The best beaches in Cuba are spread all over the island!

18 Best Beaches In Cuba By A Local (2024)!

Cuba is a large island nation in the Caribbean Sea, an archipelago actually, well known for its white pristine Caribbean beaches. With over 1,220 miles of coastline, there are plenty of “best beaches in Cuba” to choose from!

As I have traveled to and around Cuba for over four years and lived in Cuba for over two (in Old Havana, if you were wondering) – I have had time to visit a lot of them across the island!

On the south side of the island is the Caribbean Sea, while to the north, you have the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, respectively, and each beach area has its own unique charm and personality!

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Does Cuba Have Beautiful Beaches?

El Malecon in Havana - not a beach, but close to the sea!
El Malecon in Havana – not a beach, but the entry to Havana Harbor!

Well, Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean!

Technically, the island belongs to the North American continent, but still, it definitely has a Caribbean vibe all over.

With all those miles of coastline, Cuba has a lot of great beaches to soak up the sun and relax. Some white and soft, some rockier, or even a bit cliffy!

A few of the best beaches in Cuba include Playa del Este, close to Havana, Playa Ancon outside Trinidad, and the beaches of the Cuban Keys, like Cayo Santa Maria, an island triplet off the northern coast.

And, of course, the Varadero peninsula!

So, whether you’re looking to relax on the beach or participate in some watersports, you’re sure to find the perfect spot on the island.

Here are some of the best beaches in Cuba – perfect for swimming, sunbathing, snorkeling, scuba diving, and enjoying the incredible Caribbean ambiance!

Best Beaches In Cuba Map!

Trip map created using Wanderlog, a road trip planner app on iOS and Android

1. Best Beaches In Havana | Playas del Este

The Eastern Beaches, Playas del Este, outside Havana Cuba
Just outside Havana, you have amazing beaches!

Playas del Este is located just east of the city, with a string of smaller beaches that comprise the best beaches in Havana!

The first one is about 20 minutes outside the buzzing Havana in the direction of Varadero in the area called La Habana del Este, or East Havana.

Head out of the city through the tunnel on Via Monumental to the east, and the first beaches you will find are in the village area called Alamar, about 20 minutes out.

This is a Cuban residential area, with Playa Alamar and Playita de Los Rusos (Russians) just on the shore.

The beautiful beaches outside of Havana in Cuba called Playas del Este
Playas del Este

Heading on, you find the Playa de las Hermanitas, and Playa Bucaranao in Micro X, both small beaches with little infrastructure, but white and lovely!

From Playa Bucaranao you can find scuba diving trips and snorkeling trips as well, for those into that. Just a few hundred meters off the beach, there is a tiny wreck that is popular to visit with goggles and fins!

Travel Duffle bag

Pro Tip: Get a cute travel duffle bag that has room for your laptop, a pair of shoes, a change of clothes, and the necessities for your flight! I love this one from Bagsmart, it works on the beach as well!

Further on you reach the most popular beach areas of Playas del Este, a long stretch of white sands where each area has a separate name. Here you find:

Playa del Este Beaches

  • Playa Tarara
  • Playa Megano
  • Playa Santa Maria del Mar
  • Playa Mar Azul
  • Playa Boca Ciega
  • Playa Guanabo

Playa Santa Maria del Mar has some beach facilities and is quite well-maintained, making it a good option for families or those who want to relax in comfort.

Guanabo is a larger village (or small town) outside Havana where you don’t find too many foreign tourists, but there are some, and there are also casa particulares for rent here, as well as restaurants, bars, and some hotels!

Among the best beaches in Cuba are some very close to Havana! Playas del Este are only a small half-hour away from the city!
There are mostly Cubans at Playa del Este

GETTING HERE: If you are staying in Havana, you can book an organized tour to Playas del Este for the day.

Or, get your own taxi to bring you there and back, or catch the bus from Parque Central that leaves around every 30 minutes.

Playas del Este is a great place to relax and enjoy the Caribbean sands just outside the capital, but be aware there are not a lot of beach bars and restaurants like you find in many other Caribbean destinations!

