One of the world’s up-and-coming destination spots, Cuba has everything you’re looking for: history, charming cities, warm weather, and some of the most beautiful beaches. Cuba, only recently opened to American tourists, should definitely be your next go-to vacation. Check out our list of Cuba’s best beaches.
1. Playa Los Flamencos
Translating to “The Flamingos Beach”, this beach is home to thousands of these fun pink birds. Playa Los Flamencos, located in Cuba’s Cayo Coco, has nearly two miles of white sand beaches accompanied by clear, bright, teal water. The beach is a quieter retreat from the louder main beaches in Cayo Coco, making it an ideal relaxing getaway. The clear, calm waters are also a great spot for snorkeling about 200 meters from the coast.
The beach town of Varadero, in the Matanzas Province, is Cuba’s biggest beach, and one of the biggest beach resorts in the Caribbean. With vibrant blue waters and white sand beaches up and down the peninsula, Varadero’s nearly 13 miles of beach are big enough that you’ll be able to find your own secluded little hideaway if you want to get away from the crowds. As a hopping resort town, however, you can be sure that the restaurants, hotels, and nightlife in Varadero will be well worth the crowds of people.
3. Playa Ancon
As Southern Cuba’s best beach, Playa Ancon is both a tourist hotspot and an authentic Cuban destination. The clear waters are an ideal swimming spot while the white sand is perfect for you to sit back and relax. Playa Ancon is also close to the city of Trinidad, with memories of Cuba’s colonial history around every twist and turn. Trinidad’s colorful buildings and winding cobblestone streets will enchant you, all while teaching you more about Cuba’s culture and history.
4. Playa Guardalavaca
Playa Guardalavaca, in Holguin province on Cuba’s northeastern shores, is an ideal destination, with all-inclusive resorts, clear blue water beaches lined with palm trees, reefs ready for snorkeling, and of course all the relaxing you need along the nine miles of clean white sand. Playa Guardalavaca is also home to a host of other water sports, including parachuting and boat tours.
Read more: Cuba’s Top Places to Stay on the Beach
5. Playa Sirena
Playa Sirena, on an island off the coast of Southern Cuba, is known for its calm water and clean white sand beaches. The palm trees lining the shore provide the perfect shade for you to lay out and enjoy the day, while the offshore coral reefs make the water tranquil enough to swim in without any worries. Kayaks and catamarans are also available to rent for those looking for a little more adventure.
6. Bahia de Baracoa
Bahia de Baracoa, or Baracoa Bay, sits at Cuba’s eastern edge in the Guantanamo province. Baracoa’s gray sand beach can be a welcome break from the white sand of the rest of the country. The entire beach is surrounded by the lush, green mountains, in place of the typical palm trees lining the rest of Cuba’s beaches. The city of Baracoa, the oldest city in the country, is full of history.
7. Punta Frances
This little beach on Cuba’s Isla de la Juventud (which translates to “Island of Youth”) was once a pirate cove and is now your perfect beach getaway. The palm tree-lined white sand shore is combined with the bright teals and blues of the water make it one of Cuba’s most beautiful spots. The clear water is ideal for scuba diving and snorkeling if you want to check out the colorful underwater world. The beach is also quiet enough that you don’t need to worry about bumping into fellow visitors every few paces.
Read more: Where to Book Hostels in Cuba
8. Maria La Gorda
All the way on the westernmost point of Cuba is Maria La Gorda. This spot has been named one of the best scuba diving spots in all of Latin America for its clear, calm waters. The beach is actually inside of a national park, Parque Nacional Peninsula de Guanahacabibes. The park is a go-to spot for wildlife including iguanas, sea turtles, and crocodiles. Exploring the lagoons, and petrified trees is also fascinating.
9. Cayo Levisa
Cayo Levisa sits just north of Havana, on its own little island. It’s is incredibly secluded, so don’t worry about competing for that perfect spot on the beach. The island is more difficult to get to and without many of the luxuries of some of the other beaches. That said, this is perfect if you’re looking for your own private vacation. The beach is also home to mangroves, numerous snorkeling spots, and an international scuba diving center.
If you’re looking to travel to Cuba, make sure you stay up to date with the restrictions in place for travelers. For Americans, be sure to verify the hotel you want to stay in or the business you want to visit is not on the list of restricted businesses.
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