Playa Larga Beach
Playa Larga is a small seaside village in the province of Matanzas, located at the end of Bahía de Cochinos, known commonly around the world as the Bay of Pigs.
This picturesque seaside town boasts what is arguably one of the finest and unspoilt beaches on the south coast of Cuba. As well as the obvious attraction of lounging out on this beautiful stretch of sand, Playa Larga also offers excellent opportunities for snorkelling and diving, acting as a launching off base to explore the region’s beautiful natural habitat.
The beach itself is surprisingly uncrowded and you can often take a stroll here without seeing another soul for miles. From the shore, it’s also possible to spot surfacing pods of dolphins and even whale sharks have been spotted.
Snorkelling and Scuba Diving
The sea can get quite rough so isn’t ideal for swimming, but diving in the area is incredibly popular. International Diving Center Octopudos - Playa Larga’s official scuba diving centre, offers a range of trips from snorkelling and beginner diving courses right the way up to more advanced options such as cave diving.
The surrounding Zapata Peninsula has been declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and is home to an incredible diversity of marine life, with myriad varieties of coral including gorgonian, elkhorn, mountainous star, black coral and sponges. Underwater caves, valleys and terraces also lie in wait, making this one of Cuba’s most impressive dive sites.
For anyone interested in birdlife, the nearby International Bird Watching Center is also worth a trip and offers both day and nighttime excursions in the Montemar woods. But if you just fancy taking it easy, there are plenty of beachside restaurants to put your feet up, sip an ice-cold beer and enjoy some of the excellent local seafood.
With wonderful scenery, a laid-back vibe, gorgeous beach and fantastic opportunities for snorkelling and scuba-diving, Playa Larga is blessed with countless charms. So whether you want to get away from it all, or get a little closer to Cuba’s outstanding natural environment, this idyllic coastal town is one to make a special point of visiting.
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If you are interested in Cuba's incredibly diverse indigenous biodiversity, the Alejandro de Humboldt National Park is worth a visit. Featuring 16 of the 28 protected national plant species and several endemic animals and birds, even those less attracted to flora and fauna will be impressed by the landscape and unspoilt beaches. It is best accessed from Baracoa.
A visit to the Almendares Park is an opportunity to relax in a lush, green setting in the heart of the city. Located by the river-side of the Playa neighbourhood, the park is an example of forward-thinking urban planning and offers some leisure activities for adults and children alike as well as the chance to see Habaneros relaxing with their families.
Playa Ancon just might be Cuba's best south beach. A 15-minute drive from Trinidad, visitors will find white sand, clear water, great diving, and sunny skies on the end of Ancon peninsula. There are three luxury resorts for those looking for an opulent holiday, as well as more modest options for the budget-conscious.
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