how to go from havana to varadero

How to Go from Havana to Varadero [+ Varadero to Havana]

Most visitors traveling to Varadero head here because of the beaches, which are white sand (and sometimes pink) beaches, and for the crystal clear turquoise waters. There are luxury all-inclusive resorts, hotels directly on the beaches, watersports, golfing, lively nightlife, and also stunning nature reserves nearby.   This guide covers you whether you’re going from Havana to Varadero or Varadero to Havana as you’ll need to know the best way to travel between these two locations.  There are several options for transport between Havana and Varadero, but what’s the best way to go from Havana to Varadero?  And what are the options for traveling to Varadero from Havana?  Here’s our guide on how to get to Varadero from Havana.

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Travel Tips for Exploring Cuba

Where is Varadero

Varadero the number one beach resort in Cuba is 36 kilometers (22 miles) from Matanzas, and it is 140 kilometers (87 miles) from Havana to Varadero. Varadero is on the Peninsula de Hicacos and it is the closest point in Cuba to the United States.

How to Go from Havana to Varadero – Transport Options

In this guide on how to go from Havana to Varadero, we’ll cover the fastest way to travel go from Havana to Varadero, the easiest way to go to Varadero from Havana, and the cheapest way to get to Varadero from Havana, as well as the most iconic way to get to Varadero from Havana.  Our guide to Varadero is here.

How to get to Varadero from Havana

For transport from Varadero to Havana, then you have several options.  You can take a bus from Havana to Varadero, you can also take a shared shuttle service to Varadero from Havana.  You can also (sometimes) take the train part of the way from Havana to Varadero.  You can take a taxi to Varadero from Havana, or you can make your trip special and take a classic car from Havana to Varadero, or you can take a shared Cuban taxi, a colectivo to Varadero from Havana.  The final option on how to go to Varadero from Havana is to rent a car and drive yourself there.

Most visitors to Varadero come for the beaches, the Peninsula de Hicacos, on which Varadero is located is 18.6 miles (30 kilometers) long and most of this length are beaches.  There are 13 miles (22 kilometers) of beach here.

The quickest way to go to Varadero from Havana is to take a pre-arranged transfer. They’ll pick you (and your luggage) up from either your hotel or casa particular and drop you at your hotel or casa particular in Varadero. You can book a private transfer to Varadero from Havana here.

Taxi from Havana to Varadero

Taking a private taxi to Varadero from Havana is one of the fastest ways to go to Varadero.  It is the most comfortable way to travel. It takes about 2 hours to drive to Varadero from Havana, depending on where you are leaving from in Havana.  You can check prices for Havana to Varadero taxis here.

There are three ways of organizing a taxi to Varadero from Havana

  1. You can prebook one here and pay (safely) online ahead of time – with cancellation up to 24 hours before travel.
  2. You can ask your hotel or Casa Particular owner to book one for you.  It will be *about* the same price as what you pay online, but you will need to pay in cash.  US dollars, Euros, Canadian dollars or Pounds Sterling will likely be accepted, but you should check.
  3. Find a taxi on the street near where you are staying and negotiate with them, this might be slightly cheaper than the other options.  Or it might not. It depends on your negotiation skills.

The most iconic way to go from Havana to Varadero

The most iconic way to travel to Varadero from Havana is to go in a classic car.  You should be aware, however, that this will not be as comfortable as a modern car and it may not have air conditioning.  You can check out classic car trips to Varadero here.  It may also take a little longer to travel the distance to Varadero from Havana as the speed of the car is likely to be a little slower.

Take a Day Trip from Havana to Varadero

If your time in Havana is limited and you just want to visit Varadero for the day, then you can take a day trip to Varadero from Havana.  The easiest way to do this is to prebook – you’ll get an air-conditioned car that picks you up from your Havana accommodation and takes you to the main tourist areas in Varadero, as well as a few more stops along the way.  There are more details about what you’ll see here.  You can also book this trip and cancel up to 24 hours before travel in case of issues.

Shared Shuttles from Havana to Varadero

You can now book a shared taxi or shared shuttle from Havana to Varadero.  The length of time this takes depends on where you are picked up from in Havana, how many other pick-ups there are, and where you’re all going to in Varadero, but it won’t be much longer than a private transfer.  The cost will also depend on how many are going.  You can lock in a price for a shared transfer from Havana to Varadero here.

