Lunch included.
Adult 89CUC Child 67CUC
Caribbean Day - the perfect combination of culture, nature and adventure. Crossing the country from north to south. Amazing snorkeling in the Caribbean, visit a crocodile breeding farm and a replica of an Indian village. Boat adventure, visit of a typical Cuban farm plus included activites such a horseback riding, canoeing and fresh water fishing.
Adult 89CUC Child 67CUC
Space - limited.
Payment - Payment can be made in CUC, travelers cheques, Visa Card . Please note that only tours booked through your representative will have the backing of the company. Please do not book tours through tour desks or any other companies in the hotel, as in the case of any problems, this company will not be able to assist you. Please also be aware that any tours offered to you through hotel staff at reduced prices are illegal and you should definately not purchase them.
Refunds - Refunds; cancellations prior to 24 hrs. 100%. Less than 24 hrs., must speak with a representative.
Children - Childrens discounts may apply, see representative for details.
Lunch - All day tours include lunch.
Clothing - Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. For boat tours, remember to bring your swimwear, sunscreen and towels.
Tips - Tips are not compulsory, but it is a nice gesture. Lunch included.
For basic day trips or overnights from Varadero to Havana I would highly recommend dumping the resort tour bus excursion thus missing out being herded like sheep all day and instead go for a private tour operator.
Get a small group to share a taxi or minibus and have a dedicated guide and driver. Much, much more fun in my opinion.
I was reading on another website, someone wanted to have a day trip from Varadero to Havana and only wanted to see the cigar factory and Havana club shop; long way for just that.
Yes, going all that distance just for a cigar factory tour and to visit a rum store seems a little nuts, but to each their own.
Here’s some suggestion for individual or small group guided tours or for any other arrangements you need to make…
The list goes on and on…
[quote=@flygt5150] Nice break from the beach and tourist hustle of Varadero.
Looks like you had relaxing time and good quality time spend outside of the resort. I remember my first time in Varadero I took Havana tour and I kinda wanted to spend my time on the beach. For the first timers in Cuba that love beach is not easy to decide and spend full day outside of the resort. I found out that more I travel to Cuba I spend more time outside and taking private or organized tours. Thanks for sharing your experience!
I’ve done a few excursions, can’t really remember prices. So I’ve been to Cuba two whole times, and I’m pleased with what I’ve done so far.
Havana/Tropicana tour. It was the not-quite-full-day trip. I thought it very worthwhile. We saw bits of Old and New Havana, the flea market (I would skip this or use the time to grab a snack), stopped for a mojito at McSomebody’s bar, the Nacional Hotel, the memorial, and at that time, the Capitolio was closed for renos, so we just looked at it from a-near. We had dinner at Rodney’s (chicken leg, but pretty good!) and then on to the show. The show was pretty amazing, and the nibbles and rum and coke were really enjoyable.
Catamaran trip to Cayo Blanco, no dolphins. Snorkeling was nice, similar to Cozumel (where we have visited more). Boat was uncrowded and really just nice to be on the water. Lunch was delicious and plentiful and the bar was open. You did have to pay for pina coladas, but they were the best I had on the island so far. I can’t remember if they were one peso or three. I think that trip is $75 CUC.
Buena Vista Social Club in Varadero. AMAZING. Crummy theatre, reminiscent of a high school auditorium, but the band was amazing. We had one original dude performing. I would do this again. It was only $30 something.
The sugar cane tour/train ride. It was I think $45 CUC, half day. Short bus ride to Cardenas where you go to the old sugar plantation. It is explained how sugar is planted and grown, and how the guys would cut it etc. Then you get a tour of the mill, you are given some guarapo (with or without rum) to sip, then you’re presented two bottles of rum or a bag of candy if you’re a kid, THEN you go for a ride through the countryside on a steam train. I thought it very enjoyable and educational, and just the right length of time. Do bring water and a hat, as you’re outside in the sun a lot.
@cheersterry that is great list of excursions with prices listed thanks for sharing! @desmei it is amazing that you had privilege to go and see Buena Vista Social Club in Varadero. Sometimes great musicians form Cuba come and play in Canada during Jazz festival or Luminato festival. I was able to go and see live Eliades Ochoa from Buena Vista Social Club for free in one of those festivals here in Canada.
^^Oh, I forgot to mention! After the train ride, you are taken to a museum in the centre of Cardenas, by the square with the Columbus memorial. You have half an hour to check out the museum, or wander around, have a beer, etc. I was very democratic: I did 15 minutes in the museo, and 15 wandering around near the square. I stuck close by, though as I was on my own and getting stared at a lot. LOL I didn’t want to end up in an awkward situation with my minimal Spanish. Cardenas is a really beautiful little town–very few cars, lots of horses and buggies.