Is Varadero Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On April 5, 2024
Varadero, Cuba
Safety Index:
* Based on Research & Crime Data

Varadero, Cuba is also referred to as Playa Azul, or Blue Beach.

It is one of the largest Caribbean resort areas.

Varadero Beach has been named as one of the world’s top beaches.

The area was originally inhabited by the Ciboney, also spelled as Siboney, Indians before the Spanish invasion.

The people were largely driven from their homes by the end of the 16th century.

Today, Varadero, Cuba is a top tourist attraction and a popular destination for travelers.

Rich and famous people may frequent the same Varadero attractions as other travelers.

Al Capone traveled to the resort town.

Sitting on a 13-mile-long peninsula, the restaurants, clubs, and places to see combine the resort area’s history with the charming and modern amenities enjoyed by visitors.

Travelers likely want to know if Varadero is safe, and the risks or dangers of the popular destination.

Warnings & Dangers in Varadero

Overall Risk


Cuba is one of the world’s safest destinations for travelers. Varadero, Cuba is very safe, with frequent policing in the area, mostly because of the importance of tourism. The fact that Varadero has an overall low risk of crime and dangers does not mean that it is 100 percent safe. Cuba, overall, has a Level 2 – Exercise Increased Caution warning from the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs because of increased crime. Most crimes occur in other areas. Travelers who visit Varadero need to stay alert. Petty crimes occur when travelers fail to secure their belongings.

Transport & Taxis Risk


Cuba has many unlicensed taxi companies. Do not get into a taxi or other public transport vehicle if you do not know whether it is from a reliable, licensed company. Taxis in Cuba often do not have meters. Ask the hotel staff to call you a taxi from a reliable company, so that you are not overcharged for your trip. Agree on the price before you get into the taxi. Varadero has a hop-on-hop-off public bus service. Travelers also use the open-top Varadero Beach Bus or Panoramic Bus Tour to get around or to explore the area.

Pickpockets Risk


Pickpockets are busy in Cuba, including in Varadero. Travelers should keep their wallet in a safe place. Leave valuables at the hotel or at home to avoid pickpockets or purse snatchers. Pickpockets and other people who commit petty crimes target belongings left on the beach while the owner is in the water, getting something to eat or drink.

Natural Disasters Risk


The risk of natural disasters in Varadero and other parts of Cuba is primarily from tropical storms and hurricanes. Several recent hurricanes caused a lot of damage in Cuba. The hurricane season runs from June to November. Travelers want to use caution and stay alert to changing weather if they visit during these months.

Mugging Risk


Muggings do occur in Varadero, Cuba, but not as often as in many other areas of Cuba. Travelers who do get approached by a mugger or robber should comply with demands to give them their valuables or cash. Stiff penalties for committing crimes, including less serious crimes, often deter people from committing a mugging or robbery.

Terrorism Risk


Cuba is generally safe from terrorist acts and threats. The rise of terrorism around the globe means that it can occur anywhere. Travelers should not speak about terrorism while they are in Cuba. The U.S. Department of State warns that the Cuban government has detained U.S. citizens that they suspect of engaging in actions or activities that the government perceives as undermining state security.

Scams Risk


Scammers target travelers to steal cash, valuables, or to commit other crimes. One common scam is the taxi driver scam. The lack of a meter inside the taxi means that unlicensed companies basically charge what they want when unsuspecting travelers get into their cab. People who commit the cigar scam target travelers. They offer to sell you a Cuban cigar for a cheaper price than the cigar shops. What you get for your cheaper price is a cheap cigar. A misdirection scam occurs when someone attempts to gain your attention. Another person comes up behind you and steals your wallet, purse, phone, or other items.

Women Travelers Risk


Women often travel to Varadero, Cuba without becoming victims of a crime. Female travelers need to take precautions, even when there is a low risk of dangers that affect women. Avoid overcrowded public transportation to prevent unwanted physical activity. Do not explore Varadero alone, especially at night. Do not tell strangers where you are staying while you are in Varadero, Cuba.

Tap Water Risk


Drink bottled water when you visit Varadero, Cuba. The tap water at hotels and resorts is usually a lower safety risk than in other areas. Travelers who want to make sure that they do not become ill from unsafe tap water protect themselves by purchasing bottled water.

Safest Places to Visit in Varadero

Varadero Beach is a safe place for travelers to visit when they visit Cuba.

The crystal blue water and soft sand between your toes should not make you forget to keep your belongings on your person.

Leave items at the hotel if you have something that you will have to leave under your towel.

Travelers should take a friend along when visiting the Varahicacos Ecological Reserve.

Walking the trails through the reserve and seeing the caves is safer when visiting this destination as part of a group.

Visit the Boulevard Varadero shopping malls for a great shopping trip.

Stay aware of your surroundings and the people around you while visiting the shops or restaurants.

