Cuba has been off limits to Americans for a number of years, but recently that’s changed, creating demand for information about travel and beaches in Cuba. Yes, Cuban beaches are open for business. We at Best in Beach are here to help answer your questions about Cuban beaches.
Is Cuba an island?
Yes, Cuba is an island located only 90 miles off the coast of Key West, FL. It’s the largest island in the Caribbean at 44,200 square miles and the second most populous Caribbean Island after Hispaniola.
What is the weather like in Cuba?
Cuba’s climate is tropical with cooling trade winds that blow year round. The average January temperature is 70° F (21° C) while the average July temperature is 81° F (27° C). Cuba’s rainy season is from May through October, which coincides with North America’s hurricane season. Hurricanes are most common in September and October.
Which are the best beaches in Cuba?
Located on the Hicacos Peninsula about 140 kilometers (87 miles) east of Havana, Varadero is perhaps Cuba’s most famous beach attracting more then 1 million foreign visitors a year (This is even before US citizens could travel to Cuba!)
Varadero’s white sand beach stretches for over 20 kilometers (12+ miles) and Lonely Planet calls it “undoubtedly one of the Caribbean’s best.” What you’ll get at Veradero is some of Cuba’s best infrastructure, a wonderful beach, and lots of activities. What you won’t get is a “unique Cuban experience.”
Cayo Santa Maria
Cayo Santa Maria is a small island off the north central coast of the main island of Cuba. It’s linked to the main island by a bridge. The main industry on Cayo Santa Maria is tourism with the first hotel opening in 2001. Today there are 11 hotels there. It’s the second largest tourist destination in Cuba after Varadero.
The island’s main beach, and location of most of its resorts, is Playa Santa Maria. Playa means beach in Spanish. This is the longest stretch of beach on the island at 3.7 miles (6 km). Other beaches on Cayo Santa Maria are Lagunas del Este, Playa Perla Blanca, Punta Madruguillia, and Piedra Movida. All of the beaches have fine, white sand and clear turquoise water.
If you’re looking for something a little less crowded and commercialized, and a little more authentically Cuban, you many be interested in Guardalavaca. Frommer’s had this to say about it, “Probably Cuba’s prettiest resort area, Guardalavaca is a hot spot, but not overheated like Varadero. The area, a prime archaeological zone of pre-Columbian Cuba, is one of lush tropical vegetation, brilliant white sands, and clear turquoise waters.”
To many joyful beach experiences!
— Lisa Dworkin