playa ancon

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

cayo guillermo

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.

Cayo Coco

cayo coco

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.

Cayo Jutias

cayo jutias

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

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.

Playa Sirena

playa sirena

Playa Sirena is one of Cayo Largo del Sur’s most stunning beaches, and is regularly named among the very best beaches in all of Cuba – or perhaps all of the Caribbean. Stunning, powdery sand, laid-back atmosphere, and some of the clearest water you’ll ever see make this beach so famous. Its next-door neighbor, Playa Blanca, is yet another of Cuba’s best beaches

Playa Maguana

playa maguana

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

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

cayo santa maria

Cayo Santa Maria is just a stone’s throw from some of Cuba’s most popular cays, including Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo, so expect the same stunning beaches you’ll find there, but with fewer visitors. Don’t let the Melía and Paradisus resorts scare you off – the beaches up and down this cay are just as pristine and untouched as you’re hoping. 

Playa Girón

playa giron

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. 

Playa Larga

playa larga

Located just a short drive from Playa Girón, Playa Larga is the most classically beautiful beach in the area, its long, sandy shores a popular getaway for travelers hiking in Ciénaga de Zapata or taking a stopover on the way to Trinidad or Cienfuegos. Careful when planning your trip here: there is another Playa Larga, sometimes known as Playa Larga del Sur, located on Cayo Largo del Sur, one of Cuba’s southern cays.

Playas del Este

playas del este

Sometimes the best beach is the one closest to you, right? Located just outside of Havana, Playas del Este truly aren’t the nicest of all the beaches of Cuba (what with all the stiff competition!), though they are perfect for a lazy, easy beach day to escape from the city.  The nicest beaches in the area of Playas del Este are Marazul and Santa Maria.

Playa Megano

playa megano

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.

Cayo Levisa

cayo levisa

Located between Havana and Viñales, Cayo Levisa is among the most impressive of the northern cays in Cuba’s Pinar del Rio province and a favorite excursion from either nearby travel hotspot. Only accessible via ferry from the mainland of Cuba, Cayo Levisa can be a bit difficult to access, but it’s well worth it; some travelers hole up at the hotel on the cay for days for an off-the-beaten-path beach getaway you won’t forget.

Playa Pilar

playa pilar

Always a highlight of a beach trip to Cayo Guillermo, Playa Pilar is the undisputed jewel of this sandy cay, and among the very best beaches in the Caribbean. With a Kempinski resort at one end and an Iberostar resort at the other, you’ll have plenty of options if you’re looking to stay the night, though thankfully, the beach is also accessible to travelers who aren’t staying at these exclusive hotels. 

Playa Paraiso

playa paraiso

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.



Guardalavaca is one of the most popular Cuban resort towns on this Caribbean island‘s eastern side, with white sand beaches and tranquil water that lure endless locals and travelers alike. Easily accessible from the rest of the province of Holguin and relatively close to Holguin’s airport, Guardalavaca is a perfect choice for travelers on a budget, though travelers looking for a luxe resort will have their fair share of options as well. 

Cayo Las Brujas

cayo las brujas

Just over the bridge from the Cuban mainland, Cayo Las Brujas is among the most beautiful of Cuba’s northern cays, with pristine white sand beaches to match. While it isn’t as popular – or as hectic – as nearby spots like Cayo Coco, it’s just as beautiful, and with its own airport, it’s just as easy to access.

Playa Ancón

playa ancon

Last but not least, Playa Ancón, just 15 minutes from the historical gem of Trinidad is considered among the most beautiful beaches on Cuba’s southern Coast. Stay at a casa particular in Trinidad and take a day trip to Playa Ancón, or go for a beachfront house and opt for day trips into Trinidad. Either way, you’re in for a fantastic stay in a gorgeous part of Cuba.