Marina Gaviota Varaderois is an ideal port of entry to Cuba. A beachfront resort peninsula 85 nm from the Florida Keys with a new state-of-the-art European-style marina adjacent to a marine sanctuary and archipelago loaded with diving and fishing options. For yachts over 60-meters, this is your nearest anchorage to Havana.
2-hours from downtown Havana, 30-minutes from City of Matanzas. It has direct flights from Miami.
This is a Port of Entry with full Customs & Immigration. The marina facility features 1100 slips (Med-moor) with power and water and even some internet. They are finishing the mega-yacht component for vessels over 60-meters, and we will have more news on that as facilities come available. A new 400-room Melia resort hotel overlooks the marina and marina tenants are welcome at Melia’s gym & spa. The marina has a retail village with coffee shops, cigar a coffee-bar, cigar bar and numerous boutiques and is a short walk from a magnificent beach where lobster dinners are served on the sand at sunset.
The 15-mile long Varadero peninsula is famous for its uninterrupted powder white beaches. Originally settled by the Spaniards in the 16th century, it has since been developed for international tourism, and should not be considered as a cultural destination- but fortunately colonial Matanzas is next door and it has a lot to offer.
What Varadero does offer is a to of activities, on and off the water; to be enjoyed from the comfort and safety of a world-class marina facility.
The Varadero Diving Center sends divers out on a new fleet of dive boats with certified dive masters to 32 diving sites where crystal clear waters are surrounded by gorgeous corals and a great variety of marine life. The adjacent Cayo Piedras del Norte Underwater Park features a 102-meter-long Russian Rocket Launcher Frigate, and the 40-meter-long steel-clad Black Coral (Coral Negro) yacht, also the iron-clad 36-meter-long Rocket Launcher of the class OSA and iron-clad 29-meter-long tug boat. In Playa Coral (Coral Beach) you can experience more than 30 species of coral, some of them rising above the surface and joining together to form canals and caves that shelter a varied rich fauna.
Jeep Safari Tour
After climbing into the Jeep and taking the wheel, you’ll cover an adventurous route of more than 150km over embankments and dirt roads, passing through quarries, palm groves and rural villages. A snorkeling stop is made at Playa Coral (equipment included), followed by swimming in the Saturn Cave.
The safari continues towards the Valle de Yumurí, a 9666-hectare nature reserve, abounding in endemic flora and fauna. It’s an enchanting landscape, peppered with emblematic Royal Palms – Cuba’s national tree.
Your valley stop is hosted at the Rancho Gaviota, beginning with a welcome cocktail. The guided tour around the cultivated fields and animal breeding areas includes a visit to a farmhouse. A typical Cuban lunch is served; afterwards, you can enjoy nautical activities on the lake or explore the valley on horseback.
In the afternoon, you’re introduced to Matanzas city, known as the “City of Bridges”. Excellent views are guaranteed from the Monserrate Heights.
Last but certainly not least is a 30-minute boat trip through the Río Canímar river valley, distinguished by soaring cliffs covered in lush vegetation and thickets of mangroves.
Places to Visit
City of Matanzas
20 minutes from the marina is the City of Matanzas, one of the most historically diverse and culturally rich cities in Cuba, known for its poets, culture and Afro-Cuban folklore. This historical city’s name, Matanzas, means “massacre”, and was named for a slaughter of Spanish soldiers trying to reach an aboriginal camp. By far, one of Cuba’s most emblematic cities, it is a tribute to 19th century architecture, with palaces and large parks and plazas surrounded by neoclassical structures, churches and museums. The magnificent bay that Matanzas grew around, with three rivers flowing into it, make the city a natural location for industry, although they also offered the perfect conditions to be the primary port for the African slave trade. The city is traversed by three rivers crossed by 17 bridges throughout the that allow for the circulation of pedestrians and vehicles. This lovely, quiet city that stretches along the edge of a huge bay invites visitors to come and see its rich cultural wealth.
This beautiful park is laid out around an old mansion, privately owned before the Revolution. Also in the grounds are 3 restaurants, several open air bars, a bowling alley, swimming pool and rowing boats for rent on the lake.
The old centre of Varadero has no significant historical monuments, although the municipal museum is housed in a charming wooden chalet characteristic of the style imported from the US in the early 1900s. The museum recounts the history of Varadero and also contains a collection of Indian handicrafts.
Built in 1929 by US businessman Alfred Irenee DuPont, this hacienda-style mansion is set on Varadero's highest promontory with spectacular views down the peninsula and now houses private dining rooms and a few exclusive bedrooms. Fitted with Italian marble flooring and sumptuous antiques, it is well worth a visit.
Part of the Las Americas Complex, this attractive 18 hole Par 72 links course offers beautiful views over the sea. Golf carts, clubs and caddies are all available for hire and classes are also offered. Reservations can be made through your hotel.
Punta Hicacos is a nature reserve with various secluded beaches and a large natural lagoon. You can also visit several caves including the Cueva de Ambrosio, which contains Pre-Colombian rock paintings.Unlike Hemingway, it is an all-weather protected entrance during northers. Marina Gaviota Varadero is more than a marina, it is a full resort with a spectacular beach, a boat repair facility, and a nearby Melia Hotel with gym and spa, spectacular beaches, an 18-hole golf course at the former DuPont family mansion that looms over the beach and the nearby colonial city of Matanzas, with multiple cultural attractions.
It is the biggest and together with the Marlin Cienfuegos Marina and yacht club, one of the best marinas. It is also an exciting home port for fishing trips and diving expeditions. It boasts a stellar new seafood restaurant, KiKe-Kcho, that is famous for its enormous seafood platters with fresh lobster and local catches.
Everything about this expansive marina is designed to meet the needs of visiting boaters, incuding trendy coffee shops, cigar boutiques and local craft shops. Marina guests have access to the Melia gym and spa, as well as the expansive beach a short walk from the marina. In Cuba, there is no other marina as prepared and equipped to welcome boating guests.
DIVING CENTERS FACILITIES
All along the Hicacos Peninsula you can appreciate the different types of coral formations, caves, canals and alleys. It has a great diversity of tropical shes, it can also be contemplated the coral buckets covered with gorgonians, coral, multiple sponges and sunken ships. There is a program of dives that varies between 4 until 35 meter deep.
The Cayo Piedras del Norte Underwater Park is where you can experience a dive on a 1500 tons, 102-meter-long Russian Rocket Launcher Frigate, and the 1500 ton, 40-meter-long steel-clad Black Coral (Coral Negro) yacht, also the iron-clad 300 ton, 36-meter-long Rocket Launcher of the class OSA and iron-clad 29-meter-long tug boat,. The shipwrecks are found at different depths, which facilitates the immersion according to the experience and certification level of the divers. In Playa Coral (Coral Beach) you can appreciate more than 30 species of coral, some of them rise above the surface and join together to form canals, caves and valleys that shelter a varied rich fauna.
The fishing area is located to the north of the “Hicacos” Peninsula and it has an approximated extension of 10 miles with a maximum of 3 miles offshore. Generally there are good conditions for fishing, although some species diminish during the winter due to the cold fronts coming from the North.
Location: N 23° 11.679' / W 081° 07.603'
Communication by radio: VHF16, 68
Depth: 4 meters
Marina Gaviota Varadero