Varadero - General Info

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Description:

Varadero lies about 70NM east of Havana on Cuba’s north coast.

Take care when sailing close to Cayo Piedras. There are hidden concrete and steel blocks (surplus building material) close to the shore at the SW of the Guarda Fronteras base NE of Varadero.

There are two marinas in Varadero, Marina Darsena and Marina Gaviota on the extreme northeast end of the Hicacos Peninsula. Marina Gaviota is open to International visitors for clearing in, however, Marina Darsena can only be visited once you have cleared into the country.

The approach to La Gaviota is well marked with large metal buoys that are lit and radar reflector equipped. Navionics and Garmin charts are reported to be correct.  The difficult part is the entrance to Bahia Cardenas which is straight forward but best left for daylight as you need to avoid a shoal that extends eastward from Cayo Piedra del Norte.

Cruiser Highlights:

Nice, cheap marinas here with very professional and friendly staff.  Cruisers are able to use the Marina hotel Melia including pools, private beach and other amenities, three buffet meals a day and unlimited drinks and alcohol until midnight.

Position:  

23° 11’N, 81° 07’W (entrance)

Last updated:  January 2023

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Varadero was last updated 7 months ago.

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  1. January 23, 2018 at 2:32 PM
    Data Entry3 says:

    Reported by Addison Chan on Cuba Land & Sea Facebook Page – 11 January 2018

    It looks like the markers for the channel leading into Marina Gaviota have taken a beating.

    Every mark from G1 to R8 is either damaged or missing. The first red marker is R10 there is no sign of R2-R8. The first undamaged green is G11. The bases of G3 and G5 remain on the station but they are difficult to see in good light. In a choppy sea or at night they would be invisible. There is a temporary floating can at the approximate location of G7.

    The good news is that although the markers are missing the depths remain mostly unaffected and the controlling depth in excess of 5m with the exception of the curving stretch between where R2 was located and the floating temporary G7 where the controlling depth is now 3.6m

    If you are using the latest Navionics charts my recommendation is to use the position of the charted markers as a steering reference and maintain a sharp bow watch. Other chart users should exercise an above average level of caution.

    Once you have passed the two fixed pole buoys at R14, G15 the remaining markers and depths into the marina channel are in place and charted depths are accurate.

  2. June 5, 2017 at 8:00 PM
    Data Entry3 says:

    As reported on Cuba Land & Sea Facebook Page:
    Rate Change at Marina Darsena
    Effective May 22, 2017 – the prices for dockage at Marina Darsena in Varadero have been reduced, and the discounts for longer term stays have been restored.

    For vessels less than 72 ‘the dockage rates are
    1-30 days $ .50 / ft / day
    31-60 days $ .45 / ft / day
    +61 days $ .35 / ft / day
    For vessels from 72 ‘and up to maximum of 131’
    1-30days $ 1.80 / ft / day
    31-60 days $ 1.60 / ft / day
    +61 days $ 1.20 / ft / day

    Water and power are extra and billed at $ .10 / gal and $ .40 / km respectively in the first month and $ 06 / gal and $ 35 / wk for subsequent bills.

  3. October 17, 2016 at 3:27 PM
    Data Entry3 says:

    Posted on Sailing & Cruising Cuba Facebook Page:

    I left Varadero a few days ago on the back of Matthew and SAILED to Puerto Vita and then halfway to Ocean World, DR before having to motor!!!

    Here are a few price updates for anyone interested – they are bang up to date and based on my boat which is a 40′ cat:

    Haul and launch in Varadero – 750 cups (very professional and safe)
    Long term storage on the hard Varadero- 180 cups/month

    New in water dockage rate Marina Gaviota- 41 cups/day Inc power & water
    Diesel – 1 cup/litre

    Excellent mechanic (removed, rebuilt and refitted both my Volvo Penta engines!) – 12 cups/hr

    Dockage or anchorage at Puerto Vita (you have to pay either way) – 20 cups/day
    Fuel is available – 1 cups/litre

  4. December 4, 2015 at 5:31 PM
    Data Entry3 says:

    Posted on Sailing & Cruising Cuba Facebook Page, 1 December 2015:

    Arrived in Gaviota, Varadero yesterday afternoon from Fort Lauderdale overnight.
    Welcome in Varadero was great and the bureaucracy has been reduced so immigration came to the boat, as did the doctor and dock master. This morning the agriculture guy inspected our fresh produce. But all in all a pleasant arrival.

    Our guests wanted to go swimming so we decided to go for a day sail, barbecue on board and hopefully see some Dolphins. We let the dock master know. We had a despacho, which was issued on our arrival. They asked us to pull up to the check-in pontoon again on our way out and see the immigration guy again.

    He took our passports away to note down our departure but returned with a Cuban cruising permit. On our return, we were allowed to return directly to our slip without checking in again. So we now have a pass allowing us to sail around. We will be leaving Varadero today for Havana overnight.

    We will check with the dock office and the immigration guy again so we don’t upset anyone. But we are hopeful that now our arrivals and departures will happen more smoothly. We have the impression that they are trying really hard to make sailing Cuba as smooth as possible. Everyone has been really pleasant.

  5. November 20, 2015 at 8:33 PM
    Data Entry3 says:

    Until further notice, the only Marina in Varadero is Marina Gaviota on the extreme northeast end of the Hicacos Peninsula. Marina Puerto sol Darsena de Varadero is closed to International Arrivals.

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