Details for Marina Dársena de Varadero

Marina Dársena de Varadero

Display in The Interactive Cruising Guidebook
Average rating 3.7 stars from 12 reviews

Address Carretera de Ví­a Blanca km. 31.
Varadero, Matanzas

Phone(5345) 66 8060

After hours contact

Facility type

Marina - YES
Club - NO
Fuel - YES
Repair - YES
Municipal - NO
Other - NO

VHF channel


Web site

Email contact

Owner, manager



Miguel Salcedo

Payments acceptedCredit cards - NO
Checks - NO

Payment info

Cash only.

Payment discounts

A 5% discount is available to dockage paid 90 days, or more, in advance.

Operation (seasonal or year-round)
Year round

Additional info:






Tide & current additional info


Approach: Unknown
Transient dockage: 30
Fuel dock: Unknown

Other depth info:

Dock typesWood - YES
Concrete - YES
Floating - NO
Fixed - YES
T/Alongside - NO
Other - NO

Additional info: Solid and well maintained.

Size restrictionsLOA max: 60
Beam max: Unknown

Other info:


Transient: Unknown
Total: 50
Transient price: Unknown

Other price info: $0.50 per foot for the first 30 days, $0.40 per foot for the next 30 days, and $0.30 per foot for every month thereafter.


Transient: Unknown
Total: Unknown
Transient price: $2.00 (0000-00-00)

Other price info:

AC power30 amp - YES
50 amp - YES
100 amp - NO

Additional info: Can be a bit unreliable (this is Cuba).

Pricing info: Metered, 35 cents per kwh.

Cable TV (and pricing)


Phone hookup (and pricing)


Water (and pricing)

Yes - Metered

Dinghy access

Liveaboard info

Yes - There is a good community of long term residents.


Fuel brand:

Gas priceUnknown

Other price info: Available from the gas station 200 meters from the marina.

Diesel priceUnknown

Other price info: Available from the gas station 200 meters from the marina.


Yes - Refills available in Santa Marta, ask Debbie for details.

Pets welcomeUnknown

Other pet info:

Disability access

Launch service

Pump out










Yes - Available off-site.


Yes - There is a small shop on site. Reported to sell only cookies, cold drinks, beer and good Cuban rum. Beer is $1, pop $0.50 and rum from $3, 2014.



Yes - Very good, economical restaurant on site. Many seafood dishes and pizzas are very good. Service is quick. Washrooms are clean.



Hotels or motels

Repair capabilities

Haul out capabilities

No - None available. But, you can get the bottom scrubbed cheaply.

Storage facilities


Fishing supplies

Chartering capabilities

Internet access

No - Forget it, this is Cuba. However, you can easily find government run Internet shops in Varadero - although the service is slow.

Boat ramp availability


Other services


Reviews for Marina Dársena de Varadero
Great Marina and Interesting Area, 2017-01-30
Captain: , Marathon, FL (496)

We love Marina Darsena. If you want to see the real Cuba, this is a great place. A short walk brings you into Santa Marta with a huge Sunday market and lots of local Cuban activity. Or, walk the other direction into Veredero for the resorts and night-life. You can also book bus tours from the resorts to see more of the country.

Debbie on La Vida Dulce has been in Cuba for many years and was a wonderful guide / resource for us. She is an expert with the locals and language.

The marina manager Ismale (sp?) speaks excellent english and is very helpful when around. There is full-time security at the marina and we had no fears with leaving the boat for a few days while taking tours of the country.

Bathrooms and showers are terrible but this is typical of Cuba. Debbie has a washing machine on her dock that she lets boaters use for a minimal fee to cover water and electricity. Plan on using the bathroom and showers on your boat. No pump-out (never saw one in Cuba).

Check-in and check-out of the marina are timeconsuming but seems similar to most marinas in Cuba. Nobody answered our hail on channel 16 when we came into the harbor but workers were on the dock when we arrived to point us to the slip. Leaving you are supposed to give them 24 hours notice but they had no problem when we gave them only a couple hours.