So you are best advised to bring what you need for your day on the best beaches in Havana, like lunch, drinks, sunscreen, and (offline) music (you don’t want to be the only one on the beach not having a reggeaton party)!

Best Beaches in Varadero!

Some of the best beaches in Cuba are in Varadero, or on the Hicacos peninsula which is its formal name.
The Hicacos Peninsula is commonly referred to as Varadero!

If you’re looking for infinite white sands, some of the best beaches in Cuba are on the island’s northern coast. There, you’ll find plenty of sandy shores and crystal-clear waters to enjoy.

There is no doubt that Varadero is one of the best beach destinations in Cuba. So, if you’re looking for the best beaches in Varadero, here are the top picks!

Pro Tip: Get yourself a water bottle with a filter before your Cuba holiday, and you can drink water from anywhere!

Busy Right Now? Save This For Later?!

Safe this for later: the best beaches in Cuba article
18 best beaches in Cuba!

2. Varadero Beach

Varadero beach was voted the second most beautiful beach in the world on TripAdvisor in 2019!
Entrance to the Varadero Beach

Varadero Beach runs along Varadero town, and if you are staying in a casa particular in Varadero you are almost bound to be only a few minutes walk from Varadero Beach wherever you are staying!

In 2019, Varadero Beach was actually voted the second most beautiful beach in the world on TripAdvisor, so there is no doubt this is a great beach for a Caribbean sandy getaway.

The Varadero beach runs all the way on the northern side of the peninsula, an uniterrupted line of white sands, passing all the all-inclusive resorts.
Varadero beach paradise!

The beaches are mainly on the northern side of the narrow peninsula, while on the southern side, you find natural parks, the Varadero Golf Club and golf course, as well as mangrove zones.

In Varadero, the long string of beaches also has zones with different names, like Cayo Blanco (or Playa Blanca) with soft white sands, and Playa Coral.

3. Playa Coral Beach In Varadero

Playa coral is really on the mainland before the Varadero peninsula starts, but it still is referred to as being in Varadero. Here are reefs outside the sandy bottoms, so get your snorkeling gear out!
Playa Coran in Varadero

Home to a wide variety of marine life, Playa Coral is located in a protected area on the mainland just before the peninsula starts, and it’s the perfect place to go snorkeling or scuba diving. You will find Elk Horn Coral in massive groves and lots of shoals of fish!

So if you are a sucker for white Caribbean beaches, you will not be disappointed in Varadero! Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach or explore the underwater world, there’s a place for you here.

4. Playa Punta Hicacos In Varadero

Playa Punta Hicacos is considered one of the best beach areas in Cuba, all the way on the tip of the Hicacos peninsula at the end of Varadero. With its white sands, crystal-clear waters, and secluded location with the ocean in all cardinal directions, it’s a true paradise.

At the Punta Hicacos in Varadero, you find the Iberostar Laguna Azul and Iberostar Playa Alameda all-inclusive hotels sitting right at the beach!

Iberostar Playa Alameda at the Punta Hicacos in Varadero
Iberostar Playa Alameda at the Punta Hicacos in Varadero

Best Beach In Trinidad Playa Giron

If you’re looking for the best Cuban beaches in Trinidad, you won’t be disappointed. If you prefer a quieter, more secluded beach experience, head to Playa Girón just 15 minutes outside the colonial city of Trinidad.

5. Stunning And Zen Ancon Beach

This beautiful Ancon Beach beach is located in a small cove and is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy the tranquility of nature, swimming, and sunbathing.

The soft light yellow sands of Ancon beach outside Trinidad, one of the absolute best beaches in Cuba!
Ancon Beach outside Trinidad!

Guardalavaca, which offers stunning views and plenty of activities; and Cayo Coco, which is a great place to snorkel and explore.

You can also find plenty of places that are perfect for windsurfing, fishing, and other water sports, or hop on a catamaran for a one-hour tour to go snorkeling!

Best Beaches In Pinar del Rio & Vinales

Vinales is not on the coast of Cuba, but you can get to amazing beaches from Vinales in between one and two hours!

