Beaches in Cuba: what are the best? With over 3,500 miles of coastline, the Cuban archipelago is a tropical paradise, for the most part still unspoiled. You can find fantastic beaches all around Cuba. The clean waters and warm climate throughout the year make the island nation a natural destination for beach lovers, or those who just want to escape the cold weather for a while: even in the ‘winter’ the average temperature in Cuba would be 70°F (21ºC).
The best known beach in Cuba is Varadero, its been a favorite for locals and tourists alike for decades. However, many Cubans always knew some of the best beaches are in little islands (cayos) off the coast. Only recently many of these ‘little paradises’ could be reached, with the construction of airports or causeways connecting with mainland Cuba. In some cases, full resorts have been built with all-inclusive hotels and all the facilities. But still, all of these beaches preserve the unspoiled feel and pristine quality.
Here is our selection of the Best Beaches in Cuba:
“Paraiso” means paradise, and this beach is paradise indeed. On the southwest coast of the Cayo Largo del Sur island (100 miles from Havana by plane) is what many consider the best beach in Cuba. There are no hotels and resorts right on this beach, you need to stay on the nearby beaches Coral, Blanca and Playa Larga.
Playa Paraiso and Playa Sirena are on a spur or sand bank forming a lagoon, sheltered from the waves: white powdery-soft sand and crystal clear azure waters. You can take a little shuttle “train/bus” from the hotels, take a taxi arranging with the driver for a pick up time (and price, in advance) or walk along the beach from your hotel, depending on where you are staying. There is only a rustic bar/restaurant, a few beach chairs, and no other amenities. But this is part of the allure of Playa Paraiso: preserving the pristine condition of a natural beach at its finest.
There are direct flights to Cayo Largo del Sur from Canada, and daily domestic flights from Havana. You can find hotels in Cayo Largo del Sur here.
A 2-hour drive from Havana, Varadero is the best known of Cuba’s many fine beaches: a 12 miles stretch of uninterrupted powdery white sands and crystalline blue waters facing the Florida Straits. It is a resort town, the largest in Cuba: Varadero has been the beach to go in Cuba since the 1940’s when wealthy families started building their vacation homes here. Nowadays there are about 50 hotels dotting the long and narrow Hicacos peninsula: from the very modern all-inclusive resorts to more budget-friendly choices. The beach is excellent, with its fine white sands and glittering turquoise waters. There are also plenty of opportunities for other interests: water sports, scuba diving excursions, swimming with dolphins, parasailing, ecotourism, a golf course, and more. Although Varadero is the top tourist destination in Cuba, the beach is so long it never feels crowded in this tropical gem.
You can get to Varadero by bus or car from Havana (2 hours), there are international flights from Canada and Europe. To find a hotel in Varadero go here.
Cayo Santa Maria
Cayo Santa Maria is the largest island of a string of cayos off the north coast of Cuba, in the central province of Villaclara. It is connected now with the mainland by a rocky causeway (pedraplén) recently built over the shallows. The beautiful long beaches here are complemented by the lush coastal vegetation covering the islands. A chain of all-inclusive resorts were recently built here along the 6 miles of pristine beaches, with wooden footbridges as beach access, to protect the dunes. There is a scuba diving center offering excursions to 2-dozen excellent diving sites. There are also plenty of opportunities to observe the local fauna of reptiles and birds, and for snorkeling on a tiny coral island nearby. You can enjoy long beach walks of uninterrupted white sand and crystalline waters for miles, and feel like in a deserted island.
There are direct flights from Canada to Santa Clara, it is a 90 min. drive from Santa Clara to Cayo Santa Maria. There are also domestic flights from Havana to Cayo Las Brujas. To search for hotels in Cayo Santa Maria go here.
Beaches of Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo
Another stunning beach (specially Playa Pilar) in a string of islands connected by a man-made causeway, on the northern coast of Cuba. The beaches here preserve the unspoiled feel, despite the few resorts in the cays. There are plenty of opportunities for water sports, or just to enjoy the pristine white sands and warm waters. Direct flights to Cayo Coco Airport from Canada and Europe; it is a 1-hr. drive to the provincial capital of Ciego de Avila. To search for hotels in Cayo Coco click here.
The best beach in the southern coast of Cuba, Playa Ancon is picture perfect with its white sands and clear waters, and its backdrop of palms and sea-grape trees. Only 20-min drive from Trinidad, Ancon Beach is a beautiful and relaxing experience after spending the day exploring that town’s amazing colonial charms. The water is even warmer here, being on the Caribbean Sea as opposed to the beaches facing the Florida Straits on the northern coast. A great place to enjoy a Cuban cocktail from the beach bar, watching the sunset.
[quote_center]Do you have another Cuban beach you think should be included here? Sound off below, and tell us about it…[/quote_center]