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Deep-Sea Fishing in Varadero, Cuba

Marina Chapelín, Varadero
The Docks of Marina Chapelín in Varadero

Varadero is located on the Hicacos Peninsula in the province of Matanzas, Cuba. Varadero is a resort town known for its 12 miles of white sand beaches. It is not known for its deep-sea fishing out of Marina Chapelín. The lack of notoriety of the deep-sea fishing should have been a good indicator of what to expect, but having already acquired my transdermal scopolamine patch, I pretty much had to go.

You can book the trip through Cubatur or one of the other booking agencies in the town of Varadero. They will tell you the fishing is great. It’s not. The trip is 6 hours and costs 280 CUC. The cost is for the boat, not per person, and they will allow up to 6 people on the boat. The 280 CUC includes roundtrip transportation from your hotel to the dock and an ‘open bar’ on the boat consisting of half bottles of rum and soda sitting on a small block of ice. There is an optional fresh lobster lunch that we opted out of; it costs 10-15 additional CUC.

The View of the Hicacos Peninsula
Leaving the docks in Varadero, a view of the Hicacos Peninsula

When we were dropped off at the dock, around 8 a.m., the captain informed us we probably wouldn’t catch any fish. It was July, and according to him fishing is horrible in July. That may be why he and his crew of one sat on the command tower the entire time, a level above the fishing rods, not paying attention to the lines at all. This caused them to miss several really strong strikes in the first couple hours. Discouraged by their inattention, I retired into the cabin where I had more fun escaping into my scopolamine induced dreams than facing the reality of my captivity on a fishing boat pretending to fish for 4 more hours. You can’t blame them for not being prepared for the strikes, when we got back to the dock, around 3 p.m., out of the 8 or 9 boats that went out, only one caught a large barracuda, the rest were empty handed like us, but they seemed a little happier because they were drunk.

After my late July fishing excursion, even under the euphoric effects of the scopolamine, I definitely wouldn’t recommend chartering one of the deep-sea fishing vessels that operate out of Marina Chapelín or any other marina in Varadero.

Varadero Deep Sea Fishing
Pretending to fish on a deep-sea fishing excursion out of Varadaro, Matanzas, Cuba

Varadero Map

2 Good comments on "Deep-Sea Fishing in Varadero, Cuba"

  • fisherman  @ Monday, January 30, 2012 at 9:34 PM

    you know sometimes fish bite but don’t get stuck but you’re obviously not a fisherman and expected to catch fish all day long. Sadly this is never the case, if you can’t enjoy being on the water then you shouldn’t fish – catching is the bonus.

    he also clearly told you the fishing is slow in July, maybe the booking agent lied to you but that’s not the captains fault, he was honest. Sometimes when fishing you get no bites today and 20 bites the next, the captain cannot control if the fish are there or not.

    Ps. they stand on the tower to spot fish and troll the gear over to the fish, its very difficult to see this at water level. All those boats have towers for a reason, its not just decoration.

  • BOVE  @ Sunday, January 4, 2015 at 11:58 PM


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