When one thinks of Havana, Cuba, images of colorful colonial architecture, vintage cars, and vibrant street music often come to mind. However, Havana is also home to some stunning beaches that offer a refreshing escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. In this article, we’ll explore the 10 best beaches in Havana, where you can relax, soak up the sun, and enjoy the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean.
Playa Santa Maria del Mar
Located just 20 kilometers east of Havana, Playa Santa Maria del Mar is a popular beach known for its soft white sands and clear turquoise waters. It’s a fantastic spot for swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing. The beach is lined with bars and restaurants where you can savor delicious Cuban cuisine and tropical drinks while enjoying the view of the sea.
A short drive from Havana, Playa Guanabo is a lively beach that’s frequented by both locals and tourists. The shoreline is dotted with colorful beach umbrellas, and the water is perfect for swimming and boogie boarding. The nearby town of Guanabo offers various amenities, including restaurants, bars, and shops.
For a quieter beach experience, head to Playa Bacuranao. This hidden gem is known for its tranquility and beautiful landscapes. It’s a great place to relax, read a book, or take a leisurely stroll along the shore. The calm waters make it suitable for families with children.
Situated in the exclusive Tarará neighborhood, Playa Tarará offers a more upscale beach experience. The beach is surrounded by luxury residences and a golf course, making it a perfect destination for those seeking a touch of elegance. The shallow waters are ideal for swimming, and you can rent beach chairs and umbrellas for a comfortable day by the sea.
Playa Boca Ciega
Located in the town of Boca Ciega, this beach is famous for its long stretch of powdery white sand. Playa Boca Ciega is less crowded than some of the other beaches near Havana, making it a great choice for those looking for a peaceful getaway. The warm waters are perfect for swimming, and the beach has several paladares (small family-run restaurants) where you can savor local dishes.
A bit farther from Havana, Playa Jibacoa is a scenic beach surrounded by lush green hills. It’s a favorite spot for snorkeling and diving, thanks to its coral reefs teeming with marine life. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you can explore the nearby hiking trails or simply unwind on the beach and enjoy the serenity.
Playa Mar Azul
Nestled between Playa Santa Maria del Mar and Playa Guanabo, Playa Mar Azul is known for its calm waters and relaxed atmosphere. It’s a family-friendly beach with shallow areas, making it perfect for kids. The beach has a few beachside restaurants and bars where you can grab a bite to eat or sip on refreshing cocktails.
For those who love water sports, Playa Megano is an excellent choice. This beach is famous for windsurfing and kiteboarding due to its consistent winds. If you’re new to these activities, you can take lessons from local instructors. Even if you’re not into water sports, the soft sands and beautiful scenery make Playa Megano a pleasant place to spend the day.
About 30 kilometers west of Havana, Playa Baracoa is a quieter beach with a laid-back vibe. The beach is surrounded by mangroves and offers a peaceful setting for relaxation. You’ll find a few seafood restaurants nearby where you can savor freshly caught dishes.
Playa El Salado
Situated in the coastal town of Cojimar, Playa El Salado is a small but picturesque beach. It’s known for its tranquil waters and a beautiful view of the Morro Castle in the distance. Cojimar is also famous for its connection to Ernest Hemingway, and you can explore some of the Hemingway-related sites in the area.
While Havana is undoubtedly known for its rich history and vibrant culture, its beaches offer a delightful contrast and a chance to unwind in a tropical paradise. Whether you prefer the lively atmosphere of Playa Santa Maria del Mar or the serene beauty of Playa Bacuranao, Havana’s beaches have something for everyone. So, the next time you visit Cuba’s capital, don’t forget to pack your swimsuit and sunscreen to explore these fantastic coastal gems.
Just a short drive from central Havana, Playa Cojímar is a peaceful beach known for its calm waters and scenic views. It’s a great spot for a quiet day at the beach, where you can relax, swim, and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. Cojímar itself is a charming fishing village with a rich history and a lovely place to explore after your beach day.
Playa Tarará del Este
If you’re looking for an escape from the crowds, head to Playa Tarará del Este, which is part of the larger Tarará complex. This beach is known for its tranquility and pristine environment. Surrounded by lush vegetation and with fewer visitors, it’s a perfect hideaway for nature lovers and those seeking some solitude.
Playa El Mégano (Megano Beach)
Situated near the town of Santa Cruz del Norte, Playa El Mégano is another gem on the northern coast of Havana. This beach offers soft sands and clear waters, making it an excellent spot for swimming and sunbathing. The laid-back atmosphere and minimal commercial development make it an ideal location for relaxation.
For a unique beach experience, consider visiting Playa Celimar, which is known for its natural pools. These pools are formed by coral formations that create shallow areas in the sea, making it a safe and fun place for families and snorkelers. Explore the underwater world, spot colorful fish, and enjoy the warm Caribbean waters.
Located in the Guiteras neighborhood of eastern Havana, Playa Guiteras is a lesser-known beach that offers a peaceful retreat. The tranquil setting and calm sea make it a great choice for swimming and picnicking. You can also explore the nearby Guiteras Botanical Garden for a touch of nature and greenery.
For those interested in water sports, Playa Herradura is an ideal destination. Located in the western part of Havana, this beach is known for its strong winds, making it a popular spot for windsurfing and kiteboarding. It’s also a picturesque place to watch the sunset and capture stunning photographs.
If you’re willing to venture a bit farther from Havana, Playa Baracoita is a hidden gem worth exploring. This unspoiled beach offers a peaceful escape from the city, with serene waters and natural beauty. It’s an excellent choice for those looking to unwind in a quiet and pristine setting.
Playa El Coral
While not in Havana itself, Playa El Coral is accessible from the city and is a fantastic option for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts. This beach is part of the Guanabo Coral Barrier, where you can explore a vibrant underwater world filled with coral formations and marine life.
Playa El Salón
Located in the province of Artemisa, Playa El Salón is a stunning beach known for its unique rock formations and crystal-clear waters. It’s a great place for swimming and photography, and the nearby Playa El Salón Hotel offers amenities and dining options for visitors.
Playa Punta Perdiz
A bit further from Havana, Playa Punta Perdiz is located in the Bay of Pigs area. This beach is famous for its snorkeling and diving opportunities, thanks to its vibrant coral reefs and underwater caves. Explore the marine life and enjoy the natural beauty of this remote beach.
In summary, Havana, Cuba, offers a diverse range of beaches to suit every traveler’s preferences. Whether you seek tranquility, water sports, natural beauty, or historical charm, these 20 beaches in and around Havana have something special to offer. So, pack your beach essentials and explore the coastal wonders of this captivating city in the heart of the Caribbean.