You have several little towns on the main Cuban island, and the two keys, Cayo Jutia and Cayo Levisas off the coast of Pinar del Rio, and one of them you need a boat to visit!

6. Cayo Jutia Beach

A common sight in Cuba, even on the Cayo Jutia beach are classic American cars that have broken down, and a group of men trying to fix it under the hood!
A common sight in Cuba, even on the Cayo Jutia beach!

Lying on a small peninsula just off the northwest coast of Cuba into the Gulf of Mexico, you can drive out to Cayo Jutias and Jutias Beach on a pedraplen. The beach out here has a wild and rugged look, a bit “untouched by humans” feel to it.

While it may be off the beaten track for most tourists, it is a popular destination for local Cubans. There are also a few amazing little beach bars and restaurants here if you want to give them a go!

Lots of mangroves and coral reefs frame the coastline here, and after hours of drowsing on the beach in or out of the sun, the crystal-clear Caribbean warm waters are only meters away when you need to cool down!

And you don’t want to miss the sunset at Cayo Jutias, when the ocean turns pink in the last rays of the day!

Also read: 14+ Amazing Things To Do In Vinales Valley Cuba!

7. Cayo Levisa Beach

Remote and wild Cayo Levisa in Cuba is rugged and beautiful with white sands and light bluish green water

Cayo Levisa really is a cayo, an islet a 35 minutes boat trip off the northwest coast of Cuba from Palma Rubia. Once you get yourself here, you can enjoy miles of crispy white sands and class-clear water!

Cayo Levisa sports a beach-bungalow-style hotel, a rather simple restaurant, and a fully equipped scuba diving center, so it is perfect for those who like to explore underwater.

After Ernest Hemingway discovered these waters in the 40ies, he actually set up a fishing camp on Cayo Paraiso (he loved to fish) an islet a bit to the east of Cayo Levisa.

Cayo Levisa has up to 100 visitors daily, so not too crowded, as well as space for around 50 guests in the hotel.

8. Playa Maria la Gorda Beach

Maria la Gorda is the dream of every diving enthusiast.

Its crystal-clear waters and impressive sea beds with reefs and coral reefs make this destination in the province of Pinar del Ríos southern tip, one of the best places to scuba dive in Cuba!

Maria la Gorda in Pinar del Rio, a super remote place great for scuba diving entusiasts!
Maria la Gorda

The road over to this almost westernmost bottom tip of Cuba is a bit rough and filled with potholes, and upon arrival, you find a single hotel on the beach.

Maria la Gorda is super remote, and you feel like you have found an oasis far from the rest of the world!

One reason you should do this journey, is if you love scuba diving!

There are several good scuba diving spots out here, but two areas are particularly popular with their spectacular sea beds, full of corals and sea turtles.

These are the Valle de Coral Negro (Black Coral Valley), which is said to be the largest black coral surface in Cuba, and the Salón de María, where you can appreciate sea lilies and lots of colorful corals!

At Centro Internacional de Buceo (International Diving Center) it is possible to do diving courses over multiple days getting a diving certificate issued by the World Underwater Federation.

Sunset over Maria de la Gorda in Pinar del Rio, where you find some of the best beaches in Cuba!
Sunset over Maria de la Gorda in Pinar del Rio

One reason María La Gorda is considered among the ten best places for scuba diving in all of Latin America is because of the Reserva de la Biosfera de Guanahacabibes (Guanahacabibes Biosphere Reserve) the waters have!

In addition to scuba diving, at Maria la Gorda you can go snorkeling and deep-sea fishing.

There are several restaurants in the area where you can try authentic Cuban food and, of course, the best seafood dishes.

How to Get to María la Gorda?

Maria la Gorda is in the western part of Cuba, so the best option to get there is from Viñales or from Pinar del Rio provinces.

As the trip is quite long it is not optimal for a day trip, although you can do it in one day if you leave early.

From Viñales you can go in a taxi collectivo, or a private one, the trip normally will take around three hours.

Bay Of Pigs

The Bahia de Cochinos or Bay of Pigs is another must-see place, famous for being the center point in the crisis between Cuba and the US in 1962 when the US tried to invade Cuba after the revolution!

