The largest island of the Caribbean embodies nostalgia from bygone times and a tropical attitude to life like no other country. Cigar smoke, rum and sugar cane meet repaired vintage cars, colonial architecture and Cuban jazz. The very special atmosphere of Cuba has already enchanted many visitors and never let them go. Top beaches on the island are represented by the volume of people coming and going. The island owes its reputation as an exquisite and diverse destination for an unforgettable beach holiday to an abundance of fabulously beautiful beaches. We'll show you the greatest, most secret and beautiful beaches of the Pearl of the West Indies with our Top 10. ¡Viva Cuba!
It is said that Christopher Columbus had never seen a nicer beach before. For one and a half kilometres, the gleaming white sand stretches between rolling hills and green vegetation of sea-shells, tamarind and palm trees. Bright, turquoise blue water lies off the coast awaiting your arrival. Compared to some other beaches, Playa Guardalavaca is not quite as well connected to the infrastructure but the bizarre-beautiful landscape makes up for it more than enough.
Our tip: On-site you can hire diving equipment and explore the underwater world. Beach vendors also offer extremely cheap, local cigars.
Playa Coral does not bear its name by chance as the majestic coral reefs off the coast lure in the amateur divers and professionals alike to explore the bizarre artworks. Of course, this treasure makes the Playa Coral in the Varadero region a very popular beach. The coral can either be reached in front of Playa Coral or inspected in the flora and fauna reserve. From the capital Havana you can reach the beach by bus.
Our tip: Use the programme at the reserve to visit the corals. There you get easy access to the protected area, a guide and the equipment for little money.
The island in the province of Pinar del Rio is located on the western north coast and can only be reached by boat from Palma Rubia. Considered as one of the most beautiful beach areas in all of Cuba, this popular beach has a lush population of black coral, palm trees and scattered mangrove trees. The crystal clear, almost neon green, radiant water is nestled on the fine, white sandy beach. Cayo Levisa is a real dream beach for snorkellers and divers too.
Our tip: The small island only offers a hotel, which has its own diving centre for its guests and with a restaurant also looks after the physical well-being in the dream paradise.
Now it's time for a real insider tip! Cayo Largo, the "long sand island", is secluded in the southern waters off Cuba, it has its own airfield and can be easily reached from Havana. Immaculate and natural, that's how the island presents itself far away from mass tourism. White beaches and shallow, sapphire blue waters go hand in hand. The beach is considered one of the few LGBT-friendly places in Cuba. It also has sections where swimwear is not compulsory.
Our tip: Take advantage of special on-site deals, such as deep-sea fishing, day trips by boat and swimming with dolphins.
About 90 minutes from the city of Camagüey lies the stunning beach Cayo Sabinal. The almost unreal atmosphere lends the place a very special charm. Secluded and deserted, the white sandy beach presents itself on crystal clear water. Meditative tranquillity surrounded by lush vegetation entices you to explore this paradise island of the Jardines del Rey, the "Gardens of the King". Treasures must first be discovered and this also applies to Cayo Sabinal: at the end of a bumpy, 7km long dirt track lies the jewel.
Our tip: Watch wild horses and deer in the nearby forest behind the beach and visit the old, white-painted lighthouse Faro Colón.
Playa Pilar on the Cayo Guillermo is also considered a quiet and relaxing stretch of coastline, making it an excellent place to unwind and to dive or fish in peace. The coast is home to a colony of 12,000 flamingos looking for food here. There is also a rich biodiversity of fish locally. For example, marlins continue to frolic in the open. The extremely shallow, clear water merges almost seamlessly into the white sandy beach. The refuge is located about 30km west of Cayo Coco.
Our tip: Boats go to the diving spots in the offshore coral reef, also known to snorkellers as Cayo Media Luna, from the Playa Pilar.
Cayo Coco with the dream beach Playa Los Flamencos serves as the only passage to the aforementioned Playa Pilar and is also north of Cuba. The beach is known for its well-attended, all-inclusive hotels. The 3km long, bright sand is, like most beaches in Cuba, washed by the azure blue sea water and makes the heart of every water mermaid beat a little faster. The island has its own international airfield and can be easily reached. The former airport was transformed into a nature park.
Our tip: Keep your eyes peeled, because beautiful starfish are common here and delight the heart of any beach fan.
Playa Varadero is one of Cuba's most popular beaches and can be reached by car or bus from Havana in 2 hours. It stretches along the 25km long, narrow peninsula of Hicacos, is made of white sand and houses numerous holiday homes and hotels. A combination of blue and green waters gives a wonderful play of colours. Diving, sailing, fishing and boat tours are popular, local leisure activities. Ensuring variety are a number of restaurants and bars always close to the beach: One of the best beaches in terms of all-round care.
Our tip: Almost at the end of the peninsula, the beach borders the Reserva Ecológica Varahicacos nature reserve, where many sea birds can be seen in the beach forest.
The paradisical beach on the Cayo Largo in the south of Cuba has almost untouched, turquoise waters. In 2016 it was named the third most beautiful in the world by Traveller's Choice. All of the action actually takes place nearby at Playa Sirena, just 20min away, keeping Playa Paraiso gleaming through the calm and freshness. The nearby snack bar provides you with cool drinks and a little refreshment, and does not disturb you otherwise whilst absorbing the heavenly pleasure.
Our tip: On a boat trip from the beach, discover the neighbouring Iguana Island with the prehistoric giant lizards.
The late revolutionary leader Fidel Castro had no doubt: Cayo Santa Maria was, in his opinion, clearly better than the Playa Varadero. Take a ride over the 48km long dam and see for yourself. Once there, the long, powdered white beach offers a haven of peace and beauty in the Jardines del Rey archipelago. What's really special is the primeval flora with the extensive mangrove forests of the island, which are under protection and home to many species of birds.
Our tip: Meet the underwater world of the Jardines del Rey archipelago and visit the dolphinarium.