Known for its stunning white sands and clear blue waters, Cuba’s beaches are free of large crowds and full of tranquility. Varadero and the northern keys of Jardines del Rey are only a few on the long list of flawless turquoise coastlines surrounding the island. Not sure where to head first? Here’s the lowdown on the most heavenly beaches in the Caribbean’s biggest island.
Varadero is the quintessential Cuban beach resort – warm shallow waters in gradual shades of blue, palm-fringed sand dunes and a phenomenal array of local restaurants and all-inclusive accommodations. Geared to holiday-makers, the peninsula unfurls for 12 stunning miles (20 km) of beach with room for, well, everyone. Considered among the best in the Caribbean, Varadero is one of those places that lingers in your memory long after your vacation is over.
Often referred to as Cuba’s most beautiful beach, Playa Pilar has all the trappings – powdery sand, warm clear waters and more serenity than the beaches at its rowdier neighbour Cayo Coco. Pilar was a favorite hideaway for American writer Ernest Hemingway and rumour has it he searched for WWII German U-boats in the area. Whether that’s another one of Papa’s tall tales or not, Pilar is definitely a beach where time seems to stop. Try your hand at snorkling, windsurfing, swimming or sailing to the nearby islet.
One of Cuba’s most contrasting landscapes, Holguín’s northern coast sports aquamarine shallows as far as the eye can see and verdant hills lining the sandy shoreline. Guardalavaca is usually promoted as the name of the entire region housing Playa Esmeralda, Playa Yuraguanal and Playa Pesquero – they’re all sublime. A handful of all-inclusive hotels dot the area, but beaches are public and popular among locals from May to September. The world’s second largest coral reef sits just under a mile (500 meters) from the shore so its ideal for snorkeling.
Source: Lonely Planet