9. Playa Giron

The Bay of Pigs is a deep narrow bay on the southern shores west of Cienfuegos, where Playa Giron is situated just at the end of a sleepy little town with one hotel, casa particular options, some shops, restaurants and markets.

And there is a small museum here as well, with the history of the invasion from the fun-to-see Cuban perspective!

The crystal clear water along the shores of Bay of Pigs on the southern coastline of Cuba. Here we are scuba diving off the Bay of Pigs!
Scuba diving at Punta Gorda not far from the Bay of Pigs!

Best Holguin Beaches!

Holguín is a city in eastern Cuba, AND a province, with shores on the northeastern part of the island.

Before Columbus, the indigenous Taino people lived here in huts made from royal palm before the area was urbanized by the Spanish and their artifacts are shown at the local Holguin La Periquera museum. 

But when it comes to beaches, these are the wonderful ones in Holguin!  

10. Playa Esmeralda Beach In Holguin

Beautiful Playa Esmeralda in Holguin in Cuba
Playa Esmeralda in Holguin!

Located close to Guardalavaca town in Holguin, Playa Esmeralda is somewhat a high-end beach, where you find two super-luxury hotels as well as casa particulares if you prefer that.

The pristine fine sand here are surrounded by palm trees, and if they don’t provide enough shade, the beach parasols will! The views over the Caribbean are spectacular, the sunsets mesmerizing, and swimming in the pristine waters is, as always, heavenly!

Not far from Playa Esmeralda, you find national parks and nature reserves to check out, and three is a nearby Dolphinarium in Naranjo Bay where you can go for a swim with dolphins!

11. Playa Guardalavaca Beach In Holguin

Sunset over Guardalavaca beach in Holguin
Sunset over Guardalavaca beach in Holguin

Playa Guardalavaca’s picturesque appearance has a history of attracting both Cubans and tourists and is one of the most renowned beaches in Cuba!

Rumor has it Christopher Columbus said it was the most beautiful place he ever laid eyes on, when he arrived in the 16th Century!

The immediate area around Guardalavaca is quite developed, you can find tons of good restaurants and hotels at any budget you prefer to spend here.

Still, you will sense an authentic Cuban vibe about the area.

There are also quite a few things to do in the area, like horseback riding on the beach, going scuba diving, or even an eco-archeologic trail if you have had enough of beach-lounging for one holiday!

Playa Guardalavaca is absolutely worth your time and energy. And, a fun fact, Fidel Castro himself inaugurated the first resort that was established here back in the 70s!

The Cuban Keys Beaches!

As Cuba is an archipelago, there obviously are lots of little islands, 4000 to be exact. And although not all are inhabited, some are.

Among these little secluded paradises, some have been turned into oases of all-inclusive resorts, luxury, and not-moving-a-finger holiday destinations. With incredible beaches!

12. Best Cayo Santa Maria Beaches

Cayo Santa María is a small island, or actually an island triplet, off Cuba’s north-central coast in the Jardines del Rey archipelago. The island is linked by a road, or a pedraplen, to the town of Caibarién on the Cuban main island.

Cayo Santa María is one of the Cuban keys famous for its white sand beaches and pampering luxury all-inclusive resorts!

A beautiful white sandy Resort beach at Cayo Santa Maria where you see palm trees and two blue sun beds along the beach and the light blue ocean
Resort beach at Cayo Santa Maria!

On Cayo Santa Maria, there are no residents, the island is simply an oasis of high-end luxury all-inclusive resorts, and you need to stay at one in order to access a beach out here.

Or, you can buy a pasa-dia, a day pass, to stay for the day.

The amazing beaches of Cayo Santa Maria cover almost the entire length of the northern coastline of the Cayo, divided into nine areas with a total length of around 13 kilometers (8 mi)!

