A few nights in Cuba’s Varadero to lap up those beautiful beaches wasn’t such a bad idea, though I can see why many people detest Varadero – it portrays very little of the history, character and unique beauty of the ‘real Cuba’, so make sure you explore other parts of the island (perhaps via an organised tour).
Go see a show
If you want to see some authentic talented cuban musicians and singers I’d highly recommend you get tickets for the Buena Vista Social Club Cuba. The music is driven by a desire to bring back the cuban music that was dominant in the era before the revolution spanning the 1930s to 1950s. I went to see them in Varadero and they were brilliant. The group are internationally known for their latin jazz and still includes some of the original members from when the group started in 1996.
Move over Vegas, the Cuban Tropicana show has it all, bright lights, cabaret, costumes, music and dance, what a show!
Hop on the open top bus
5 CUC gives you an unlimited day pass – though it’s a bit hit and miss whether they stop, and where they drop off!! Most stops are clearly marked in the main town, but further out around the hotel strip not all the hotels have a marked stop.
The buses go ‘very’ fast, so hats will very likely blow off if you’re sat upstairs – I caught a few while I was up there! Oh and watch out for the tree branches too – speed plus tree branches equals danger on the top deck!
Not sure whether this happened whilst he was holding onto it on the open top bus, but I think we can safely say this guy is due for a new hat.
Perhaps something a little more robust and vibrant, like this one…
Shop around Varadero town
You’ll find plenty of craft markets dotted down the Varadero town main road, and the open top bus announces some of them as it stops.
This shop was in the Plaza Las America shopping mall
Plaza Las America shopping mall
These were the only two members of staff in this shop – I kid you not, they did not look up from the phones once the entire time I was in the shop. I could have filled a bag with goods and walked out (not that I would) and they wouldn’t have had a clue. When I asked the price of something, one of them walked toward me very slowly, still looking down intently at her phone while she spoke to me. Wow!!
Such clever arts and crafts
One of my purchases…
Craft seller making some final touches
Now I have my own bar, I bought this one! Anything hand crafted like this is really impressive!
Got myself a couple of trees too!
The neighbours are going to fall out with me over these!!
This place on the main road in Varadero town is much cheaper than the liquor store in the Plaza Las America shopping mall – in case you’re interested!
The sun is smokin’
A common sight, sellers leave a tray showing what drinks you can purchase – nice idea
Make your move…
Not sure if there was some sort of bikers convention going on here…spotted whilst walking down the main road, Varadero town.