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Cayo Blanco Travel Guide – Catamaran Tour Day Trip

Cayo Blanco travel guide - Shows rows of palm trees on the beach

If you’re visiting Varadero Cuba and fancy a relaxing day out on a catamaran boat, exploring tropical island beaches, Cayo Blanco is a great place to visit. The island day trip is one of the top things to do whilst staying in Varadero and it’s extremely easy to get to.

Follow our Cayo Blanco travel guides for an overview of everything you need to know about visiting Cayo Blanco. We’ve included tour booking tips, a list of things to do on the island and plenty of answers to frequently asked questions.

Why should I visit Cayo Blanco?

If you’re looking for a relaxing day trip, Cayo Blanco is a must! It’s an unspoilt island of tropical beaches that are perfect for relaxation in the hot Caribbean sun. The beaches of Cayo Blanco are covered with powdery white sand mixed with pebbles, shells, and if you’re lucky, you’ll witness some spectacular sea life.

The waters of the island are extremely calm and shallow, making it child friendly and a great family trip. Sand bars have formed on the bay of the beaches so you can wade out and lie down without any chance of being swept away by the waves.

There’s also a coral reef off the shore, which is teaming with tropical fish, and if you’re lucky, you might spot a giant sea turtle. We recommend bringing snorkelling gear if this is something you want to do when visiting Cayo Blanco.

View of Cayo Blanco beach from the sea
Tropical cabanas on the island

Where is Cayo Blanco?

Cayo Blanco is an uninhabited island just off the coast of the Varadero peninsula, located around 30km away. It’s a remote island that’s literally the epitome of paradise. The beach is around 15km long, making it great for long walks and getting away from the crowds of incoming tourists.

How to get to Cayo Blanco

The main way to get to Cayo Blanco is by catamaran boat. A regatta of catamarans leave Varadero marina each morning of the week, heading straight to the island. It takes around 1 hour and 30 minutes to get to Cayo Blanco, with a 20-minute stop-off point on the way for snorkelling.

The other way to get to Cayo Blanco is by a private boat tour with your very own captain. Whilst this option is more expensive, it’s a great choice for larger groups or for those that want a unique experience away from other tourists. Prices vary depending on the charter boat, so be sure to compare costs online before booking. If you have a power boat licence, you can also rent your own boat. Check out this website or speak to the boat operators at Varadero Marina for more information.

Cayo Blanco catamaran tour - Shows a boat at Varadero marina

What’s included in the catamaran tour to Cayo Blanco?

The catamaran tour to Cayo Blanco includes a variety of activities and amenities in your action-packed day of exploring. These include:

  • A bus transfer to and from your hotel – Be sure to check your email booking confirmation or speak with your hotel tour agent to find out the exact pick up-time at your hotel.
  • Unlimited drinks. The boat trip includes an open bar, serving up Cuba’s most famous and popular spirit, Rum, amongst other spirits, beer, water and soft drinks.
  • On board entertainment – The staff on the boat are full of energy and create a great atmosphere with plenty of dancing. Music is played throughout the boat trip, ranging from Cuban classics to popular chart music and Latin dance jams. It’s not a party boat and families are welcome. However, the atmosphere is upbeat and party fuelled, without any rowdiness.
  • An allocated seat on board the catamaran, nets to lounge on and complimentary use of sun loungers on the island.
  • Complimentary snorkelling equipment rental – The boat stops off for snorkelling on the way to Cayo Blanco and you’ll get half an hour or so to swim in the sea. See what tropical see-life you can find!
  • Buffet lunch – Upon arrival at Cayo Blanco, you’ll get to indulge in an authentic Cuban buffet lunch, which includes various meat dishes, lobster, vegetables and rice. They also offer tropical fruits for dessert.
  • An open bar on Cayo Blanco island – Continuing on with the theme of complimentary drinks on the boat, drinks are also included on the island.

Overall, we thought the tour was great value! The only additional cost is optional tipping at the end of the tour.

Three catamarans on a snorkeling tour
Ricky relaxing on the catamaran boat nets

How to book a tour to Cayo Blanco

  • Reserve a space at the ‘tours’ desk in your hotel or with your in-hotel vacation representative.
  • Book the tour online using a travel agent such as TUI or Sunwing. Both companies have apps and websites where you can book the tour digitally. Book tickets online here.
  • Speak to a local tour company in Downtown Varadero, or by browsing local companies on TripAdvisor here.

As the catamaran tour to Cayo Blanco is a very popular tour option in Varadero, there are various ways to book. These include:

In our experience, booking with your hotel tour agent is the easiest option. Prices are pretty much the same no matter who you book with. Expect to pay around $75 per person for the full day tour.