Most of the parks, beaches, and sites in Varadero are safe for travelers.

Places to Avoid in Varadero

Avoid the street vendors who leave their food or drinks in the open air.

You do not know how long the items have been sitting without proper refrigeration or food hygiene safety procedures.

Do not visit shops or attractions that have many bad reviews.

A few travelers have bad experiences because of disagreements with staff at shops or sites, but when there are many bad reviews, it is likely a place to avoid while visiting Varadero.

Visiting the sites is exciting, except when you discover safety or hygiene issues.

Leave any place that you visit when the restaurant, club or shop is not clean.

Dirty restrooms or other evidence of not properly cleaning or sanitizing the place is another warning that tells you to avoid the place.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Varadero

  1. Wear your shoes. It may seem like a good idea to take your shoes off when walking in Varadero. Keep your shoes on your feet. Cactus pins lying on the ground, jellyfish, poor roads, or walkways can injure your feet and possibly cause an infection.
  2. Do not accept help or directions from strangers. People often target travelers who want information or who need directions or advice about accommodations. Do not become a victim of these scammers. They usually demand payment just to provide basic information.
  3. Book your trip well in advance. Book your trip with a reputable agency. Book your hotel with a reputable hotel. Avoid dangers and risks by not giving in to the temptation to save a little money. Booking a cheaper room or travel arrangements can lead to safety issues.
  4. Be aware of your surroundings at street markets. Do not become lax in protecting your belongings when visiting the street markets or vendors. Keep your wallet, purse, phone, and money safe from pickpockets and other petty criminals.
  5. Do not walk alone. Exploring the natural beauty and all the sights in Varadero is exciting unless you become a target for crime. Visit the beach or local attractions with a group. Book a tour of the sites to avoid exploring popular destinations alone.
  6. Take your sunscreen. Take the sunscreen with you on your trip to Varadero, Cuba. The hot sun may feel good until you get a painful sunburn. Protect your skin from cancer or other risks with good sunscreen.
  7. Do not leave beverages or food unattended. Avoid the risk of getting food or drinks spiked with drugs by not leaving them unattended, even for a few minutes. Do not accept food or beverages in Varadero from someone that you do not know.
  8. Carry a copy of your passport. Do not carry your original passport with you. Keep a copy with you and keep the original in a secure place.
  9. Be aware of currency restrictions. Travelers cannot use U.S. credit or debit cards in Cuba. Confirm alternative payment options before traveling to Varadero.
  10. Take prescriptions in their original containers. Do not travel with prescription medications that are not in their original containers. You may be subject to being detained or arrested for drug possession.

So... How Safe Is Varadero Really?

Varadero, Cuba is a very safe place for travelers.

The overall risks and dangers are low, with a few exceptions.

Petty crimes occur frequently, especially when travelers do not take precautions.

Travelers who are victims of a crime should comply and not make any sudden moves, particularly if the criminal has a weapon.

Most criminals avoid targeting U.S. citizens because there is a serious penalty for targeting foreign travelers.

Take prescriptions with you but keep them in their original bottles or containers.

Basic medical treatment is often available only in larger cities.

How Does Varadero Compare?

CitySafety Index
Niagara Falls (Canada)87
Calgary (Canada)82
Buenos Aires (Argentina)60
Vancouver (Canada)82
Cordoba (Argentina)61
Toronto (Canada)81

Useful Information



Cuba requires visitors to obtain a visa before they enter the country. Travelers who visit under the Support the Cuban People category need a tourist visa or tourist card. It is good for up to 30 days. Check for updates before traveling to Varadero.



Exchange currency only at authorized banks, at CADECA offices, or at hotels or airports. The Cuban peso is the official Cuban currency.



The Varadero, Cuba weather is often hot and muggy. The tropical climate delights travelers who enjoy warm weather. The hottest months are August and September. Varadero gets some rainy weather, with an annual average of 53 inches of rainfall.



The Juan Gualberto Gomez Airport serves Varadero, Cuba. It was formerly known as Varadero Airport. The airport is the second-largest airport in Cuba. Travelers can take a taxi, rent a car, or take public transportation from the airport to their hotel.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Purchase travel insurance to protect your belongings and yourself when you visit Varadero. Crime is a low risk in Varadero, but travelers want the protection provided by travel insurance to replace any stolen or damaged belongings. Road accidents are the leading cause of death in Cuba. Public buses are often in poor condition and overcrowded. Public buses sometimes pose a safety risk for passengers. Travel insurance helps to provide you with a feeling of security when you are traveling in Varadero.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Varadero Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 23° C
Feb 23° C
Mar 24° C
Apr 26° C
May 27° C
Jun 28° C
Jul 28° C
Aug 28° C
Sep 28° C
Oct 27° C
Nov 25° C
Dec 23° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

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