Varadero Beach Tour Bus – Varadero Peninsula, Varadero, Cuba

Varadero Beach Tour Bus – Varadero Peninsula, Varadero, Cuba

For those who don’t mind a bit of sunshine and a bit of wind in the face, the Varadero Beach Tour double-decker bus is a great way to see Varadero and the Varadero Peninsula.  Cost is $5CUC ($5US approx) for a ticket good for the whole day and with unlimited on-off privileges. The bus runs about every half hour with multiple stops along the Peninsula and about every three blocks in town.



The bus is a great alternative to the taxi if you have time on your hands. The ride along the 24km peninsula by bus takes a bit longer than the equivalent ride in one of the many vintage cars vying for your business.  For comparison, cab fare is about $1CUC per km but somewhat negotiable and is per cab rather than per person.



The road along the Peninsula is paved for its full length and divided for a significant portion of the distance. Work is presently underway to extend the divided section to a point just beyond the Blau Varadero property. The Blau Varadero with its distinctive sloped appearance is just one of many resorts that can be viewed from the upper deck of the bus. Graeme stayed at the Blau Varadero on one of his three trips to Cuba. Read about his trip here – Blau Veradero, Cuba by Graeme.

Blau Varadero

In many cases, the bus stop is right at the gate to the resort complex while in some other cases, passengers get a bit of a walk to get to and from the stop.



Besides the resorts, there are a few other interesting things to look at or think about while driving along and taking in the sights. You get to see the outside of the Mambo Club, for instance, in case you are planning on a nightclub experience later in the evening or you get to see an old tower which now seems to operate as a base camp for horse back riders.


For those who want to play golf, there is one golf course on the Varadero Peninsula with a generous amount of fairway space and a water hazard or two.



Getting on the first bus or two of the morning can be a bit of a challenge since they fill up quickly but after the stop at the American Plaza and a few more stops at some other resorts, the bus reaches the town of Varadero itself where the primary attractions are the flea markets and handicraft shops selling all sorts of things that tourists might want to take home, a good selection of restaurants, and the never ending variety of taxis and carriages offering to take you for the 3km or so ride from one end of town to the other.



Once the bus has reached the first of the tourist shops, getting a seat on the upper deck is much easier :-).

For my part, this trip was just an exploratory trip since my wife and I planned on coming into town on another day to do the tourist shopping thing. I was more interested in sight -seeing so stayed on the bus and rode the full loop.

I noticed that there were some individuals gathering in an open field so got off the bus to watch a bit of pick-up baseball. I positioned myself behind the catcher so that I could catch any balls that the catcher missed . It was interesting to watch as players of various ages arrived and the ‘team’ composition kept being reorganized on the fly. No sign of the younger players being pushed aside or marginalized as might be the case in some  North American neighborhood games.

The Cubans weren’t sure what to make of me at first but eventually got to like the fact that I was there so that they wouldn’t have to chase balls out onto the roadway. One of the older players invited me to join in on the ‘field’ but I was just as happy to play backstop for the young catcher. Later, they even let me have a swing at the bat and then invited me to hop in their truck and go with them to another location for a real game!


I enjoyed my bit of batting practice but declined the offer for a ride in the truck. Suppertime was approaching and I was expected back at our resort for supper.

I had missed the bus going my way so walked along the main road in town for about half an hour while waiting for the next bus. With all of the vintage taxis to photograph, the time flew by pretty quickly.





Although not as plentiful as the vintage taxis, the availability of horse-drawn transportation to the next destination was always an option.



I got the definite impression that Cuban dogs don’t work as hard as the Cuban horses :-).

As I continued my walk along the street, I was always being surprised at the size of the cactus growing in people’s front and back yards and was also surprised to see what looked to be a relative of our common milkweed towering over my head.


I stopped to chat (broken English/Spanish from both of us) with a Cuban fellow selling very sweet bananas and bought a bunch for later consumption. In my opinion, these small bananas are a far nicer eating variety than what we normally get in the grocery store. I can now say that I have enjoyed eating them in many countries including these ones in Cuba and a red-skinned variety of similar size in Africa.

It was beginning to get late in the day and I was beginning to wonder when the bus might be arriving.  Of course, since I was walking along the street in the same direction as the bus was traveling, each block that I walked added to the time that it would take for the bus to get to me. So, I just kept walking and photographing cars until the bus finally arrived and I was on my way home. It felt nice to have a seat after all that walking and baseball :-).





When the construction cranes at the end of the peninsula came into view I knew that I would be in time for supper.  After a day in town, I was getting hungry!





About Ron

Ron has long had an interest in photography and traveling and, in recent years, has had more time to devote to both activities. Long a Pentax user, Ron switched to Nikon gear when he went digital. The advent of the digital SLR camera, and the ease of the internet blogging process, has provided a venue for sharing his photography and travel experience at the local, national and international level. More about Ron
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