Travel and Leisure — June 3, 2016 at 5:00 am

7 Best Beaches of Cuba

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©istockphoto/danmirica12

©istockphoto/danmirica12

Now that Cuba has opened its borders once again to American tourists many of us are flocking to their shores to check out what kind of beach life the country has to offer. Frankly, it’s pretty fantastic. There are so many great beaches to choose from that you’ll have to fit in a few different trips to seem them all, but here are a few you can’t miss.

Varadero
The picture perfect beach town of Varadero is easily the most popular beach in Cuba. Crystal clear waters, palm trees swaying in the breeze and beautiful rows of sand make this place exactly what you’d expect a Caribbean getaway to be. On top of that there are numerous caves and cays to explore, and it’s only a couple of hours north of Havana; perfect for a day trip.

Marea del Portillo
Dark sands make this beach somewhat unique, but its real beauty comes from its position at the base of the Sierra Maestra Mountains. You’ll find dozens of waterfalls scattered along the base which provide a great alternative when you get tired of treading water. Of course, with all the sunken ships and coral reefs in the are we’re not sure how you’ll fit it all in on one trip, but it’ll sure be fun to try!

Playa Ancón
Along Cuba’s southern coast lies Play Ancón, one of the longest strips of sand not just in the country but also in the Caribbean. The water here is so turquoise it’s almost blinding. Though the beach is just a hop away from nearby Trinidad the locals have managed to hold onto the somewhat rustic and natural appeal. The diving here is no joke, either.

Cayo Levisa
Colorful shipwrecks line the bottom of the ocean around Cayo Levisa, a remote island off the coast of Palma Rubia. It doesn’t offer much in the way of nightlife, one bumping beach bar last we checked, but it’s the perfect place for a little relaxation. There are plenty of underwater adventures to be had and none of the crowds.

Playa Paraíso
“Paradise Beach” sums up this breathtaking shoreline incredibly well. It’s not the most exciting strip of sand in Cuba, but Playa Paraíso has some of the most stunning waters in the Caribbean. The beautiful blue waves are calm enough for toddlers to wade in and only come waist high 50 meters out so the whole family can enjoy a dip.

Cayo Coco
Cayo Coco isn’t exactly a place to go if you’re looking for a little rest and relaxation, but if you’re up for a party there’s probably no better beach in the country. It’s crowded and full of luxurious beachside resorts, all packed with beachside bars serving up some of the best mojitos available. The beach is a popular spot for watersports, from diving to jet skiing and more.

Playa Perla Blanca
At the end of a 48-kilometer causeway lies on the most untouched beaches in all of Cuba: Play Perla Blanca. The sugar-white sand here is unspoiled by beachside bars and bungalows leaving you to relish in the landscape as it was meant to be. It’s a bit of trek getting there, sure, but you won’t find any place quite like it in Caribbean. It’s the perfect place to lie out in the sun or spend an afternoon taking a dip without worrying about crowds.

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