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Five Coastal Paradises: The Best Beaches in Cuba
Selecting the five best beaches in Cuba is a tough task when you consider that the island is made up of majestic coastlines stretching to 5,746 kilometres, and dividing up into 289 natural beaches. Cuba's northern beaches are characterised by golden powdery sands and the turquoise waves of the Atlantic Ocean. Cuba's beaches in the south are less popular with tourists making them perfect for periods of tranquil isolation.
As beach holidays in Cuba become more and more popular, we have picked out some of the best kept tourist secrets from the island's coast line. Here are our top 5 beaches in Cuba, unspoilt by tourism and overcrowding.
On the north east coast, this small island, with its 7 miles of virtually untouched beaches has been designated a UNESCO reserve, making it a stunning location for a holiday. The island is home to some memorable wildlife, and visitors should not be surprised to spot flamingos, endemic lizards, mollusks and the island's national bird - the Tocoroco bearing all the colours of the Cuban flag. Plant lovers will also be delighted to find the island is home to 248 species of flora.
Cayo Santa Maria's beach itself is one of the most tranquil in Cuba and stretches for 13 kilometres of very fine white sands, with calm crystal clear waters. The coral barrier protects the beach from winds, meaning waves are never overwhelming and allows a selection of marine life to make this Cuban beach paradise its home.
Varadero beach stretches to 20 kilometres of sands ensuring it is the most popular Cuba beach holiday resort by quite a long way. 28 diving spots, shallow clear waters and a huge variety of flora and fauna are just some of the reasons Varadero beach is world renowned for its excellence.
Varadero beach's water is shallow for several metres out, making it a safe choice for children, and the waters are so clear that it is possible to see the seabed for long stretches! For divers, a Cuba beach holiday in Varadero is a real treat, with the area boasting a huge variety of fish, lobsters, crabs and shrimps with over 40 species of coral and 70 kinds of molluscs. Those just enjoying the sand and sunshine will also delight in the dolphins - which are often visible from the shore!
Off the north coast of Cuba, and nestled in one of the most stunning coral reefs in the world lies the island of Cayo Coco. The island is made up with 27km of some of the best beaches in Cuba, and is something of a scuba diving haven. To the north, 9km of snowy white beaches, gently lapped by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south tropical mangroves, and wildlife havens.
The coral reef around the island is touted as the second most important in the world by experts (after Australia's) and this is reflected by the vast array of aquatic life that divers can see as they explore. The warm waters have excellent visibility, and allow divers to clearly see the range of tranchinatus, red snappers, tarpons, stonebasses, sharks and barracudas, as they swim around the clean sea.
The Cuban beaches on the island host a wide array of fauna for nature lovers, including pink flamingos (the island hosts a massive flock of over 30,000!), grey herons, pelicans, mocking birds and ducks.
Facing the Atlantic ocean, the golden sands and turquoise oceans of Guardalavaca's beach. At 3 kilometres long it's one of the smallest beaches in Cuba to make our list, but it's still worth a visit. It's protected by coral reefs 300 metres out, making it a fascinating microclimate for sealife.
As with other Cuba beach holiday hotspots, Guardalavaca is a great area to dive in. The water is clear, with visibility of 20 metres, and for those that want something a little out of the ordinary; the underwater caves at Gibara allow some intriguing exploration for the experienced diver. Even the regular stretches of water are home to various coral beds, crustaceans and tropical fish, including swordfish, Spanish mackerel and barracuda, making a trip to Guardalavaca beach a nature lover's dream.
On the east side of the Island, Cayo Largo beach is a popular dive site and boasts some of Cuba's most beautiful coral reefs as well as gorgeous beaches of white, unspoilt sands. Only accessible via a small airport or a six hour boat trip from Havana, this may seem like a lot of effort for a simple beach holiday in Cuba, but with only a handful of hotels, this is almost entirely unspoilt by tourism.
The biggest selling point for Cayo Largo's beach ahead of the island's others is that it really feels removed from the pressures of city life - there are hardly any big restaurants, no bustling shopping centres and very little commercialism. The result is an island so tranquil and calm that to do anything other than relax and sunbathe would seem criminal! Although the island is perfect for couples, families and singles alike, visitors should be forewarned that there is often an overlap between the nudist and non-nudist sections of the island!
To discuss the best beaches in Cuba with our knowledgeable sales staff, please call us on 01438 310099.