THINGS TO DO IN VARADERO, CUBA
Varadero is situated on a narrow peninsula that boast 11 miles of white-sand beaches and turquoise waters. You can easily be tempted to spend your days lazying around soaking up the sun but Varadero has plenty of other things to offer. And with the streets being laid out in three longitudinal avenues intersected by 69 cross streets, Varadero is easy to navigate.
Ambrosio Cave, commonly known as, The Bat Caves is a cheap and interesting stop. Hop on the open-air double-decker bus to take you to this 250 meter long cave with its' five interconnected galleries and hundreds of bats. There are 72 Rupestrian (aboriginal) paintings on the cave walls that date back over 3000 years.
For 5 CUC, you will be provided with a headlamp and some instructions on following the short path through the dense jungle to the cave entrance. Parts of the cave are lit by the sun coming through an opening in the ceiling.
When finished, just hop back on the bus (the stop is right near Ambrosio Cave) and ride it up and down Varadero strip.
Along the main street, you can find a pleasant park with plenty of activities to keep the kids happy. For a fee ($5), you can use on of the small paddle or peddle boats and float around the lagoon or take a train ride around the park and feed birds as they scurry behind the train. The cost of a train ride that includes handfuls of corn is 1 CUC.
If you want to stay and enjoy the park longer, try one of the four dining options that are set among the lush green oasis of palm trees.
Al Capone’s House
This is a must stop if you love lobster. For $25 US, you get a lobster tail the size of a man's forearm. Plus, you can dine on the patio that touches the white sands and is steps from the blue water. The restaurant is located at the end of the Varadero strip and tours of the house are also available. But to add to the highlight of this iconic home are brief encounters with pelicans; feed them right there from the beach.
Just near the airport lies Saturno Caves. A fun-filled spot to take a dip in the cool waters of a large cave. Take a cab and enjoy jumping and splashing while stalagmites hang overhead. The walkway and stairs down into the cave are safe and well-maintained.
If you plan on booking an excursion through your resort, ask for the Catamaran day-tour. It includes an open-bar on a catamaran, a snorkeling stop, lunch (and an entertaining sight-hermit crab races) on a private island,Cayo Blanco, and a stop to play with dolphins on the way back.
No matter what you choose to do in Varadero, make every day count. Stop in at the markets, try new food, talk to the locals and experience what Cuban life is all about. Just remember to apply sunscreen!
A crocodile experience worth a second glance.
Al Capone's home on Veradero Beach, Cuba. Truth or myth? It is no longer used as a safe-house to bootleg alcohol and has been turned into a restaurant that serves the best and biggest lobster tail in town. (At $25 , it's a bit on the steep-side considering you are in Cuba, but it's a MUST). La Casa de Al is constructed entirely of coral stone which is known to be as tough as granite, light as pumice yet can still be cut with a saw.
Stay tuned for "Eat your Cake and Crocodile too"