Cubania Travel Guide: Best Beaches In Cuba
If you’re lucky enough to be travelling or are already in Cuba, you’ll soon be asking yourself: what are the most beautiful beaches in Cuba that I must visit? Of course, this depends on what you like, where you’re located, how long you’re travelling for, what you want to do and how much money you want to spend.
We want to make your life as easy and convenient as possible by trying to rank the most beautiful beaches in the country, to assist you in your decision making.
There are a few important factors to consider:
✈️ (airplane), 🚗 (car), 🚌 (bus), 🚃(train) 🚢(boat)
- 🌴 (nature) – meaning that there are very few people or none
- 🇨🇺(locals) – there are some locals, but it still is not overcrowded by tourists
- 😎 (touristy)- meaning that the place is popular and you will bump into fellow foreigners. This isn’t a negative thing, it simply depends on what you’re looking for ie: If you’re travelling with children we would recommend more touristy locations as its more comfortable to find accommodation, food options and medical access if needed.
🦎 (iguanas), 🐬 (dolphins), 🐦(tropical birds), 🐠(fish), ⭐️(starfish), 🌱(flora)
Apart from its unique culture and unbelievable locations that look like they’ve been frozen in time, Cuba is home to a wide variety of animal species.
🏊🏻♀️ (snorkeling), 🐳 (diving), 🛶 (boats/kayaking), 🎣 (fishing)
It’s nice to have the chance to relax in this paradise, however for those who can’t just sit on the beach and are itching to discover the country through activities this section is for you.
Money saving tip: Bring your own snorkeling gear as you can do it almost everywhere. A waterproof Phone bag to keep your phone dry and be able to take stunning pictures underwater.
Do not go snorkeling alone, especially if you’re not a good swimmer. There are some places with an underwater stream that can make swimming or snorkeling more dangerous. These places should have warning signs indicating such currents.
ACCOMMODATION & FOOD
Roughing it up is not for everyone, for some, the comfort of a hotel and a nice sundowner drink are important when on holiday.
- 🏝️(Island & palms) – meaning the beach is remote, not many cafes, bars or hotels nearby. We recommend taking food and drinks with you.
- ⛱️(Beach umbrella) – meaning there are a few options available to get a drink or snack on the beach. We recommend you to only buy closed bottles and packed or grilled food to avoid food poisoning.
- 🏨 (Hotel or resort) – this is a city beach or resort. Here you will have a lot more options for food, drink and partying after a nice day at the beach. However, these places might be a bit too crowded for nature lovers.
🏆 CUBANIA TRAVEL’S EXCELLENCE BEACHES – our favorite beaches get a trophy for excellence. We highly recommend these.
11 most beautiful beaches in Cuba:
- Cayo Levisa (🚢😎🐠🌱🏊🏻♀️🐳⛱️🏆)
This white sand beach is only accessible by ferry. This small island has just one hotel which is often fully booked. You can make it a day trip, however, we think this is a perfect place to relax for a couple of days at the end of an active holiday through Cuba. We offer this as a Trip Extension on most of our tours as the perfect quiet island retreat.
- Cayo Jutías (🚗 🇨🇺 😎⛱️🏊🏻♀️🐳⛱️🏆)
One of the most popular beaches on the west coast of Cuba. This paradise is only 2 hours (60km) away from Viñales and you can get here by taxi, rental car or by booking a guided tour.
- Playa Paraiso at Cayo Largo del Sur (✈️🇨🇺🦎🐬🐠⭐️🏊🏻♀️🐳🏨)
One of the most beautiful cayos, with the softest white sand and turquoise water, the perfect remote get-away (only accessible via a 45-minute flight from Havana).This paradise is often compared with the well-known islands of the Maldives, but we think that this place is even better. We recommend staying for a few days at the end of your journey to Cuba. Soak up the last of the sun before heading back home or enjoy the variety of water activities. Ranked third in 2016’s Travellers’ Choice Awards by TripAdvisor.