  • Playa Matamoros (300 m)
  • Playa Madruguilla (200 m)
  • Playa Canon (2.8 km),
  • Playa La Estrella (3.5 km)
  • Playa Las Caletas (1 km)
  • Playa La Colorada (1.9 km)
  • Playa Perla Blanca (550 m)
  • Playa Los Delfines (1.4 km)
  • Playa Las Gaviotas (800 m)
The beach outside Royalton Hotel Cayo Santa Maria where the wooden walking bridge leads from the hotel to the sandy beach
The beach outside Royalton Hotel Cayo Santa Maria

On the east end of Playa Canon, you’ll find a Clothing Optional (CO) beach.

Guests that are staying at Hotel Sol Cayo Santa Maria have direct access to this CO beach, situated on the west side of the hotel grounds, with parasols, and lounge chairs!

Cayo Las Brujas & Cayo Ensenachos Beaches

There are also fantastic beaches on the two other keys in Cayo Santa Maria, called Cayo Las Brujas and Cayo Ensenachos. These are:

  • Playa La Salina (2.4 km) and
  • Playa La Manteca (400 m) on Cayo Las Brujas
  • Playa Ensenachos (1.3 km) and
  • Playa El Megano (1.0 km) on Cayo Ensenachos

The entire archipelago here is protected by the UNESCO-recognized “Reserva de Biosfera Buenavista”.

Hence, the coastline on the eastern tip of Cayo Santa Maria, Playa Las Gaviotas, is part of a wildlife refuge that is protected, where no hotel will ever be built!

Sunset outside Melia Buenavista in Cayo Santa Maria
Sunset outside Melia Buenavista in Cayo Santa Maria

13. Cayo Coco & Guillermo Beaches

The fourth largest island in Cuba, Cayo Coco is part of the Jardines del Rey archipelago and is home to some incredible beaches of which a couple is ranked amongst the best in the world.

Just off the tip of Cayo Coco, across a small pedraplen, lies the smaller Cayo Guillermo, and the two can almost be counted as one.

Playa Los Flamencos is a truly amazing beach running all along the northern coastline of Cayo Coco.

Los Flamencos does not have a lot of developed beach amenities, and there is no vibrant nightlife here.

But this is a perfect place for diving and snorkeling, and because of the reefs ashore, hardly any waves, so it is a very safe place for swimmers and snorkelers.

Some of the whitest, best beaches in Cuba you find on Cayo Coco!
The whitest of the white sandy beaches on Cayo Coco!

Playa Pilar is another paradise lying all the way out on the tip of Cayo Guillermo, another beach where you hardly can see where the sand ends and the water begins on the Cuban shore.

Check out the Iberostar Playa Pilar on Cayo Guillermo, just a short stretch from Playa Pilar, an amazing all-inclusive place with all you need and a spectacular in-house spa to go with it!

Playa Pilar on Cayo Guillermo is a very "natural" beach, where there are palm trees along the waterline and charming shaders have been build from palm tree leaves and wood!
Playa Pilar on Cayo Guillermo

As all the keys are a bit touristy in comparison with many other places in Cuba, places like Cayo Coco & Guillermo have plenty of high-quality watersports for travelers to explore.

As well as having spectacular visibility for snorkeling and scuba diving conditions, it is one of the best places on the island to go kitesurfing!

Best Cayo Largo Del Sur Cuba Beaches

Cayo Largo del Sur, generally known as Cayo Largo, is a tiny peaceful island located off the southern coast of the main island of Cuba, east of Isla de la Juventud (Youth Island).

Its location gives the whole island a “desert island” sensation, as there are only a few hotels out here and endless crispy white beaches!

Cayo Largo is not where you go for over-the-top luxury resort experiences. There are nice hotels here as well, but there are no casa particulares to rent.

There is an international airport on Cayo Largo called “Aeropuerto Vilo Acuña”, as well as some all-inclusive resorts, an international marina, a dive center, a Sea Turtle Rescue Center, and a fishing center.

There is also a small village called “Isla del Sol” where you’ll find a few shops, entertainment facilities, and snack bars, but there are no permanent residents out here at Cayo Largo.

14. Playa Sirena Beach Cayo Largo

Playa Sirena in Cayo Largo is one of the most popular beaches on the Cuban Keys, separated from the main island of Cuba by a stretch of sea.

It’s super famous for its crystal clear waters and white-white sandy beaches!

