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Varadero Airport

Since our last visit to this area was 1977!, and then we landed in Havana, we have never been to the Varadero airport. ( going to Breezes Jibacoa).
How is it for currency exchange?
and is there a VIP lounge? and how is that? ( for return flight only)
thanks , to those who have gone before us…
:slight_smile:
Karen and Marty

As for the exchange we have never used it coming into Varadero, but I heard not to use it to exchange your money back on the way home, we used the VIP lounge last year it was good nice and relaxing clean washrooms, met some great people from out west

there is a government run money exchange at the airport in Varadero, it is in the departure area but you can access it after you get your luggage out of the arrival side.

Sorry I was talking about the exchange upstairs :-[

The exchange on the way out (changing CUC to CDN) is a bit of a rip-off but I get the impression it’s that way everywere - moral of the story? SPEND ALL YOUR CUC!!

I didn’t exchange in the airport since there are many places at/near the resorts in Varadero.

OR - keep your CUC for the next trip!

When we were last there the money exchange on the ground floor wasn’t available from the arrivals level (although there is a window there) but if you walk outside and back into the departure side it’s always open.

[quote=@kharmar]Since our last visit to this area was 1977!, and then we landed in Havana, we have never been to the Varadero airport. ( going to Breezes Jibacoa).
How is it for currency exchange?
and is there a VIP lounge? and how is that? ( for return flight only)
thanks , to those who have gone before us…
:slight_smile:
Karen and Marty[/quote]

LOL…how times have changed, huh. Remember, you got off the plane out on the tarmac and that first blast of tropical heat just wilted all the winterized Canadians ? ;D ;D. I’ll never forget my first sight of armed soldiers on the roof of the airport :o :o and thinking, okay, just why did we decide to visit Cuba? ::slight_smile: Never regretted that trip (Xmas/New Years 1978) :D.

As for the VIP lounge at Varadero, IMO, some of the best money we have spent in Cuba. It really is a great refuge and you do get VIP treatment right from check-in (no waiting in lines) through paying your exit fee and going through Customs to drinks and snacks (included in price) in a very comfortable lounge. For smokers, there is a separate room. Big, comfy, leather chairs and sofas. Out of Breezes Jibacoa, we have reserved with our tour rep and been met at the airport by another tour rep and VIP person who takes you in hand. Makes leaving the country so comfortable and worry free. For us, anyway, it’s the only way to go :slight_smile:

I usually exchange my Cdn for CUC when we arrive in Varadero. As mentioned, you have to get your bags and exit the arrivals area. Turn left and go into the Departures area. We have arrived as late as midnight and it has been open. The exchange rate has always been exactly the same as at the resort, although I’ve never exchanged off the resort - sounds like it might be cheaper but less handy. I find it handy to exchange there so I have change for the beer guy in the parking lot (one of my favourite Cubans!) and for the baggage guys at the resort. Every trip, I intend to hang onto some CUC’s for the next trip; never happens - there’s always one more person who I really want to tip. Always go home flat broke!

I agree that the VIP Lounge is a great treat on departure.

(I think it’s pretty much a useless rip-off on arrival though. It offers no real advantage, and in fact may open you up to hassles at Customs.)

Thanks everyone, thats really helpful information…
:slight_smile:
Steff, you made me smile remembering that landing at Havana in Feb/77… plane had to make sure there were no trains on the track crossing the runway… and my kids have curly hair and we got that blast of hot air, and their hair immediately curled up!
My husband had long hair and a beard then, and we had one suitcase with diapers. of course, we were held up at customs, they were totally baffled by the diapers. and my daughter was on my passport…no one spoke English,… so the whole bus had to wait for us.
Then the ride with a crazy bus driver who drove at the speed of light!
LOL
and the soldiers… it was kinda cool…
I remember it was $689.00 each for two weeks at the Kawama…
ahhh
Karen

We went VIP this year we didn’t go threw our rep at resort we went with the one at the airport, the look on the faces of people we went ahead of in line was kinda of funny, but it was well worth it, will do it again next trip, as for the exchange we brought CUC home with us, so we are ready for our next trip

Thanks for the info on the VIP lounge. We always do it at Holguin and love it.
Steff, do you off hand remember the cost? It usually is around 20 CUC’s each.
We book with the rep… though in May, the reps in Holguin were “boycotting” booking the VIP lounge, due to some financial issues… so we paid cash when we got there…
( I hope they have that little problem sorted out by now! G)
Karen :slight_smile:

[quote=@kharmar]
Steff, do you off hand remember the cost? It usually is around 20 CUC’s each.
Karen :)[/quote]

Karen, I don’t think the price has changed :slight_smile:

[quote=@martian]I agree that the VIP Lounge is a great treat on departure.

(I think it’s pretty much a useless rip-off on arrival though. It offers no real advantage, and in fact may open you up to hassles at Customs.)[/quote]

Wow, I didn’t even know it was available for arrivals. I don’t think I’d waste my money on it. I actually enjoy the excitement of the arrivals lounge.

[quote=@kharmar]

I remember it was $689.00 each for two weeks at the Kawama…
ahhh
Karen[/quote]

;D ;D…yeah, even out of Vancouver for 2 weeks at Christmas it was a steal. Mind you, back then all you got was the very basics in accommodations, few tours but, you got that incredible beach with hardly anyone on it. Varadero airport certainly brought many changes to that resort town.
Steffie

Can someone please verify if these directions to the Cadeca/money exchange are accurate? Going by this, does this mean you clear Cuban customs and are on your way out? or can you exchange money before getting your luggage?

After customs and baggage claim.

Tom