- Playas del Este (🚗🚌🇨🇺😎🐠🏊🏻♀️🐳🏨)
A group of beaches to the east of Havana frequented year-round by locals looking to kick back and cool off. The perfect day-trip destination, relax on the beach with a picnic and a bottle of Havana Club. You can make it back to Havana for dinner and explore the city’s nightlife.
- Playa Coral (🚗🚌😎🐠⭐️🏊🏻♀️🐳🏨)
There are a reported 300 species of fish here and as the name suggests, the beach is famous for its corals, visibility is a decent 15m to 20m. So this is a great place to go diving or snorkeling if you prefer. This is a popular stop for excursions from Varadero, so we recommend to go in the morning or late afternoon, and that you try to time your visit between tides.
- Playa Varadero (🚗🚌😎🐠🏊🏻♀️🐳🏨🎣)
Gorgeous coral reef, lots of sea caves, green and blue waters, and amazing white sand. Traveling in a group can sometimes be a bit of a struggle in terms of choosing what to do, but this place has it all: bars, museums and all kinds of activities. You can go snorkeling, diving, fish your own meal or take a boat with a glass-bottom and explore underwater without getting wet. This beach made Cuba famous in the 50s. You can find a lot of all-inclusive Hotels on the beach that look like you’re in an old movie. This area is great for people with kids because the entrance in the sea is very “child-friendly” and the waves are gentle too. Adults might have to walk quite far to find a spot deeper than 50cm.
- Playa Pilar (🚗🚌🇨🇺🐦⭐️🐳⛱️)
Playa Pilar is one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean with crystal clear water and snow-white sand. The beach is located at the end of Cayo Guillermo, approximately 1 km walk from the Hotel Iberostar Playa Pilar. You can reach the Hotel from Cayo Coco by bike or by car. The way to the beach is not the easiest but it’s totally worth it. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll be able to see flocks of pink flamingos on the beach. This area of Cuba’s Northern coastline is great for beach hopping. Therefore it should be on your bucket list for Cuba!
- Playa Los Flamenco, also known as Cayo Coco beach (✈️🚌🚃😎🐠🏊🏻♀️🐳🏨🎣)
Cayo Coco has some of the best beaches in Cuba, it’s 22 km long and can be reached by train, bus, car or airplane (Jardines del Rey airport). It is dominated by all-inclusive hotels, so for a more peaceful and calm escape try Playa Los Flamencos, 3km of beautiful crystalline waters with orange starfish.
- Cayo Las Brujas (✈️🚗🚌😎🐠🛶🏨)
You can take a bus, taxi or travel by car from Santa Clara to Cayo Las Brujas. It’s the smallest inhabitable island in the Sabana archipelago making it a peaceful paradise. Villa Las Brujas, the only hotel on the island, it’s the only non-all-inclusive hotel in this area. The Hotel and the food here aren’t great, so if you really want to explore this beautiful beach please bring your own food.
- Cayo Santa Maria (✈️🚗🚌😎🐠🛶🏨)
Next to Cayo Las Brujas you will find Cayo Santa Maria. This will be your real escape from reality. You can book a very nice hotel, a little house or just make it a day trip. We recommend staying longer and enjoying the beach at the end of your Cuba trip. Enjoy the beautiful sunset at the bars and restaurants by the beach.
- Playa Ancón (🚗🚌😎🐠🛶🏨🏊🏻♀️🏆)
If you are visiting the colonial town of Trinidad, then you should also visit Playa Ancón. The longest beach in the area and the best beach in Southern Cuba. After a morning at the beach, we recommend visiting the El Nicho waterfalls, there are natural pools in which to take a refreshing swim in the lush tropical forest. We really like this beach and you can find it on some of our tours. Check it out here!
With Cubania Travel you can book a personal, tailor-made tour through Cuba. We’re here to help you get the most out of your trip and expose you to a unique way of life by sharing the real Cuban experience.
And of course, there are many more beautiful beaches in Cuba. If you have any questions on specific ones, don’t be shy and ask away!