Here is our guide to some of the best beaches in Cuba.
Cuba is located in the Caribbean and is home to some of the best beaches in the world. There is a huge diversity in the quality of beaches and not all are alike.
We do appreciate some of the locations we’ve mentioned here are islands rather than specific beaches and we haven’t discussed the beautiful beaches in Varadero, Cayo Coco, Cayo Santa Maria and the alike but our aim was to give you a few ideas away from the heavily promoted beaches in Cuba.
Located in the Pinar del Rio Province Cayo Jutías is the true essence of Paradise, with its golden sand and crystal clear turquoise waters. Cayo Jutias is not as touristic as other popular destinations although the main strip can get quite busy where the beach bars are located.
Further down this beach, you’ll find giant starfish
For the intrepid traveller willing to trek through mangroves and totally off the beaten path, secret hidden gems await.
Venturing out is the definitely the way to go here, find your secret beach and feel like you have just discovered a part of Cuba that no one else knows about and bask in the true beauty Cuba has to offer.
There are no hotels on the beach although there are local casa particulars close by, the standards are not as high as in Vinales and we think it better to visit here as a day trip. One more thing to note, please watch out for jellyfish.
Access Cayo Jutías by coach or shared/private taxi from Viñales and expect about 45 mins to 1 hour driving time each way.
Cayo Levisa is located west along the coast from Havana in the Pinar Del Rio province. Sugar white sand, tropical waters and a tranquil atmosphere make it one of the best beaches in Cuba to visit with its easy access from Havana and Viñales.
This spot is more frequented than its rival Cayo Jutias as there is a hotel located on the Island, but the hotel has mixed reviews.
There are more amenities here with a diving, snorkelling, kayaking, catamaran trips, guided walks, water biking, deep sea fishing and massages all available on the island.
Cayo Levisa is a 30-minute ferry trip from Palma Rubia on the mainland. This is a 1.5-2 hour drive from Viñales and 3.5 hours from Havana to reach Palma Rubia.
Playa Maguana located in Baracoa in the Guantanamo Province on the Eastern side of Cuba.
A 25-minute drive from Baracoa
Baracoa is not as popular as other destinations among tourists visiting Cuba but it’s one of our favourite spots on the island.
Baracoa was really difficult to reach before the national highway was built and in return has kept its charm and somewhat secrecy. The beaches are beautiful with lush tropical backdrops.
Playa Maguana is a short 25-minute drive from Baracoa and easily accessed by private or shared taxi.
Playa Marea del Portillo
Marea del Portillo located in the Granma Province is quite different from most beaches in Cuba, but it is very special. It has the breath-taking Sierra Maestra Mountains as its backdrop and the sand is almost noir in colour.
This beach is a great place for horse riding, snorkelling and diving. There are other beautiful beaches along the coastline that are unnamed and will intrigue anyone looking to see Cuba off the tourist trail.
Marea del Portillo located in the Granma Province
A must do is a hike into the Sierra Maestra National Park on your travels here. Marea del Portillo is a 3.5-hour drive to Santiago or 2-hour drive from Bayamo.
Playa Paraiso is located on Cayo Largo Del Sur. When you think of powder white sand and crystal-clear water with a tropical breeze this is the place.
Ranked as one of the top 5 beaches in the world
There are no buildings or resorts built on the beach keeping its fragile ecosystem intact although you can stay on the island’s resorts located a short journey away.
White sand with crystal clear water
This is one of the harder to reach beaches in Cuba in terms of it’s not located on the mainland and not on everyone’s radar. You can fly from Havana’s smaller airport Playa Baracoa and arrive in 40 minutes at an average cost of $125 or £100. Check out flights from Cubana de Aviación.
Cayo Saetía is located in the Holguin Province at the entrance of the Bay of Nipe.
Cayo Saetía is heavily forested
It is like no other place in Cuba, as you will see deer, giraffe, water buffalo, zebras, wild boar, ostriches, peacocks, wild bulls and antelopes all wondering freely on the island.
Cayo Saetía is heavily forested, almost covering 65% of the island. The virgin beaches are beautiful, 12 in total with golden sand, crystal clear water and brown rock formations that are unique to this island.
You can access Cayo Saetía via land or if you are really going for it by helicopter from Guardalevaca. Via car from Santiago de Cuba, expect around a 2hr 45 min journey and from Holguin about 1hr 15 mins.
Punta Perdiz is located in the Bay of Pigs in the Matanzas Province. This is not a beach as such because it’s actually a limestone rock face but it is one of the best places for snorkelling and diving as the waters are teaming with activity.
Punta Perdiz, great for diving and snorkelling
Other popular beaches are Playa Girón and Playa Larga along the coast. You can access Punta Perdiz from Cienfuegos in 1hr 20 mins by car.