Beaches of Cuba
Cuba’s beaches and seaside resorts are famous the world over. Its coastline is blessed with countless talcum-white beaches with butter-soft sand and bowing coconut palms, gently lapped by the warm, crystal blue waters of the Caribbean Sea. Surrounding the island is one of the largest coral reefs in the world, perfect for snorkelling and scuba diving.
Esencia Experiences can help you discover the best and most beautiful beaches in Cuba with our wide range of tailor-made holiday packages. On top of that, we’ll also find you the best beach hotels and resorts Cuba has to offer, along with enthralling water-based experiences that are sure to make your trip extra special.
Along the north eastern coast of Havana you’ll find the Playas del Este, Spanish for ‘Eastern Beaches’, a chain of beaches that stretches for 15 miles along the Habana del Este province. This popular tourist spot is where you will find a majority of the best beaches in Havana and by extension Cuba.
Santa María del Mar is considered to be one of the main beaches of Havana. During peak times it is known to get very busy, due to the convenience of its nearby amenities. These include restaurants, stores and places to hire water sports equipment. Additionally, if you’re looking for a treasure trove of luxurious beach resorts near Havana’s centre, then the Santa María del Mar is the place for you.
A small distance from the Santa María del Mar is the Playa Boca Ciega. Popular with locals, it’s a less crowded beach that also boasts more affordable restaurants and bars compared to the ones found in tourist heavy spots. Further on from here you’ll find the Playa Guanabo, a beach attached to a village on the outskirts of Havana. Both the beach and village are bursting with character and rustic charm, giving you the best opportunity for a laidback day-trip.
The closest beach to the centre of Havana is the Playa Bacuranao. Located in a small bay, it hosts a breathtaking coral reef which is a must-see for snorkelling enthusiasts. The sand here is thicker than other spots, and is far less busy as a result. The people who frequent this beach tend to be Havana residents, there to break away from the hustle and bustle of the city’s centre.
30 minutes west from Havana by car, you’ll come across the Playa Baracoa. Along this coast you’ll find one of the most remarkable beaches in Cuba. The Playa El Salado, Spanish for ‘Salty Beach’, is loved by locals and tourists alike for the high levels of salt concentrations found in its waters. Ocean currents off the coast of Cuba are to thank for this unique environment as it is great for the skin.
One of the best beach resorts in Cuba is Varadero, with its warm cerulean waters, swaying palms and shimmering white sand. This coastline is perfect for long strolls as it is more than 20 kilometres (12 miles) in length, and very well preserved natural backdrop.
Here you can find an abundance of watersports opportunities and dine at Al Capone’s house, a cute cottage that sits on the long strip of sand that is considered the best beach in Varadero.
Cayo Coco Beach
Then there’s the many beautiful islets sprinkled along Cuba’s northern coastline, such as Cayo Coco. Known for its resort hotels and long coast, Cayo Coco’s best beaches are Playa Flamenco, Playa Larga, and Playa Palma Real. Cayo Coco was also once a hideout for buccaneers in the early colonial period and is famous for the large flocks of pink flamingos that live in its shallow waters.
You could also head west to the smaller island Cayo Guillermo or hop on a catamaran to the idyllic and sparsely populated Cayo Media Luna for a pleasantly secluded sunbathe, snorkel and seafood lunch.
One of our top beach choices is Playa Ancón, a precious ribbon of soft, white sand stretching nearly three miles and often described as the finest arc of sand on Cuba’s southern coastline. It’s guarded by the historic town of Trinidad, with its charming cobbled streets, sprawling colonial palaces and plazas and hot Latin American rhythms. Nearby is Casilda Bay, a hotspot for snorkelers and divers.
Those in search of respite can sail to the tip of Cayo Jutías to mingle with colonies of giant orange starfish, or soak up the Caribbean sun on its three-kilometre blanket of mangrove-dappled sand.
And if you’re looking for something a little different from Cuba’s white sand beaches, the pretty village of Baracoa (not the one in Havana) is home to unusually dark and velvety sands, guarded by mangroves and verdant jungle.
These are a mere fraction of the beach resorts in Cuba that await you. And whatever you’re into — sunbathing, watersports or snorkelling in coral-rich seas — Esencia Experiences will create the best beach holiday in Cuba you’ll ever have.
For more luxury experiences on the beaches of Cuba, take a look at our Havana beach golf holiday packages.