You can also find a shared colectivo from Havana to Varadero.  The best place to do this is near the Viazul Bus station in Havana.

Bus from Havana to Varadero

The Viazul Bus is one of the best ways to go from Havana to Varadero.  However (and there are always “howevers” in Cuba), buses leave the bus station in Havana, which is near the Plaza de Revolucion, so you will have to consider getting there from your accommodation in Havana.  You must also check in 1 hour in advance of your bus departure time to confirm your seat.  And you must have also bought your ticket before this time.  You can buy Viazul tickets online here, at their website.  And I recommend that you read our guide to the Viazul bus service here.

The Viazul Bus Station in Varadero is located at Calle 36 y Autopista de Varadero

To make your life easier we’ve gathered the entire Viazul Bus Timetable and prices – and will send it to you in an easy-to-read format.  Click Here to get your copy.

It’s about 140 kilometers (87 miles) by road from Havana to Varadero and the bus from Havana to Varadero is one of the easiest ways to go from Havana to Varadero.  It takes about 4 hours (yes, four hours) to go from Havana to Varadero by bus and there are two buses a day from Havana to Varadero.  There are stops at Matanzas and also Varadero Airport.  The buses from Havana to Varadero run at 0830 and 1640. 

These buses to Varadero from Havana are air-conditioned and you can book online here.  There is NO seat allocation, it is first come first served at the bus station when you board the bus.  It doesn’t matter what it says on your ticket.  Viazul Buses to Varadero from Havana cost US$9.

You don’t need to print a ticket for the bus from Havana to Varadero, you can use an electronic ticket from your online booking from Havana to Varadero.

Check availability, prices, and book seats on buses from Havana to Varadero here.

Train from Havana to Varadero

There is no realistic train option to go from Havana to Varadero at this time.  While there is a train station in Havana, the closest train station to Varadero is at Matanzas, which is still 48 kilometers (30 miles) away from Varadero.  That, however, isn’t the main problem with taking a train.

There is no online train booking for tickets in Cuba at this time, and as the train tends to be the cheapest way of traveling tickets are sold within minutes of going on sale.  You’d need to go to the station itself and buy the tickets personally, on certain days.  There’s more on train travel in Cuba in this guide here.

Rent a Car and Drive from Havana to Varadero

You’re unlikely to be able to rent a car online for your visit to Cuba, but if you want the freedom of traveling when and where you want, then this is the most independent option.  Note that you’ll be responsible for any damage to the car while you’re the renter and you always make sure it’s parked somewhere safe (and someone is looking after it).  I recommend you read our guide to Cuban Car rental here.

Map of Bus Stops for going from Havana to Varadero

map of viazul bus stations Havana - Varadero

You can also see the bus stations from Havana to Varadero here

The quickest way to get from Havana to Varadero

The time it will take you to get to Varadero from Havana depends on where you are staying in Havana.  The quickest way is to take a direct transfer or taxi, it takes about 2 hours to drive to Varadero from Havana, depending, of course, on where you are in Havana and how long it takes you to escape the city traffic!  Buses take around 4 hours.  You can book a private transfer from Havana to Varadero here.

The easiest way to go to Varadero from Havana

The easiest way to get from Havana to Varadero again depends on where you are staying in Havana.  It is easiest to get a door-to-door transfer, (you can check the rates here), but it also depends on where you are going to Varadero.  Buses and colectivos are reasonably comfortable, but if you’re short on time, then a day trip to Varadero is an easy way to travel.

The cheapest way to go from Havana to Varadero

The cheapest way to get to Varadero from Havana is to take the Viazul Bus – reserve your seats here.

The best way to go from Havana to Varadero

Well, now this depends.  The bus is easy – but you do have to get to the bus station at Plaza de la Revolucion, and then find onward transport in Varadero.  The best way, I think, to go to Havana from Varadero is to book a transfer.

Final Words on How to Go from Havana to Varadero

Visiting Varadero from Havana is an easy trip to take.  And whatever reason you’re coming to Varadero, you should check where your chosen method of transport leaves from and gets into.  You’ll want to look at where, buses, go from and see how far it is from where you are staying in Havana, as it can take a while to get through the city!  Equally, once you arrive at Varadero, the bus station is still a ways out from many hotels and resorts, so check options for onward travel too.

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