Travel & Pleasure ranks the top Cuban beaches

Posted: 30-Aug-16 07:51

Cuba is largely known around the world for its beautiful beaches. Both in the north and the southern coasts, the island has paradisiac sanctuaries of sand, sea, and tropical vegetation that remain well preserved despite the surge in tourists over the last 30 years. Making a choice among all those charming destinations could be difficult, but travel companies and users have some tips.

Travel & Pleasure ranks the top Cuban beaches

As Cuba has become one of the trendiest destinations for tourists from the world over in recent years, travel advisors, bloggers and social media users rush to publish their impressions and recommendations on the island. When it comes to beaches, Varadero (in the western part of the country), is frequently mentioned as the most beautiful of all.

The 22-kilometre-beach located on the province of Matanzas is the number one destination in Travel & Pleasure’s top ten of Cuban beaches, a ranking made by a website and fast-growing business helping readers find information about different touristic places around the world. In Varadero, the travel guide recommends all of its 28 diving spots, as well as its world-class accommodation facilities.

Taking the second and third spots in the publication´s list we find the beaches of Cayo Santa Maria and Cayo Coco. Both located in the island’s northern coast and famous for their variety of flora and fauna, these beaches offer astonishing crystalline waters and surprising encounters with wildlife.

Also in Cuba´s northern coast, but in the province of Holguin (685km east of Havana), tourists can visit Guardalavaca, one of the smallest beaches in the country. Travel&Pleasure points out that despite its limited extension, it is:

"A nature lover’s dream because of its various crustaceans, coral beds, and tropical fish such as barracuda, Spanish mackerel and swordfish.”

Cayo Largo follows Gardalavaca on the mentioned list. Its charm is preserved by the small presence of touristic facilities and lack of commercialisation, both of which make it a perfect place to wind down. Cayo Largo’s Playa Paraiso beach, located in the Archipelago de los Canarreos, also has a nudist area – the only one in Cuba where bathers are permitted to leave clothing behind.

For holidaymakers who prefer to combine different activities in one single trip, Playa Ancon could be a perfect choice. This relaxing spot in the centre of the island is close to Trinidad, one of the oldest and best-preserved colonial cities in the island. Besides its charming cobblestoned streets and pastel-coloured houses, Trinidad´s vibrant atmosphere is constantly enriched with traditional music and cultural events.

A similar experience can be enjoyed in Baracoa, a town located in Cuba’s eastern province of Guantanamo. Travel&Pleasure explains that:

“Bahia de Baracoa boasts of velvety dark sands backed by mangrove and verdant jungles. The nearby village is a great place to be as it is peppered with some pretty pastel houses with super antiquated charm.”

The remote isles of Cayo Paraiso and Cayo Levisa, in the province of Pinar del Rio (147km east of the capital city), are only accessible by boat. Their isolation makes them very relaxed environments. It is believed that Ernest Hemingway´s book, “Islands in the Stream” was inspired by the beaches in this area.

Adding to the list, the serenity of Playa Pilar in Cayo Guillermo, within the province of Ciego de Avila, is also mentioned by Travel&Pleasure in this recently published list ranking Cuban beaches.

Recommendations can vary from one guide to the next, from one tourist to another. In July, when the aforementioned Playa Paraiso in Cayo Largo was listed third in TripAdvisor ’s Travellers’ Choice Awards 2016, reviewers praised its virginal landscape, with virtually no manmade facilities.

Earlier this year, American luxury magazine, Conde Nast Traveler advised tourists to head to Playa Pesquero in Holguin, besides also recommending a stop by Cayo Guillermo, Playa Ancon, and Baracoa´s beaches.


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