We enjoyed our stay and Debbie really helped smooth over any rough edges. The Cuban people are friendly and interesting. We will be back!

great location , 2017-01-14
Captain: , Windsor ontario (286)

Stayed here for 10days, wonderful location for exploring the area. Easy bike or walk to town. On site pizzas, small store and real basic hardware (fishing line and hooks)
Safe place, never locked the boat! Garbage drop, one shower, power and water at docks...
Nice sitting area with breeze and sip $1 beers..
Once you get past the run down look we enjoyed the place and will be back..

updated info , 2015-01-15
Captain: , Annapolis ,MD (50)

As the USA is opening up to Cuba I thought an update is needed :) .. This info is for US citizens... First off ,your visa ( 24 dollars a month ) is good for 1 months . You get two so a total of two months . You can fly out ( leaving your boat ) and re enter in 24 hours .you can also take your boat out of Cuban waters for 24 hours the check back in . The check is 55 dollars , visa 24 a month and 3 dollars a day for health Insurance per person . do not use US dollars ( will lose 24 percent on the exchange ) you bc they been "issued not useable " you want Canadian or euros . Tourist money is the CUC ( this is not a real currency but just for tourist on the island . The national currency is different .one CUC to the dollar . National money is 24 to 1 CUC . The use the national money . And again you lose converting CUC to national money . I would say total around 15 % moving from Canadian to CUC to national money. The ATMS ( hopeful US banks can be used soon ) and Internet are OFTEN down ! Sending emails with SSB is a BIG plus ! If you must have Internet this is not the place for you ! You can't visit many US owned websites as the Cuban government restricts them ! All Internet traffic is monitored at the two Government Internet sites ( yes only two places to use the Internet in Varadero ! ) the resorts have Internet but you can only use it you are a guest ..again restricted ! ...Only foreigners can enter the marina. If a crew member is leaving your vessel and not returning ! They MUST check out with customs and the port captain at the marina ! Do not let them leave without doing so !!!!! ( not sailing in but someone coming onboard over night ) All persons staying the boat must be added as crew ( a charge of 10 dollars to add crew ) they have lifted the one years for a vessel to stay in Cuban water and not register the vessel . Propane is rationed so you will buy it on the black market if you runout . Bring two bottles !!!! This town is not like most towns in Cuba . You can buy most food items . I would bring coffee ,milk and CHEESE products !!!!! Provision for an special items you like .. Chocolate Is definitely one lol .. Fruits and vegetables are plentiful and CRAZY inexpensive .market day is very Sunday . You can drink the water out of the tap at the dock if treated in the normal fashion !!! Note :This is only in Varadero !! And bring a BIKE ! The taxi is not cheap lol

Great first experince in Cuba, 2014-08-09
Captain: , Ottawa (30)

Our firt stop in Cuba was the Marina Darsena at Varadero and we found the staff very welcoming. The dockmaster even lent us some money to get dinner at the restaurant, since we had not been to the bank yet. Think about that? Awesome welcome. Security is top notch and you can rest easy that nothing will disappear.

There was a nice breeze at night that came down the lagoon(?) at night and the docks were just fine. Not many other boaters during our visit.

There is a nice restaurant and bar at the marina and it is an easy 5-10 minute taxi ride to the town. As long as you don't expect north american standards and you understand the Cuban culture, this is a five star marina.

A short trip into the past., 2014-04-13
Captain: , Bochum (318)

Cuba is still to great extend living in the late 50's, and Varadero is no exception.
The dockage at Marina Darsena is in pretty good shape, power and water are available. Try to get a port tie up facing east for optimum ventilation. Internet or cable TV are not available, but if you have a TV antena on your boat you can receive the 5 local channels. Most of the movies and series come from the US, are very recent and sub titled so no need to speak spanish.
Try to provision well for the trip as it is not easy to buy a lot of things there. Seasonal fruit and veg is best bought on the sunday morning market in Santa Marta, 10min walk from the marina, pork is also available there. Chicken is frozen and from Canada, for beef, fish or seafood you have to know somebody, Debbie should be able to help.
BTW, in case you don't know, US credit or debit cards don't work in Cuba, cash is the name of the game, so be prepared! Cuba is not as cheap as you may think, there is a big difference in price for locals and foreigners. (sometimes up to 200%)
One last thing, even though this is probable the #1 resort on the island, don't come here for the nightlife, this is family and beach orientated, just about all the hotels are all-inclusive and only allow visitors for a daily fee ranging between $80 to $200.

