10 Best beaches in Cuba to visit on your next vacation
Uncover the best beaches in Cuba and spend your vacation soaking up the sunshine on the paper-white shoreline of the Caribbean
There is more to Cuba than the crumbling streets of Havana and the prehistoric beauty of the Viñales landscape. This Caribbean island may be famous for its rum, salsa music, and tumultuous history but it is the island’s beaches that attract visitors to its shores year after year. It is easy to stay under the safety net of a resort but travelers who explore further afield are gifted with unforgettable memories and beaches more beautiful than those used as a computer screensaver. Whether your idea of a tropical Caribbean getaway involves sipping sundowners on a lounger looking out over stretches of pristine coastline or snorkeling in the crystalline waters, there is a Cuban beach with your name on it. So, let the sunbaked, sandy adventures begin. It is time to uncover the best beaches in Cuba.
When to visit the best beaches in Cuba
If you are looking for the best time to hit the beach in Cuba, mark your calendars for November-April. This is the time of year when the days are long, the weather is hot and anyone who is in the know will be reserving their favorite patch of sand. During these months there is little to no rainfall either making this an idyllic moment to catch some rays. Cuba makes an idyllic escape when the temperatures drop across the USA and northern Europe. So, if you fancy some winter sun, look no further than the picture postcard beaches of Varadero and beyond.
1. Discover the best beach in Varadero: Varadero Beach
Offering 25km of soft sandy shores spanning the entire peninsula, it is no wonder Varadero beach is arguably known as the best beach in Cuba. Work your way from one end to the other, indulging in the numerous activities available here including diving, sailing, snorkeling, and fishing, or take a break and retreat to some of the nearby museums and art galleries that lay just a few feet away. It is also a stone’s throw from some of the top hotels on the island.
Varadero Beach is rated as one of the best beaches in Cuba by all who visit
2. Visit the best beach towns in Cuba: Bay of Pigs
The Bay of Pigs may be a name familiar to history buffs but it is also one of the best beaches in Cuba for snorkeling. It is an ideal site for beginner snorkelers and newly qualified divers thanks to its easy access and clear visibility reaching up to twenty meters.
It is an ideal site for beginner snorkelers and newly qualified divers thanks to its easy access and clear visibility reaching up to twenty meters
The shallow waters are great for creating a feeling of safety so all you have to do is float on the waves and take in the incredible marine life beneath you. It can be debated that the Bay of Pigs is home to one of the best reefs in the Caribbean and for us, it is certainly true!
The Bay of Pigs is one of the most famous and best beaches in Cuba for snorkeling
3. Spend time at the beautiful beaches in Cuba at Cayo Sabinal
If you are looking to escape the Cuban crowds in search of a little downtime, then the beautiful and deserted beaches of Cayo Sabinal are just where you need to head next. Tucked away from tourists thanks to its isolated geographical location, this untouched piece of paradise known as Cayo Sabinal is worth the 7km journey across a bumpy dirt track just to experience the complete tranquility that awaits on the other side. Imagine blinding white beaches and serene sapphire waters, while wild horses and deer roam the surrounding woodland – there is nowhere more magical to spend an afternoon or a few days and it is no wonder that this area is renowned for Cuba’s best beaches…
4. Enjoy the best beach holidays in Varadero, discovering the Cayos
If you are looking for the best beaches in Cuba, then use the idyllic paradise of Varadero as your base to venture off exploring secluded islands. One little island that is worth the day trip is Cayo Blanco, just a short journey from Varadero. Its beaches are like computer screensavers and its beauty doesn’t stop there.
Delve beneath the Ocean’s surface and you can witness a hive of activity with tropical fish swimming in and out of the exotic flora and fauna and extensive coral reefs
Delve beneath the Ocean’s surface and you can witness a hive of activity with tropical fish swimming in and out of the exotic flora and fauna and extensive coral reefs. And, once you tire of what lies beneath the water, you can enjoy a boat ride through the crystalline waters to see dolphins and other exotic sea life in their natural habitat.
