Considered by many as the world’s most beautiful beach, Varadero is part of a peninsula that stretches far out into the calm waters of the Atlantic. Its 21-kilometre strip of fine white sand is an ideal vacation spot for sun-lovers, water babies and golfers. The beautiful Varahicacos Reserve offers wonderful fauna and flora, and a few archaeological findings.
If you also have a craving for art, history and culture then head to the nearby cities of Cárdenas and Matanzas, the provincial capital. Nature seekers will be delighted with the Zapata Biosphere Reserve which is famous for its ecotourism and history.
- Round trip airfare to Varadero
- 7 nights all-inclusive hotel at your choice below
- Round trip transfers from airport to hotel and hotel to airport
Calgary & Edmonton
Air, 7 nights all-inclusive hotel and transfers
Sep 20-Oct 25: $955-$1065 + $430 tax (Sol Palmeras; 3.5-star)
Sep 20-Oct 25: $915-$1095 + $430 tax (Iberostar Bella Vista; 4-star)
Sep 20-Oct 25: $1395-$1495 + $430 tax (Royalton Hicacos; 4-star) Adults Only
Nov 2-Dec 7: $845-$955 + $430 tax (Melia Las Antillas; 4-star) Adults only
Nov 2-Dec 7: $1075-$1235 + $430 tax (Paradisus Varadero or Paradisus Princessa; 4-star)
Air, 14 nights all-inclusive hotel and transfers
Sep 20-Oct 25: $1655 + $430 tax (Sol Palmeras; 3.5-star)
Sep 20-Oct 25: $1925 + $430 tax (Iberostar Bella Vista; 4-star)
Sep 20-Oct 25: $2545 + $430 tax (Royalton Hicacos; 4-star) Adults Only
Nov 2-Dec 7: $1575-$1755 + $430 tax (Melia Las Antillas; 4-star) Adults only
Nov 2-Dec 7: $2035-$2235 + $430 tax (Paradisus Varadero or Paradisus Princessa; 4-star)
The temperature varies between 25 and 27C. Coral reefs create a barrier producing gentle waves and breezes. Sunny days and pleasant tropical climate allow the beach season to extend throughout the year.
Cuba voltage is 110V, Canadian devices use 120 V and will work with 110 V. Many resorts have 120 V plugs. For older devices, items using motors or heating (heated beauty tools, electric toothbrushes) and three prong plugs we recommend bringing an adaptor with voltage conversion.
Cuba has two official currencies: the Cuban convertible peso (CUC) and the Cuban national peso (CUP, also known as moneda nacional). Transactions involving foreigners almost always take place in CUCs. You should familiarize yourself with the CUP, since it is a common scam for merchants to give change in CUP instead of CUC. The CUC is worth substantially more than the CUP.
Accessing funds in Cuba
Canadians often encounter problems accessing funds while in Cuba. Debit cards and money transfers are not widely accepted in Cuba. Credit cards issued by U.S. financial institutions, such as American Express, and some credit cards issued by Canadian financial institutions affiliated with U.S. banks, are not accepted. Other credit cards are generally accepted at major establishments such as state-run banks, hotels and restaurants and international resort chains. You may be charged a credit card fee by local businesses. Private restaurants (paladares) and private guest houses (casas particulares) do not accept credit cards of any kind. Credit card cash advances (in CUCs) may be obtained at banks, hotels or a state-run cadeca (exchange house).
ABMs are rare and do not always work in Cuba. In Havana, cash advances in CUCs from Visa cards can be obtained from ABMs located in a Metropolitan bank, the Miramar Trade Centre and in some hotels and stores. In Varadero, ABMs are located in the Plaza America and at banks. If you use an ABM, do so during business hours at a location inside a bank or large commercial building. Leave copies of your card numbers with a family member in case of emergency.
Most foreign currencies can be exchanged at cadecas, found in Cuba’s international airports and in urban areas, as well as in banks and major hotels. Canadian currency (cash and traveller’s cheques) may be exchanged for CUC without fees. American Express traveller’s cheques are accepted at certain banks and some hotels. Keep receipts for traveller’s cheques.
Exchange of U.S. currency is possible, but is subject to a 10-percent fee.
It is not possible to exchange CUCs outside of Cuba. It is against Cuban law to remove CUCs from Cuba. They can be exchanged for any available hard currency, such as Canadian or U.S. dollars, (if available) at international airports before leaving the country.