Cuba is known for its white-sand beaches, surrounded by palm trees and miles of clear, blue waters. Take a walk on the calmer side with these pieces of paradise when you travel to Cuba, a quick 30-minute chartered flight from Miami.
1. Playa Paraiso and Playa Sirena
These two beaches are the yin and yang of Cuban relaxation. Located a stone’s throw from each other, they offer some of the softest sand and clearest waters. They lie on the island of Cayo Largo del Sur’s west side and are protected from the harsher weather that hits the eastern parts of the island. The water here is very shallow, so you’ll never need to don your flippers to get a little wet. The beach also has a simple bar so you’ll rarely run into big groups of tourists, making this a little-known spot of heaven.
2. Cayo Levisa
If you want to get even more remote, head to Pinar del Rio. The boat ride from Palma Rubia is just under an hour and is worth the extra effort. Pull on your goggles and get a glimpse of brightly colored fish and underwater shipwrecks offshore. When you’re hungry, head over to the beach bar for a healthy dose of Cuban fare, including local seafood. Unwind with a beach-side massage, and let the sound of the breeze and the smell of the ocean help you drift into a relaxed state.
One of Cuba’s most popular beaches, Varadero has 13 miles of sand. To get here, head to the northern side of the island. Only a two-hour bus ride from Havana, you’ll find a little respite from the city here. The nearby all-inclusive resort has a restaurant, water sports, beach access, and spa services. Or, simply enjoy the natural splendor of clear blue water and soft sand.
4. Playa Ancon
Explore the colonial town of Trinidad before heading to one of the best sites for snorkeling and scuba diving in Cuba. The town offers a little Cuban history and culture while Playa Ancon offers three miles of uninterrupted beach. If you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle, this beach offers a quieter atmosphere than Varadero but still has a resort hotel that will offer up plenty of amenities.
5. Cayos Coco and Guillermo
If you’re craving a little more human connection, head to Cuba’s northern coast, and take a boat to the cays of Coco and Guillermo. This is the Cuba you’ve read about in Ernest Hemmingway’s novels. The beaches are clean, but there are still plenty of activities, like diving and snorkeling. The cays are a part of the Gardens of the King archipelago. Playa Pilar has plenty of Hemmingway’s favorite beverages, including piña coladas and mojitos.
6. Bahia de Baracoa
If you’d like to deviate from the typical white-sand beach, head to Bahia de Baracoa for its black beaches. Located on the eastern side of Cuba, just past Santiago de Cuba, the beach is the perfect foreground for a quaint village with pastel houses. Just beyond the beach lies a jungle and mangroves, perfect for exploring when you’ve gotten tired of relaxing on the sand.
Like Varadero, Guardalavaca is one of the most popular beaches in Cuba; however, it does not draw quite the massive crowds that Varadero does. The beach has plenty of small coves and lovely resorts, and it is lined with tropical plants and flowers. The area also boasts archeological sites of pre-Columbian Cuba, should you feel tempted to experience a little culture too.