Cayo Blanco is home to some of the best beaches in Cuba discoverable by boat
5. Best beaches near Havana? Visit Playa del Este
If it is a party you are after, then there is nowhere better than the buzzing beaches of Playas del Este – one of the top beaches in Cuba that make up the Santa Maria Del Mar. Just a short 20-minute drive from Havana, it is no wonder this spot is popular amongst locals and tourists alike. While this is admittedly not one of Cuba’s most spectacular-looking beaches, there will be plenty to keep you busy with the various bars and clubs which line the adjacent streets. Plus, you are guaranteed to make a few Cuban friends along the way!
6. Swim at one of the nicest beaches in Cuba: Playa Ancon
Sitting just outside the city of Trinidad, Playa Ancon is widely renowned for being one of the best beaches in Cuba on the south coast. It offers beachgoers the longest stretch of sand in the area, surrounded by the glittering turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. With more than 20 dive sites, this is the perfect place for snorkelers and divers looking for nice beaches in Cuba where they can explore the reefs surrounding the shoreline and the numerous sunken ships scattered along the seabed.
If Playa Ancon, one of the best beaches in Cuba is not on your bucket list, it will be after reading this
7. Cayo Saetia, the best beach in Cuba for adventure seekers
If you are on the hunt for a beach day with a twist, head to the best beach resort in Cuba for adventure seekers, Cayo Saetia. This small idyllic island located on the northern coast of Holguin province is the only place in Cuba where you can enjoy your very own safari experience.
This small idyllic island located on the northern coast of Holguin province is the only place in Cuba where you can enjoy your very own safari experience
Jump in a Jeep or set off on horseback to discover the variety of wildlife which freely roam the island including giraffes, buffalo, ostriches and zebras. Finish your day with a trip to one of the island’s 11 gemlike beaches, recognized as being among the best beaches in Cuba, before settling in for a siesta on the plush white sand under the shade of the mangroves.
The winter blues look better at Cayo Saetia, one of the best beaches in Cuba
8. Discover the best snorkeling beaches in Cuba at Playa Rancho Luna
Playa Rancho Luna is exactly what you imagine when you think of the best family beach holidays in Cuba. It perfectly combines beauty with exciting activities to keep children of all ages occupied. Located just 20km south of Cienfuegos city the beach is easily accessible by car, bus and taxi with parking bays close by. Pack your surf shoes because at low tide part of the reef is exposed and is sharp underfoot. Underneath the water explore the grassy sea bed which provides ample hiding places for so many colorful fish. Further on, swim up to the elkhorn corals and gorgonians before returning to shore to enjoy a tasty plate of local food at one of the beachfront restaurants.
Escape the cold and spend winter discovering the best beaches in Cuba at Playa Rancho Luna
9. Which part of Cuba has the best beaches? Bahia de Baracoa is top of the list
While it is somewhat hard to get sick of the soft white sandy beaches that Cuba offers, Bahia de Baracoa located on the eastern tip is a beach with true character. With velvety dark sands surrounded by a verdant jungle and the peaks of the mountains fading into the distance, Baracoa may just well be one of the best beach towns in Cuba. Be sure to grab yourself a cornet - which is a local delicacy made of palm leaf and filled generously with coconut, banana and honey and you have got yourself a perfect afternoon on one of the best beaches in Cuba.
10. Visit one of the most beautiful beaches in Cuba that is also LGBT+ friendly, Mi Cayito Beach
While walking down the winding streets of Havana may make you feel as though you are in a 1950s movie, society is making slow advances into the future. One of which is the gentle acceptance of the LGBT community within Cuban culture. So much so that Havana has a buzzing gay scene complete with vibrant nightlife and daytime meeting spots. One of these is Mi Cayito, one of the best Cuba beaches for the LBGT community. Yet, the pristine white sand, sky blue waters, friendly vibe and close proximity to the old city of Havana (a UNESCO World Heritage site) make this one of the best beaches in Cuba to visit while on your travels.
Enjoy making memories at Bahia de Baracoa, one of the best beaches in Cuba