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Transport Options From Varadero Airport

Planning a trip to Varadero, Cuba? I’ve got you covered. If you’re looking for a 48 hour Varadero itinerary (or ...

Planning a trip to Varadero, Cuba? I’ve got you covered. If you’re looking for a 48 hour Varadero itinerary (or longer), I’ve got those. If you’re looking for the best restaurants in Varadero, I’ve listed those too.

Maybe you’re even looking to transfer to Havana or Viñales. Guess what? I’ve covered those options too.

From the moment your feet touch the ground at Juan Gualberto Gómez Airport (also known as Varadero Airport), I will guide you through the various transportation options available to get you from the airport to your resort or other accommodation.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Juan Gualberto Gómez Airport (VRA) airport in Varadero Cuba!

Introduction To Varadero Cuba

Cuba is an enchanting Caribbean island known for its rich history, vibrant culture and stunning beaches. And Varadero, located on the Hicacos Peninsula, is one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations.

Varadero is the largest resort area in Cuba and one of the largest resort zones in the Caribbean. It’s known for its pristine beaches and clear turquoise waters. For those who choose Cuba as the destination for their next holiday, Varadero offers a unique blend of relaxation and adventure.

Upon arrival at Juan Gualberto Gómez Airport, the second-largest airport in Cuba, you’ll definitely be wondering about the best way to get from the airport to the city. The Varadero airport is roughly 30km (19 miles) from Varadero Beach and the resort zone.

Yet fear not! This guide will help you navigate through the various transportation options and ensure a smooth journey from the Varadero airport to the city.

Varadero City Overview

Varadero is a resort town known for its 20-kilometer stretch of white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters. Whether you’re looking to unwind on the beach, indulge in water sports or explore the town’s vibrant nightlife, Varadero has something for everyone.

Juan Gualberto Gómez Airport (VRA) Information

Juan Gualberto Gómez Airport, also known as Varadero Airport, is located about 30 kilometers (19 miles) southwest of Varadero. A trip from the Varadero airport to the city takes roughly 30 minutes by car.

For those people traveling to Havana from Varadero airport, the trip is 118km (74 miles) and takes roughly 2.5 hours in a car.

As the second-largest airport in Cuba, Juan Gualberto Gómez Airport (VRA) serves as a gateway to the most popular beach resorts in the country.

The airport offers several amenities, including currency exchange counters, snack bars and a duty-free shop. Yet I advise all visitors to Cuba not to change money at the airport or buy ‘duty-free’ goods at the airport.

You will get double the exchange rate outside the airport and the ‘duty free’ goods will be a third of the price.

Transport Options from the Airport to the City

There are five (5) ways to get to Varadero from the Juan Gualberto Gómez Airport (VRA). I’ve listed them below based on their ease of use and cost.

The five (5) transport options from the Juan Gualberto Gómez Airport are:

  1. Private Car Transfer (quickest and easiest)
  2. La Nave (Cuba’s version of Uber)
  3. Taxis
  4. Viazul Bus
  5. Private Rental Car (not recommended)

Private Car Transfer from Varadero Airport

The method I use from all airports in Cuba, including the Juan Gualberto Gómez Airport (VRA) in Varadero and the José Martí International Airport (HAV) in Havana, is private airport transfers. Yes, these are available in Cuba.

Privately booked airport transfers are available. The drivers will speak English and will be waiting for you on arrival at the time you have set when booking. The vehicles will be modern, comfortable and have air-conditioning.

The driver will load and unload your luggage and you will be chauffeured in complete comfort from the airport to your accommodation in Varadero.

Cuban Uber – La Nave

If you’ve been to Cuba before and have a functional Cuban mobile SIM card and phone number, you can take a La Nave (Cuba’s Uber) from the airport to Varadero for much cheaper than any other private option.

Payment is in cash in the local Cuban Peso CUP. And a ride from the Juan Gualberto Gómez Airport to your accommodation in Varadero costs roughly $10USD at the current exchange rates.

Taxis at Varadero Airport

Upon exiting the airport, you’ll find a taxi rank where you can hire a taxi to your destination. Rates typically start from $25USD to $30USD for a ride to Varadero town. It’s advisable to confirm the fare and any additional charges such as tolls with the driver, before boarding the taxi.

Taxi’s in Cuba aren’t like taxis everywhere else in the world. They have no meters or fixed pricing. They will make up the price as they go along. And they will want to be paid in foreign currency. They are Government owned and typically won’t accept the local Cuban Peso (CUP).

Coco taxis operate in the city in Varadero, Cuba

Buses from Varadero Airport

Buses offer an economical option for those traveling on a budget. For just €6 (billed in €), you can take a Viazul bus from the Varadero airport to the Viazul bus station in central Varadero. But from the bus station in Varadero you will need to take a taxi to your accommodation.

Viazul tickets can be booked online at www.viazul.wetransp.com and if you take this option, make sure your insurance covers travel delays and your luggage for lost or stolen items.

Car Rental at Varadero Airport

For those who prefer the freedom and convenience of driving, car rental services are available at the airport. Rates depend on the type and class of the vehicle. Yet for safety reasons, I don’t endorse this option in Cuba.

Rental cars in Cuba are expensive. They have haphazard maintenance schedules. And the road conditions in Cuba can be treacherous due to the car sized potholes you will encounter.

