The magical island of Cuba has towns packed with colourful, colonial architecture, streets filled with rhythmic Cuban salsa and lush countrysides wild with plantations. But a holiday to Cuba wouldn’t be complete until you’ve felt the soft Caribbean sand between your toes. Beaches are perfect for relaxing, searching for marine life or sipping on some cocktails, and whatever your beach style is, Cuba will have the perfect fit. Here’s our list of some of the best beaches in Cuba.
A 20km flawless stretch of sand that blends seamlessly into the shallow sea. This huge beach predominantly serves the all-inclusive market with tours, hotels and restaurants lining the coast. But even though it is one of the most popular beaches in Cuba, it’s large enough that you can always find space. This is also one of the best places for diving in Cuba with over 30 diving sites in the area. There’s also snorkelling, fishing and sailing trips which go from Varadero beach.
Playa Guardalavaca is a beautiful white stretch of sand, bordering the coast for 1500 meters. The beach is just as loved by locals as it is by tourists, giving it a more authentic feel than some all-inclusive focused areas. It’s surrounded by lush palm trees, orchards and fields creating a rural, natural atmosphere. This is also a great beach for snorkelling with numerous places selling gear along the stretch.
Did you know?
Cuba has more than 300 beaches!
Playa Pilar is the beach if you enjoy watersports. The water is crystal clear and abundant in marine life making it a great spot for diving. But even though there’s lots to do in the water, the beach is also lined with a great selection of bars and restaurants. The water here is shallow, the beach is always tidy and there’s a constant low murmur buzzing in the air. This sleepy beach is the perfect place to chill and indulge.
On a tiny island just off the coast of Camaguey is a patch of beautiful sand with crystal clear sea, almost completely clear of tourists. The perfect beach if you want some quiet time to lounge in a deck chair reading your holiday book. Being tucked away behind a long dirt track makes the beach feel like a true hidden gem. This beach has a unique vibe compared with other Cuban coastal towns and definitely one to experience if you’re in need of a little me time.
12km outside of Trinidad you’ll find one of the best beaches in Cuba – Playa Ancon. It’s long, white beach lines glistening, clear water. However, there are lots of sandflies so make sure you pack your repellent! Playa Ancon is easily one of the largest beaches in the area and not too overdressed with tourist facilities, so it’s managed to retain an authentic natural feel.
Playa Los Cocos
Leading on from Playa Santa Lucia lies one of the best beaches in Cuba. The half-moon curve of coast meets bright emerald water – it’s a dream. It’s so clear that you don’t need a snorkel, you can just watch the fish swimming between your legs. There’s also a small lagoon past the beach which often has flamingos!
One of the nicest beaches in Cuba, Playa Paraiso (or ‘paradise beach’) is on Cayo Largo del Sur. Its waters are warm, calm and really shallow so it’s great for families and small children. It’s also largely untouched by tourism, making it a relaxing, calm escape from the bustling cities. The perfect place to unwind. There isn’t much in the way of fancy restaurants and cocktail bars but you will be able to find some refreshments.
Playa Maguana is one of the most popular beaches in Cuba for locals, and the tourists are starting to catch on too. This beautiful, tropical paradise also has great coral reefs to explore and the beige beach is lined with postcard Caribbean palm trees. The area is also packed with a fantastic selection of cocktail bars and restaurants to keep you busy.