These Are the BEST Beaches in Cuba (Worth Traveling For!)
Cuba is for the stunning architectural gems of Havana, the famous Cuban cigars from the fields of Viñales, and the beautiful antique cars that buzz through its streets. However, there’s arguably no bigger draw for travelers to Cuba than the incredible white sand beaches that line its shores. Looking for inspiration for your next warm-weather island getaway? These are the best beaches of Cuba, sure to have you booking your tickets and packing your bags.
Cuba’s most famous beach resort town is more than just hype. The beaches of Varadero, just over two hours east of Havana, are chosen year after year by TripAdvisor as among the most beautiful in the world. With tons of hotels, resorts, and guest houses on the white sand, or just a few blocks away, you’ll have a hard time finding anything wrong with Varadero. It’s the stuff your Caribbean island dreams are made of.
Cayo Guillermo has always been renowned for having some of the best beaches in the world, but this special spot was made famous by Hemingway’s Book “Islands in the Stream.” It stood out to the author as one of the most beautiful spots in Cuba. It’s the less-frequented and less-hectic little sister of neighboring Cayo Coco, though it is just as beautiful.
For many travelers, Cayo Coco is home to the best of the best beaches in Cuba. With powdery white sand and crystal clear water, Cayo Coco attracts visitors from all around the world. It’s also home to some of Cuba’s largest and most luxurious resorts. Home to its own airport, it’s easily accessible from the Cuban mainland.
One of the northern cays extending into the Gulf of Mexico from Cuba’s western Pinar del Río province, Cayo Jutias seems to be rimmed with some of the best beaches in Cuba. Between the key’s main Playa Jutias and the famous Playa de las Estrellas, known for its abundance of starfish, you could easily spend a few days just beach-hopping here. This is a favorite day trip destination from Viñales.
Cayo Largo del Sur
Located off of Cuba’s southern coast, this tiny cay holds a number of Cuba’s most impressive beaches. Of course, expect stunningly clear water and white sand, but Cayo Largo del Sur has so much more to offer. Visitors can also go deep-sea fishing – some of the best charters in Cuba leave from the island – or learn about the turtles that nest here at the Centro de Rescate de Tortugas Marinas and watch babies hatch from a respectful distance.
The nearest and most beautiful beach to Cuba’s eastern historical gem of Baracoa, Playa Maguana is a hidden gem you’ll love. This white sand spot is popular with locals and travelers alike, and while you won’t find many beach amenities here, you’ll love how hidden it feels. Reefs and surrounding cliffs protect it from getting too wavy, making for perfect conditions for snorkeling and swimming.
Maria La Gorda
Located on one of the far western tips of the island of Cuba, Maria La Gorda is certainly an off-the-beaten-path beach, though visitors that make it to this distant gem instantly fall in love. It’s a great spot for both diving and snorkeling. Few hotel options are in the area, though you’re better off choosing a casa particular to stay in when headed to Maria La Gorda.
Cayo Santa Maria
Though Playa Girón might be a bit off the beaten path, this interesting small town is one of our very favorite cities in Cuba for visitors. You’ll love the snorkeling spots and swimming holes at the area’s beaches, known by a name you’ve certainly heard before: the Bay of Pigs.
Playas del Este
Don’t get confused with the tiny Playa Megano that is part of the Playas del Este outside of Havana! The Playa Megano on Cayo Santa Maria is a long, impressive stretch of golden sand and turquoise waters worth traveling for! While the shoreline is occupied by a string of big hotels, they offer day rentals of chairs and other amenities if you’re interested in visiting this beach just for the day.
Playa Paraiso is just as dreamy of a beach as its name implies. Easily one of Cuba’s most impressive beaches, it’s among the beautiful stretches of sand on Cayo Largo del Sur, the paradise cay off of Cuba’s southern shores. Playa Sirena is a neighbor, well worth visiting.