I advise all visitors to Cuba to ride (not drive) in a vehicle driven by an experienced Cuban driver who knows where the potholes are. If you do decide to rent a car and drive, have strong insurance that covers you (and the vehicle) in an emergency.

Exploring Varadero – Getting Around in Varadero

Once you’re settled in Varadero, it’s time to explore this amazing destination. You can take a ride in a Coco Taxi, a unique spherical motorized vehicle designed for short trips around town.

Yet I suggest getting a Cuban SIM card and phone number so you can use La Nave, the Cuban Uber. Because La Nave will save you a lot of money on your transport around Varadero.

You can use La Nave to get back to the Juan Gualberto Gómez Airport (VRA) when you’re leaving Cuba. I even use La Nave when I’m leaving from the José Martí International Airport (HAV) in Havana.

If you are using La Nave, or Coco taxi’s to get around Varadero, just don’t forget to take a ride in Cuba’s famous classic cars. Riding around in a restored 1950’s American car is something that should be on everyones itinerary when visiting Cuba.

Visiting Havana from Varadero

While Varadero is a destination in its own right, it’s worth considering a trip to Havana, Cuba’s vibrant capital. With its well-preserved colonial architecture, lively nightlife and unique culinary experiences, Havana offers a contrasting experience to the laid-back beach vibe of Varadero.

I’ve covered all the transport options between Varadero and Havana in detail. But here’s a quick run down of your best options for transfers between Varadero and Havana or Havana and Varadero.

Varadero to Havana Transport Options

Private Car Transfer

Private car transfers provide a comfortable and convenient way to travel from Varadero to Havana. The journey usually takes about 2 hours and 20 minutes. All drivers speak English and the vehicles will be modern, comfortable and have air-conditioning.

Private transfers are the most comfortable, convenient and fastest method to transit between Havana and Varadero.

Viazul Bus Between Varadero and Havana

The Viazul bus offers a budget-friendly option. The journey takes approximately 4 hours and costs €9 (billed in Euro). You can book Viazul bus tickets at www.viazul.wetransp.com. And if you take this option, make sure your travel insurance covers delays and lost luggage or stolen items.

You will be picked up at the Viazul bus station next to the Estadio de Pelota (sports club) in Varadero. And you will be dropped off at the Viazul bus station in the Havana suburb of Vedado, just behind Revolution Square.

La Nave or Taxi

La Nave which is similar to Uber and taxis, offer a more flexible travel option. However, the cost is usually much higher compared to private car transfers or bus transfers.

A better private option between private car transfers and La Nave or a taxi, are private bus transfers. The below transfers are private tour busses operating between Varadero and Havana. They have English speaking staff and will pick you up and drop you off at your hotel.

Car Rental in Cuba

Renting a car gives you the freedom to travel at your own pace. However, you should familiarize yourself with local traffic rules and conditions before setting off. And, once again, I do not recommend this option.

But if you do rent a car and decide to drive to Havana, have change in local CUP for the tolls and travel insurance that covers the vehicle.

Why Visit Havana from Varadero?

Havana, with its historical landmarks, vibrant culture and unique architecture, offers a rich and diverse experience. Whether it’s walking through the historical streets of Old Havana, watching a performance at the Tropicana Cabaret or dining at La Guarida (most famous restaurant in Cuba), Havana has a lot to offer.

48 hours in Havana Cuba
View of El Capitolio from Parque Central in Havana Cuba

Why Visit Varadero from Havana?

From the white sandy beaches and water sports to the historical sites like the Xanadu Mansion and the Varahicacos Ecological Reserve, Varadero offers a completely different experience to Havana.

Varadero Beach from Xanadu Mansion (Dupont House)
Varadero Beach (Playa Varadero) also known as Blue Beach (Playa Azul)

Travel Tips for a Smooth Journey

When landing in Varadero’s Juan Gualberto Gómez Airport (VRA) be sure to have your travel insurance covering Cuba on hand. It’s a requirement under Cuban law that all visitors to Cuba must have travel insurance and they may ask to see it. Make sure to have travel insurance on your packing list.

If you don’t have insurance they will make you buy their own expensive (and useless) Cuban insurance. Also remember that you won’t be able to access most foreign websites, social media and messaging applications without a good VPN.

To ensure a seamless journey, it’s advisable to plan ahead and book your transportation in advance to fit with your itinerary for Cuba. Whether you’re traveling from the airport to the city or from Varadero to Havana, having a clear plan will ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey.

Embarking on a trip to Varadero is an exciting adventure. With this comprehensive guide, I hope to make your journey from the airport to the city and beyond to destinations like Viñales, as smooth and enjoyable as possible.

Happy travels!

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Where Can I Get More Information About Cuba?

I’ve made my Complete Guide To Traveling Cuba available on this website. And I recommend you read it before traveling to Cuba. It will help you navigate Cuba and Cuban society.

My Complete Guide To Cuba will save you a lot of time and a significant amount of money on your trip to Cuba. Cuba is not the sort of destination where you can just arrive unprepared. 

Read the most Complete Guide To Traveling Cuba here.

Kieran Proctor author at inlovelyblue.com and tattoo vagabond.com

About The Author

I’m Kieran and I write & manage ‘In Lovely Blue’. I was born and raised in Brisbane, Australia. I moved to the beautiful and sunny Gold Coast for my undergraduate university studies. Before finally moving to Canberra (the Capital of Australia) to finish my studies and work in the Australian Public Service.

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