Playa Sirena is a very tranquil and calm place, exactly what you want if you’re planning a relaxing holiday.

Of course, there are all the water activities such as swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving available, as in any Caribbean destination with respect for itself.

Cayo Largo beaches area white and wide and beautiful strewn with palm trees and small huts!
Cayo Largo beaches!

Be advised though, there are very few hotels and restaurants for you to choose from, so Cayo Largo is not for the party-seeking crowds!

15. Playa Paraiso Beach In Cayo Largo

Not far away also on Cayo Largo, you find the equally amazing Playa Paraiso where you find an all-inclusive resort with the same name if you want to check out yet another of Cuba’s impressive beaches in this little islet off the Cuban coast!

I have even heard Playa Paraiso referred to as “heaven on earth”, so if a heavenly palm-strewn white beach is your idea of heaven as well, you are going to like it here.

Playa Paraiso which means Paradise Beach, is exactly that here out on the Cuban Keys.
Playa Paraiso in Cayo Largo!

With bright white sands that meet the most incredible turquoise water, this beach is regularly featured on lists of the most beautiful beaches in the world, no wonder.

Its waters are super for snorkeling, swimming, or fishing, or just lying still and taking it all in!

16. Santa Lucia Beach Camaguey

Playa Santa Lucia in Camaguey, on the eastern part of the Cuban main island, is extremely attractive to scuba divers.

In the areas, close to Santa Lucia, there are no less than 40 dive spots, and particularly popular is diving in the shark cluster area.

In the underwater world of the Caribbean Sea off the coast of Playa Santa Lucia, you will see hundreds of species of fish, mollusks, and crustaceans.

The beach has several areas with rental equipment, some restaurants, snack bars, and diving centers where you can rent equipment for diving, snorkeling, and parasailing.

You can also get help in organizing dive trips and going deep-sea fishing here.

At Playa Santa Sucia you will have no high waves, as there is a barrier coral reef along the beach. Playa Santa Lucia is super suitable for a relaxing family vacation and for those that like water sports. And everyone that loves amazing Caribbean beaches of course!

Best Santiago De Cuba Beaches

Santiago de Cuba is home to some of the best scuba diving in the world. With its clear waters and abundance of marine life, it’s no wonder that this is a popular destination for scuba divers!

There are also a number of small beaches just by the entrance to the bay and east of Santiago de Cuba, but here are the two best Santiago de Cuba beaches you need to know about!

Also read: 30 Brilliant Things To Do In Santiago De Cuba!

A secluded beach at the foot of Sierra Maestra
A secluded beach at the foot of Sierra Maestra

17. Playa El Bueycabon Santiago de Cuba

Playa El Bueycabón is located around 20 kilometers outside Santiago de Cuba to the west, and if you’re looking for a remote and untouched beach experience, El Bueycito is a good place for you.

You can only reach its secluded beach by boat, but you’ll be rewarded with stunning views and the feeling of being the only person in the world!

Located in a deep bay with calm waters, Playa Bueycabón is hardly ever crowded, and will give you a zen beach day!

It is a tiny beach around 100 meters long, surrounded by beautiful forested hills, while its sands slip only gently into its bay, providing ample shallows before the water deepens.

18. Siboney Beach Santiago de Cuba

In the other direction, you find Siboney Beach, around 20 kilometers to the east of Santiago de Cuba! As Santiago de Cuba is very close, the locals from Santiago often come here.

It’s a clean beach, although not with a lot of amenities, it has a bit of a rugged appearance and a pebbled bottom under the water.

Yet, the water is invitingly clear, the beach is surrounded by palm trees, all in all, a good choice for relaxing alongside the locals. Not least because it is super close to Santiago!

You can also find a casa particular close to the beach if you prefer to stay here rather than in the city! Also, there is a nice restaurant on the beach with excellent seafood!

Siboney Beach east of Santiago de Cuba, probably not one of the most paradisiacal beaches in Cuba, but definately one of the best beaches in the area close to Santiago de Cuba!
Siboney Beach, east of Santiago de Cuba

FAQ’s Cuba Travel!

