Varadero Cuba Airport Review | James Summerville

In Cuba I´d say Varadero is the main tourist area and as such one would assume it to have a modern well equipped international airport with all the amenities one would expect, and this is the case. Like all Cuban airports this one is named after some hero from Cuban history.


At least I presume it is. I didn’t notice the name emblazoned anywhere. My personal name for it is “welcome to rip off the touristas international.” But then again Varadero is not my favorite spot in Cuba.


There is a selection of duty free counters on both sides of the immigration and customs barriers for last minute purchases of cigars, coffee, liquor and other items. The prices like at all airports are somewhat inflated.


There is also a restaurant and bar on the upper level. Again like many other airports, the service is slow and prices outrageous. A better bet is the duty free shop. Snacks, beer and cold soft drinks can be purchased here for a reasonable price and consumed anywhere in the airport.


A variation on the blatant attempt to separate a tourist from his money can be found at the main entrance to the airport where the taxis and tour group buses meet incoming passengers. Several uniformed waiters move about offering cold beer and soft drinks to newly arrived passengers who after enduring the rigors of the terminal probably could use one. The price seems reasonable, $2.00 US.


However if one walks a few steps to the north end of the terminal building one can buy the same beer from a small white stall for seventy-five cents. This is where the “waiters” buy it from.


On entering the country, immigration is a long and somewhat tedious process, however the airport is air conditioned. On the downside the air conditioning is more than likely broken or turned off due to a parts or other shortage. This more than likely also applies to the luggage conveyor belt as well.


Customs makes much use of X-ray machines and they usually work so there is little delay here as hand searches of baggage are minimal. There is a currency exchange just after immigration and customs where Canadian and other major currencies can be exchanged for US dollars or Tourist Pesos at the accepted daily rate of exchange.

car rental varadero