Our Top 10 beaches in Cuba
The enchanting Cuban beaches are all beautiful but each is unique and lovely in its own way. Some are best suited for long romantic walks, some are perfect for diving or surfing, and others provide the ideal setting for family fun.
To make sure that you find the beach, that suits your wishes perfectly and that you should definitely visit during your Cuba vacation we have compiled a list of 10 of the best!
1. Cayo Jutias
Cayo Jutias is located in the beautiful and green province of "Pinar del Rio". This small, remote island in the northwest is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Here you will find a few fisherman, a small restaurant, an old red and white lighthouse (built in 1902), spectacular unspoiled natural beaches, and little else. If you are looking for a tranquil escape into nature, then this is the right beach for you.
Tip:Bring mosquito spray!
This paradisiacal beach is one of the liveliest in Cuba! In 1990 Fidel Castro personally opened the first All-Inclusive Hotel on this beach – the first joint project with the Western World after the Revolution. Today there are more than 60 hotels in Varadero, including the most expensive and luxurious hotels in Cuba. If you’re looking for a spectacular beach, bustling nightlife, and a hotel with plenty of amenities, then Varadero is for you!
3. Santa Lucia
Winds registering 5-6 on the Beaufort scale and warm, shallow water make this beach one of the best places for kitesurfing in Cuba. Santa Lucia is also one of the top diving destinations in the Caribbean. Here you will find bull sharks, rays, colourful tropical fish, and more! Even if you aren’t interested in water sports, Santa Lucia is worth a visit. Unlike many of the resort beaches in Cuba, Santa Lucia is located in a small Cuban village so you can interact with both locals and tourists.
Tip: Every Saturday night there is a great beach party, the famous "White Party".
4. Cayo Coco
During the 2nd World War the area around the tiny island of Cayo Coco was Ernest Hemingway's favorite place to fish. He is said to have spent many drunken nights here on his yacht the ‘Pilar’, unsuccessfully trying to track down German submarines. In Hemingway’s day there was nothing built here, and even now there are just a few all-inclusive hotels, long stretches of mangrove forests, and pristine sandy beaches. Five decades of fishing restrictions in this area have also made Cayo Coco an ideal place for snorkeling.
Tip: Bring snorkeling gear!
5. Playa Maguana
Whether you come from Holguín or from Baracoa, the road to Playa Maguana will be a bumpy one. The route may be a bit rough but the beach is well worth the trip! Since some are hesitant to test the roads those who do make the journey are rewarded with a beach that is never crowded with tourists. This peaceful and scenic beach is backed by the Alexander Humboldt National Park, making an ideal spot for nature lovers and anyone just looking to get away from it all and relax.
Tip: Take short walks and explore the surrounding area
6. Playa Girón
Better known as the "Bay of Pigs", because of the botched US invasion in 1961, Playa Girón is now a tranquil and lovely natural paradise. This beautiful bay is part of the Zapata Peninsula National Park which provides a habitat for countless animal and plant species. Here you will find the Hotel Girón, which is built in the American motel style of the 1950s. This Hotel is a must-visit for anyone fascinated by the revolution. The Hotel displays the rubber boots that Fidel Castro wore during the invasion as well as other items from the battle.
Tip: Visit the "Caleta Buena", another bay just 8 km from the Hotel Girón. There is a free shuttle service from the hotel.
8. Cayo Levisa
This lovely tourist island is the perfect place to kick off your shoes, read a book, sip mojitos, and swim in the warm waters of the turquoise Caribbean Sea. Because there is just one all-inclusive hotel on the island, Cayo Levisa is a pretty calm place. There is also a diving resort here if you would like to scuba or snorkel. The beaches themselves rarely swell and are very shallow so they are ideal for children.
Tip:The perfect place for a family holiday
9. Maria la Gorda
The name of this beach literally translates as “Fat Maria”. It was supposedly named after a prostitute named Maria who conducted business here. Today however, there is certainly no prostitution here. This coastal paradise is located at the westernmost tip of Cuba, away from towns and cities. The main reason people visit this beach is to explore the spectacular underwater world of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. This is the best diving spot in Cuba and one of the longest coral reefs in the world.
Tip: Top destination for divers.
10. Cayo Largo
There is nothing here but sun, beach and sea. The weather is almost always ideal and there are several excellent diving spots around the island. This is the perfect place to unplug and just relax!
Tip:Most relaxing beach in Cuba.