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If you are looking for a perfect Caribbean beach vacation spot, then Cuba is the place to be for a total cultural experience. Havana is a great central location to call your temporary home while enjoying the sights and sounds of this adventure-filled country. Should you want to soak up the sun and take a dip in the warm Caribbean water while exploring this historical city, let’s take a closer look at what are the best beaches in Cuba near Havana!
Playa Baracoa town was founded in the 18th century in Artemisa Province (don’t mix it with Baracoa town in Guantánamo Province). This is the spot where some elite built their summer homes, many of which are still used today as weekend residences. This is not a typical swimming or sunbathing area, but definitely something you should include in your Cuba beach holiday itinerary if you want to see how locals live.
You can relax on the beach listening to the waves beat against the surf, watch kids playing in the water, and also encounter some locals who are ready to offer you fresh coconut or selling some other items like homemade cocoa butter and/or jewellery. If you get hungry, enjoy great Cuban food in the La Casa de Julio restaurant!
Playa Bacuranao is known as one of the best beaches in Cuba near Havana that locals are tourists love to visit and lies approx. 9 miles/15 km east of the city. This quiet beach offers a peaceful spot to re-connect with nature that has not only soft sand, but the reef is also colorful and gorgeous to admire.
If you get hungry while having fun at the beach, you can grab some food from the nice coastal restaurant that serves excellent semolina! Also, an interesting fact is that there is a local legend that a Texan is seeking here his harmonica and olive oil, so don’t be surprised if you meet him near the beach!
Just about 11 miles/18 km from the capital city, Playa Tarara can be found near a tourist residential center with restaurants, shops and the Marina Tarara. It takes about 20 minutes to get here by taxi from Havana.
Playa Tarara is peaceful, tranquil, and stunning with white sugar-powdered sand and crystal-clear turquoise waters. It is the perfect environment to soothe your soul and rejuvenate your mind, a quiet place where you can enjoy your privacy and amazing scenery with coconut trees and green coastal vegetation.
SeaSpiration Tip: Looking for quiet places? Discover Cuba’s hidden beach towns!
Your Cuba beach vacation would not be complete without a trip to this exquisite beach, which is considered not only one of the best beaches in Cuba near Havana, but can be easily one of the most picturesque beaches in Cuba.
The waters are a stunning turquoise blue color and the sand is white and fine to the touch. Loungers and umbrellas are available for rent at good price, moreover cheap drinks too like mojito and coconut with rum. There are also some“casas particulares” around offering lodging and meals to visitors.
Getting to Playa Megano is the easiest by taking a taxi, but you can go by bus too that departs from the hotel Inglaterra (choose the one that goes towards Playas del Este) and costs approx 5 CUC.
Playas del Este
With soft and powdery sand and amazingly clear blue water, Playas del Este is one of the best beaches in Cuba close to Havana that locals and tourists enjoy visiting to spend a day in the sun. This beach has lifeguards and police for your safety in and out of the water.
Playas del Este is located a little over 6 miles/9.5km east of Havana and the buses run frequently. There are vendors here selling snacks and drinks, and other items of interest, but they are mostly respectful of your privacy and are not pushy. If you are looking for things to do in Havana, Cuba, make sure to visit Playas del Este.
Santa Marie del Mar
This popular public beach is just a 20-minute car ride from Havana. With fine sand, it is the perfect place to leave footprints as you walk for a long as your heart desires. There are several cafes, bars, and restaurants around as well as paddleboats, kayaks, jet skis, and catamarans lined up near the water’s edge that are available to rent making it one of Cuba’s best beaches if you love water activities. If you love swimming with the fish, make sure to pack your snorkel gear too!
This beach gets crowded on the weekends so the best is visiting Santa Maria del Mar during the week. It is strongly advised to schedule a pick-up time with a taxi driver or arrange a round trip through your hotel in advance so you can avoid the hassle of finding a reliable cab and negotiating the price.
Playa Boca Ciega
Playa Boca Ciega is a great place to visit if you want to stay away a bit from the popular white sandy beaches and explore less-touristy spots. This beach lies not so far from the Santa Maria del Mar beach but not that busy, with only some private houses around.
However, the public facilities are minimum which makes it uninviting for most tourists, therefore mainly privacy-seekers and some locals enjoy this spot to spend the day with their families.
SeaSpiration Tip: Read what are the best resorts in Cuba for families
Playa Jibacoa is located on the north shores of Cuba about 40 miles /65km from Havana. The ocean and sand are spectacular here offering ideal conditions to enjoy the sun and sea. Snorkelers deem this one of the best beaches in Cuba that offer great underwater adventures with two shipwrecks waiting to be observed.
The cargo ship can be seen from the beach and the military ship lays on its side in its watery grave. If the ships do not interest you, there are schools of colorful water life including fish and coral. It doesn’t matter if you love snorkeling, diving, or simply enjoy the heat of the sun on your face – Playa Jibacoa is a beach that should not be missed.
This beach is ranked not only as one of the best beaches in Cuba close to Havana but also one of the world’s most beautiful beaches with good reason. Although Varadero is 90 miles /145 km far from the capital (it takes about 1.5 hours to get there), Cuba’s number one beach resort is definitely worth a visit and has everything that you would think of for a perfect Caribbean beach vacation.
This 12 miles / 20km long beach has clear, warm water that is inviting for a refreshing swim. You can sign up for snorkeling and diving too if you love exploring the undersea world, or just chill out snipping cocktails in a beach bar while listening to the sound of waves. The amazing views and tons of activity options make Varadero one of the best beaches in Cuba where often rich and famous people can be seen too – including Al Capone!
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