According to search engines, there are A LOT of questions people have about the best beaches in Cuba or beaches in Cuba in general!

I get it, if you have never visited before, you want to know everything.

Or at least enough, whether it is to satisfy your curiosity or make sure your plan is on target and based on the correct information!

Not Booked Your Flight Yet? Research Prices Here!

As I live in Havana Cuba for the moment (well, not as a resident, but I stay here most of the time), I will do my best to answer all the things people wonder before booking their amazing Cuba holidays!

The beach outside the Royalton Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
The beach outside the Royalton Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria

What Is The Most Famous Beach In Cuba?

Well, that depends on the criteria for the fame!

Varadero Beach, the super long beach running along the Hicacos Peninsula is probably one of the most famous beaches in Cuba because it is located exactly there, on the paradisiacal peninsula commonly known as Varadero.

As Varadero is the largest resort area in the Caribbean, and incredibly popular as a holiday destination, a lot of people from across the world come here every year.

ALSO, because Varadero beach was voted the second most beautiful beach in the world by TripAdvisor in 2019 – not a small achievement (even though it just has to exist to achieve that)!

You can even get married on Varadero beach if you want to, by many rated the absolutely best beach in Cuba!
You can even get married on Varadero beach if you want to!

What Is The Nicest Beach In Cuba?

The nicest beach in Cuba, or the prettiest, is often referred to as Playa Pilar on Cayo Guillermo, one of the thousands of Cuban keys.

The Cuban Keys are famous FOR their beaches, as well as pampering luxurious all-inclusive resorts.

The keys generally are connected with one of the two main archipelagos in Cuba; Jardines del Rey north of the Cuban main island, and Jardines de la Reina off the southern coast.

The individual beaches on the Cuban keys are almost too numerous to be able to list all of them, but you might want to pay attention to the ambiance of the various keys and accessibility and distances instead!

The sunset outside the Melia Buenavista in Cayo Santa Maria!
The sunset outside the Melia Buenavista in Cayo Santa Maria!

Where Are Cuba Beach Resorts?

So, you find Cuba beach resorts anywhere you find a beach, is the short answer to that one! However, there are buts, of course.

Around the bigger cities, there are beach resorts, and they are generally nice. The most amazing, lush, paradise-like beach resorts, however, you generally find around the most paradisiacal beaches!

Which generally means, in Varadero, and the different keys.

And the “best” keys for resort life would be Cayo Santa Maria (amazing), Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo (basically the same place), and Cayo Largo in the southern waters off the coast of Cubas’s main island!

“Havana Beaches”

I am not sure, really, what this search term actually wants to find out, whether it is the best beaches in Havana, the number of beaches in Havana, or Havana beaches with resorts attached to them!

Regardless, above in this article, I have listed the “best beaches in Havana” for you, but here is a bit more information.

The absolute best beaches in Havana you find in Havana del Este, where you find all the Playas del Este.

Heading out for scuba diving from Playa Bacuranao outside Havana!
Heading out for scuba diving from Playa Bacuranao outside Havana!

This area though, does not have a lot of spectacular all-inclusive resorts, probably because there are not a lot of foreign tourist visiting this area. Most foreign tourists visiting Cuba travel directly to Varadero, or one of the keys.

There are, however, hotels and resorts, but they are generally more run down and with fewer amenities and services than the more popular areas for foreign tourists.

If you are into authentic experiences though, you might love it here!

If luxury is your thing, you will find amazing casa particulares along Playas del Este, houses or mansions with large patios, jacuzzis and pools, bars, and even staff – super close to the beaches.

You can do your research to find those here, if you like.

There are also beaches on the other side of Havana, the area called Miramar and Playa. This is the “west end” of Havana, the high-end area for living and city life, but this area does not have the great beaches in Havana at all.

If you want to stay here because it is a beautiful part of the city with nice homes, parks, restaurants, and business venues.

You will be able to go for a swim here as well (and there is a nice marina where you can keep your yacht in Havana, or depart for sea adventures).

But the beaches here are no more than “ok”, if you want my opinion. Guess you can not have it all in one place!