Great introduction to Cuba in a safe marina, 2014-02-19
Captain: , Little Current Manitoulin Island Ontario (190)

Marina Darsena
In short we loved this experience and will return.
Marina Darsena was a great introduction to Cuba. The crossing from marathon was doable. Entering at a small marina seemed to be relatively easy especially with the wealth of information from Marina locals and seasoned Cuban cruisers. Ismeli the marina manager is helpful and welcoming. Debbie Armstrong a pleasant go to for much needed local knowledge. Also, yacht pilot's cruising guide is invaluable
Some quick observations:
The marina is worn needing upgrading. We each enjoyed one hot shower in 27 days. There was no lighting in the showers and toilets need repairs. The ritz it isn't. The security is excellent. Free ice. No laundry facilities. It is a good 25 minute walk but well worth it to get to the beach. Having bikes for transportation is a bonus.
Communication is limited. If you use a memorized system on your lap top my suggestion is know all your e mail,banking,FB, ect accounts and passwords before you get here as the pre paid clocks on the Cuban computers tick by fast. Line ups can be long. Sometimes Internet and phone cards are unavailable. We found no wifi that had cards.
You get the Cuban experience of buying fresh food in the Santa Marta markets. But, stock well. Many items we take for granted such as flour, potatoes and eggs are not always available. You are expected to tip 10-15%anywhere you would tip like at home.
Don't expect to get work done on your boat.
There is an excellent over night tour to Trinidad,Santa Carla, Cenfuegos El Niche mountains $135.00 per person well worth the money.
Lastly we wished we had brought more items to give away such as memory sticks, used electronics, shampoo, soap. Varadero is a relatively prosperous area because of tourism. Many other areas of Cuba are not. Many waiters make more than Doctors and teachers.

Convenient to Havana, 2013-10-07
Captain: , Ottawa (30)

This marina had easy docking and, when we arrived, lots of help with lines etc. We had a port tie up which was great as the prevailing winds kept us blown off the dock for our entire stay. The market in Santa Marta is full of fresh vegetables and pork (you won't see a cut you recognize though). The market is open every day but on Sundays it triples in size and often you can buy things like eggs or potatoes which aren't often available. A relatively inexpensive taxi ride will take you to Varadero where all the music and dancing happens. Calle 62 club has a good show with lots of dancing in an open air bar - the crowds spill out into the side street to enjoy as well.
We were plugged into the dock for almost three weeks here so we could make land trips to Havana and Trinidad. We used our SSB radio often (big power draw) and we used copious amounts of water to shower and wash our boat often (the nearby smoke stacks made our decks dirty). All that electrical usage and water plus our dockage fee amounted to a bill of $300 for our 35 foot sailboat for three weeks. Fairly reasonable after the expensive Bahamas.
Our only complaints about this marina were the very slippery tiles around the flagpole and entrance way anytime it rained (easy way to break a leg).

New Power Posts and Higher Rates, 2013-05-03
Captain: , Toronto (755)

New US made power pedestals were installed in 2012. Power is now metered and charged at $.35 CUC/kwh. Water is also metered, but since the meters and the plumbing are not to the same standard as the power, the marina staff adds a very conservative estimate of usage to the bill. We typically paid $10/ month for water.

Dock fees are now $.55/ft for the first 30 days, $.45/ft for the next 30 days and $.35/ ft for every month thereafter.

There are men's and women's showers, with luke warm hot water. Free ice can be had in the restaurant. There is a small convenience store on site selling frozen meat, dry goods and liquor at fair prices.

Try and get a port tie slip facing east to get the most ventilation from the prevailing wind and the least amount of fender rubbing in the tide changes.