Be sure to have your tickets/booking confirmation ready to show your bus transfer driver when they pick you up.

How long does the Cayo Blanco tour last?

The tour is a full day trip from 9am until 5pm, with around 3 hours on the island. You’ll usually be collected at your hotel between 9am and 9:30am, boarding the catamaran at 10am and departing straight away. Returning to Varadero, you’ll arrive at 4pm and should be back at your hotel before 5pm.

Arriving into Cayo Blanco by boat

Can I stay overnight on the island?

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to stay overnight on the island. Aside from a few locals that look after Cayo Blanco and prepare for the arrival of tourists, it’s completely un-inhabited. If you’re looking to spend more time on the beach, we recommend booking a hotel near Varadero Marina. You then have the option to do a couple of boat trips during your vacation. A private charter boat also allows more time on the island.

The top things to do in Cayo Blanco

The key reason people visit this stunning remote island is to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery. However, there are a few things you can do on the island if you don’t want to sit out in the sun all day long.

  • There are plenty of sunbeds at Cayo Blanco beach where you can relax in the shade under a cabana. Pick the perfect spot and spend the day sipping on rum cocktails.
  • Explore the surrounding area. You can walk the full stretch of the sandy white beach, venturing away from the tourist centre. You’re likely to come across some animals that live on the island, such as iguanas and hutias. There’s also plenty of tropical plants and untouched areas of beach.
  • If you’re looking for a slightly more adventurous trip, swim offshore and go snorkelling. The further you head away from the beach, the more coral reef you’ll find. The sea is shallow and the current isn’t too bad. However, we do recommend using fins.
Sun loungers and the restaurant on Cayo Blanco

When’s the best time to visit Cayo Blanco?

Cuba boasts all year-round warm temperatures, but it’s best to avoid extremely hot weather and also the wet season. You can visit Cayo Blanco most days of the year as long as tours are running.

The best time to visit is from January to early May. Temperatures are manageable during this period and it’s considered as Cuba’s dry season. If you struggle with heat, try to avoid the summer months from June – August as temperatures are scorching, making it uncomfortable to sit out in the sun.

Our top tips for visiting Cayo Blanco

  • Be sure to book your ticket to Cayo Blanco in advance, especially during the busier months to avoid disappointment. We recommend booking at least 3 days before your planned trip.
  • Bring a beach bag with you that includes sunscreen and towels. All food and drink is includes, so you’ll just need your clothing and toiletries. The catamarans have under-seat storage where you can place all your belongings.
  • We recommend bringing a large thermal flask or steel water bottle with you to keep your drinks cool.
  • Be sure to pack extra toilet roll, as not all public bathrooms will be fully stocked. Hand sanitiser is another great accessory to bring with you.
  • Bring a change of clothes with you. You’ll be in the sun all day, so might want to freshen up mid-way through after being on the beach. The boat has toilets where you can change. Alternatively, you can use the toilets at the restaurant.
  • Bring a snorkel if you want to discover the Cayo Blanco sea life. The catamaran staff provide these free of charge for the boat snorkelling stop, but not for the island
  • If lying out on the sunbeds, try not to leave drinks and food lying around. The island is home to some rodents that will pester you and hang around if they detect a snack.
Walking along the powdery white sand beach

We hope you found our guide to the Cayo Blanco catamaran tour! You can now plan a trip to this stunning island paradise. It’s a day trip that suits beach and boat lovers that want to relax for the day. There isn’t a lot of sightseeing, but the beach itself and on-board boat experience ensures that you have a great time. If you have any other questions about Cayo Blanco or the catamaran trip, leave a comment down below. 😊

By Susie

Author bio:

I’m a passionate traveller that loves a sunny beach holiday, but also appreciate the cultural side to a trip and checking out undiscovered destinations. I’m the go-to Toucan Traveller for great holiday stories, cool photos and foodie recommendations.

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Comments (2)

Hello, I’m from Canada and will be visiting Varadero at the end of January, just wondering what is the best way for me to book the Cayo Blanco catamaran tour. Also a lot of the info is for hotels but I’m staying at an air bnb, does that make a difference, thank for your time

Hi Julian,

Thanks for your message. Hope you’re looking forward to your trip 🙂

You can book the tour on this website here: https://www.civitatis.com/en/varadero/cayo-blanco-trip/

I’d message the provider before booking, and explain you’re staying at an air bnb – it shouldn’t make a difference, but I’d double check to make sure.

Let us know if you need anything else.
Susie

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