Varadero is the iconic Cuban beach town, if your coming on a package resort holiday then this will be your destination. It has stunning beaches, plenty of souvenir shops and touristy bars and restaurants to fill many days. I didn’t expect to be blown away by the coastal town having just spent a lot of time in the touristy yet beautiful hub of Rivera Maya in Mexico. It was essentially just to break up the long journey¬†between Trinidad and Havana before catching my return flight to Cancun.

However ironically I ended up having a fantastic time in Varadero simply because it is a touristy destination! I only had one evening so I decided to head to one of the bars to soak up the atmosphere and really enjoy my final evening in Cuba! I walked along Avenida 1 until I found Calle 62, suprisingly (or unsurprisingly for me) it wasn’t the music or the atmosphere that originally beckoned me in. It was my stomach and the mouth-watering waft of freshly barbequed chicken! However it was the music and atmosphere that I stayed for! They had an absolutely incredible live band playing that had everyone in the bar singing and dancing away before the end of the set; the atmosphere was electric! Somehow I managed to get dragged in as a “groupie” by the lead singer (those forward Cubans again!) and during the break in their set I was invited to sit with the band and all of their friends! Although the intentions of that may have started out a little sleazy I ended having a fantastic night chatting away with different Cubans and for the second act I was sat with the full Cuban contingent watching the band! I even picked up some salsa lessons from one of the ladies who is a salsa teacher!

The beaches in Varadero are stunning as well and after a crazy few weeks of Cuba it was nice to spend some tranquil alone time on the beach sunbathing and swimming!


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