Cuba is the largest country in the Caribbean and one of the most popular sun destinations, especially for all-inclusive resorts. There are over 300 beaches in Cuba and each has its own charm, whether it is the crystal blue water in the northern beaches to the secluded coves along the south coast.
For first time travellers to Cuba, the biggest question is: which beach is the best in Cuba? That answer is different for everyone, but here are five beautiful Cuban beaches that we particularly love.
The most famous beach in Cuba, Varadero Beach stretches 20 kilometres and is home to the most all-inclusive resorts in the country. There’s no denying that it is the most beautiful beach in Cuba as it rivals some of the best in the world. The fine white sand and crystal waters are unparalleled.
In addition to the many all-inclusive resorts, there are also independent hotels and casa particulares (Cuban bed and breakfasts) that you can stay at to make it a budget-friendly vacation.
As a beach town, it’s not the most authentic experience. Most of the Cubans you encounter will be there because they work in Varadero but live outside town. It’s a great base to enjoy the sun and sand, with plenty of opportunities to take day trips to other regions in Cuba, including Havana.
Playa del Estes
Often known as the Havana beaches, it’s a 10 km stretch of beaches just east of the city. While it doesn’t have the stellar beauty of Varadero, it is much closer to Havana and still has the wonderful Caribbean blue waters and soft sand that makes Cuba so special.
The most popular is Playa Santa Maria, which is home to a few hotels and restaurants. It’s possible to rent a beach chair and an umbrella here for a few dollars. You are much more likely to find Cubans enjoying the beach here, especially on summer weekends.
The hop-on hop-off bus in Havana also offers round-trip service to the beach for only $5 US, which makes it a very affordable way to spend the day at the beach.
While beaches on the southern coast of Cuba don’t get as much attention, Playa Ancon is one of the best. Located 20 minutes outside the popular colonial city of Trinidad , it’s a great option for an afternoon in the sun or an active snorkeling tour with black coral and exotic fish. Fishing and diving are also popular here.
While it may be tempting at stay at one of the hotels on the beach, the best bet is to stay in Trinidad where there is more to do. The city hop-on-hop-off bus offers a beach service, making it a very easy visit.
This 13 km region on the northern coast of Cuba features a series of cayos connected to the main island with a causeway. Next to Varadero, the cayos are the second most popular spot for an all-inclusive holiday. There are direct flights to Cayo Coco as it is a significant driving distance from the Havana or Varadero airport.
These beaches are perfect for rest and relaxation. There are several beaches to visit and lots of wildlife, but there isn’t a lot to do outside the resorts as the region is dedicated to tourism. This region is best if you like to spend most of your time at the resort or on the beach.
A short drive from popular Holguin, legend says Columbus proclaimed this was the most beautiful beach he had ever seen.
It is a 1500 metre stretch of sparkling white sand, rolling hills and green fields full of palms, sea grapes, and tamarind. It makes the beach beautiful and natural. Although this beach is popular with tourists, you’ll also find lots of Cubans on the sands in the summer. There are great amenities with hotels, restaurants, and shops to rent snorkels.
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