Marina Darsena is very secure and suitable for long term in water storage. We have left our boat to fly home for Christmas and others have left their boats for even longer periods. Knowledgeable local boat attendants can be hired at very reasonable cost to ensure systems are monitored during longer absences.

Hemmingway Alternative, 2013-03-30
Captain: , Travemuende (830)

The only approach to the marina is via the narrow west entrance to Laguna Del Paso Malo which shouldnt be attempted in strong NW winds. Once in The marina provides excellent protection from winds in all direction. Slips are sound.
The coast guard prohibits the use of dinghies in the laguna and discourages the use of your vessel during your stay. Although there is a lovely beach a couple hundred yards on the other side of the laguna it is at least a 30 minute walk via the bridge along the busy highway. Local shops are a 15 minute walk away.
Debbie, a live-a-board, the unofficial dock mastress does an excellent job making you welcome and encourages you to join the Chesme table at sundown which is a major part of the marina daily social calendar.
The marina has many staff but do not know how to provide any service. There is no internet. You can arrive at any time but you can only depart after 8am regardless of what the officials promise. Like the Cuban hotels, the marina is run as a cash cow, to milk foreign visitors, without providing a proper service and re-investment in the marina. Compared to other marinas in other adjacent poor countries, Darsena is expensive for stays longer than a week.
The marina is a good alternative (and some say better) to Hemmingway and Habana is an easy coach ride away. Even those unfortunate boats flying an US flag may be able to make a b line for Varadero without being caught by their own navy who regularly turn back boats heading direct for Hemmingway !

Stayed for two weeks while norther blew through, 2013-03-26
Captain: , Bristol (306)

Excellent staff. Easy and cheap electricity and water. Limited store on site, but local village nearby has fresh fruit and vegetable market (best on Sundays and Tuesdays). Lond walk (short cycle ride) to Varadero beach and to things like bank and local telecoms office for internet, as not allowed to use dingy in marina basin. No wi-fi around and interent office slow. Easy to get tour buses to explore other parts of Cuba if you are stuck by the weather as we were. We came down the coast from Marina Hemmingway and the two are very similar 1950s creations showing their age. This is the best option in Varadero as new marina in north of peninsula is a long way from being finished and has few facilities nearby apart from large all inclusive hotels.

Good place to hang out in Cuba, 2011-05-24
Captain: , Deltaville (200)

If you are serious about going to Cuba, you should know that in 2011 when we went, if you are not actively on passage, the Cuban government wants you to be at an official point of entry tied to a dock, not in any of the minor ports shown in the Nigel Calder book.

On the North coast as of 2011, you have only four possibilities, Puerto de Vita on the NE coast, Cayo Guillermo (VERY shallow and does not always function as a port of entry), this port (now called Marina Darsenas) and Marina Hemmingway.

We entered Cuba at Puerto de Vita and day sailed along the coast until we reached Marina Darsena. We originally intended to go on to Marina Hemmingway, but decided it was not worth it as it is realatively easy to get to Havana from this marina and we could keep the Easting for the trip back to Florida.

The docks here are in reasonable shape (solid concrete, with substantial hardwood fendering), but the electrics and water are not. Be prepared for some ugly electrical hookups.

Shops, car rental, diesel (by jerry jug), restraunts and the Veradero beach strip are all close by.

Very cheap ($18 per day for 45ft), only downsides are the occasional sulphur smell from the nearby oil wells and the 25kt winds which pipe up every afternoon like clockwork.

Very Good Marina, 2011-04-02
Captain: , Kingston, Ontario, Canada (558)

We stayed here for 4 weeks in April 2010. The rate was $ .45 / foot, with metered water/electricity -- although it was very very cheap. Although there is no Internet, the marina has excellent security and is well positioned near the bustling tourist area of Varadero and the nearby town as well. It is possible to ride a bike or even walk to both locations for fresh food. There is a thriving black market, although you have to be here for a while to recognize and use it. Debbie Armstrong is a "long-time" resident and can be very helpful in getting things sorted out. Although there is no gas/diesel at the docks, it is readily available at the local gas station just nearby. There is also a shop and restaurant as part of the marina.

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