Beaches & Keys (Cayos)

Updated: Jun 5, 2021

Travel Guide: Cayos & Beaches

Cuba's most beautiful beaches

Updated: Jun 5, 2021

What would a vacation in the Caribbean without a visit to one of it famous beaches? In Cuba there are a variety of paradisaical beaches that welcome visitors with fine and white sand, palm trees as well as crystal clear water. Furthermore, the water temperatures of 25 to 29 degree Celsius invite visitors to take a swim all year round. If you make a round trip through Cuba, you can combine it with a stay at the beach. This article gives an overview of Cuba's most beautiful beaches. 

While the north coast of Cuba borders the Florida Strait and the Atlantic Ocean, the south coast runs along the Caribbean Sea. Compared to the open Atlantic, the Caribbean cost is usually a bit calmer and also the Water is warmer. However, the most important beaches are located on the nothern Atlantic coast.

Beaches on the north coast of Cuba

In the far west of the main island, in the middle of the quite remote Guanahacabibes Natural Park, lies the Playa Maria la Gorda, which is particularly popular with divers due to its fascinating diving grounds.

A two-hour drive to the east, the capital Havana offers sun-hungry vacationers beautiful beaches. Just over 30 kilometers east of the city center are the Playas del Este. These beautiful beaches are divided into four different sections that stretches in total over several kilometers.

However, by far the most visited beach in Cuba is undoubtedly Varadero Beach in Western Cuba. The beauty of the beach makes Varadero to Cuba's most important vacation destination, delighting more than a million international guests each year.

In Central Cuba, northeast of Camagüey, there is the well-developed Playa Santa Lucía, where vacationers can stay in a number of hotel complexes as well as in some private accommodations.

A good hour's drive north of Las Tunas is the Playa Covarrubias, a very beautiful beach, but apart from an average hotel complex (Brisas Covarrubias) there is hardly any infrastructure.

Also on the north coast, but about 600 kilometers further southeast, there is a further popular destination for package tourists in Eastern Cuba. Not far from the provincial capital of Holguín lies the very popular Playa Guardalavaca, that is not only the most important beach in the east, but also the second most visited on the main island, after Varadero.

Beaches on the south coast

On the south coast in Central Cuba, just a few minutes drive from the popular colonial city of Trinidad, lies the beautiful Playa Ancón.

A little west of the Playa Ancón, there is the beautiful Playa Rancho Luna, the city beach of Cienfeugos.


Overview of the main bathing beaches on the south coast:

  • Playa Ancon (Trinidad)
  • Playa Rancho Luna (Cienfuegos)

Overview of the five main beaches on the north coast:

  • Playa Maria la Gorda
  • Playas del Este (Havana)
  • Varadero Beach
  • Playa Guardalavaca
  • Playa Santa Lucía


In addition to the beaches on the main island, Cuba has numerous small keys (offshore islands) - so-called cayos. These very small and flat islands consist of coral and sand reefs. All the developed cayos welcome vacationers with a series of dream beaches that some consider among the most beautiful in the world.

Starting from the west of the island, Cayo Jutías and Cayo Levisa are located not far from the natural paradise of Viñales. Both islands can be visited from Viñales with organized excursions.


South of the main island, in the middle of the Caribbean Sea is the Cayo Largo located. The island, which can only be reached by air, attracts divers from all over the world. The colorful underwater world makes Cayo Largo one of the most famous diving regions in Cuba. In the diving grounds can be explored for example parrot, doctor, puffer or needle fish and coral reefs. In addition, it attracts vacationers who enjoy relaxing on the beautiful beaches.

On the north coast of the main island, somewhat northeast of the provincial capital of Santa Clara, the Cayos Santa Maria and Ensenachos are located. These islands are connected to the main island by a 50 kilometer causeway.

A few kilometers to the east is another archipelago that is often grouped under the largest island, Cayo Coco. The access to this archipelago is through a second causeway that finds its exit not far from the small town of Morón.

Northeast of Camagüey lies the so far hardly developed Cayo Sabinal where the small but very beautiful Playa Bonita is located.

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