From a lot of Cuban beaches, you can just stroll into the water and go scuba diving!
From a lot of Cuban beaches, you can just stroll into the water and go scuba diving!

FAQs Cuba Travel

Why are US citizens not allowed to travel to Cuba?

This is NOT correct. US citizens ARE ALLOWED to travel to Cuba.

Americans can choose a reason for Cuba travel among 12 pre-approved reasons for traveling to Cuba, determined by the US Government.

Can US citizens travel to Cuba as a tourist?

Technically, US citizens are NOT allowed to travel to Cuba as a tourist. Americans choose between 12 pre-approved reasons for Cuba travel, among which the most common one is “to help the Cuban people”.

American citizens still need to buy a tourist card, also called a tourist visa, to enter Cuba.

What are the 12 requirements to travel to Cuba?

You can read about the 12 pre-approved reasons to travel to Cuba for US citizens here.

The easiest and most common reason for Cuba travel is “to help the Cuban people”. There is no paperwork or application process connected to this, you just choose your reason and state that reason if anyone asks.

What happens if a US citizen travels to Cuba?

Nothing happens if a US citizen travels to Cuba, apart from hopefully, the US citizen will have a fabulous holiday and encounter with Cuban culture.

US citizens need to choose one of the pre-approved reasons to travel to Cuba and need to buy the PINK Cuban tourist card, also called a tourist visa.

Selected airlines sell this visa/tourist card, or you can buy one online.

What documents do I need to travel to Cuba?

You need the following documents to travel to Cuba:

Do Americans need to be vaccinated to enter Cuba?

No, there is no requirement for specific vaccines prior to entering Cuba. Your country’s health department probably has recommendations for what vaccines you should consider before entering Cuba.

How Do I get a tourist card for Cuba?

You can buy a tourist card online from Easy Tourist Card, or from the Cuban embassy in your country.

You might also be able to buy a Cuban tourist card from your airline or at the airport prior to departure.

It is possible to buy a Cuban tourist card at Miami International Airport at the check-in counter with American Airlines and Delta Airlines.

How Do I Get A Tourist Visa For Cuba?

A tourist visa is the same as a tourist card for Cuba. You can buy it from the following places:

  • Buy one online from Easy Tourist Card
  • Buy one from your airline if they offer this
  • Buy one at the airport of departure if they offer this
  • Buy one from the Cuban Embassy in your country

Is Travel To Cuba Allowed Right Now?

Yes, Cuba travel is allowed right now. There are no COVID or health restraints from entering Cuba right now.

There are no political constraints from entering Cuba right now for most international travelers.

American citizens need to, in addition, choose one of the 12 pre-approved reasons for traveling to Cuba (Americans can not travel as “tourists”) and follow some simple guidelines for traveling in Cuba.

Wrap-Up The Best Beaches in Cuba!

Right, that was a lot! If you are looking at the beaches before you decide where to go, I hope you have found enough information here to make up your mind!

Cuban beaches are generally very nice, although some of the ones close to bigger cities might be a bit crowded from time to time.

Also, Cubans are not super careful with rubbish (apparently there is a system for recycling, but people keep throwing their garbage anywhere), so some beaches may be a bit littered. Especially after the holidays and on the weekends! FYI.

Anyways, happy holiday planning! The Caribbean beaches in Cuba await!

Related blog posts:

9 Best Beaches Near Santo Domingo (And 6 Amazing Ones A Bit Further Away)!

The 8 Best Beaches In Punta Cana Dominican Republic

Cala Violina Beach: Caribbean Beach Vibes In Tuscany Italy!

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The best beaches in Cuba photo collage
Here are an overview of photos of the best beaches in Cuba! Please share the love!

My Resource Go-To List For Best Travel Booking Deals!

Best Airfare bookings: Skyscanner, Wayaway

Best tour companies: Civitatis (for Cuba), Viator

Best Hotel Bookings: Booking, Expedia

Travel Insurance: IMG Medical Travel Insurance

VPN Secure Internet: ExpressVPN

Cuba Visa Online: Easy Tourist Card

Car Rentals Online: Discover Cars

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