Cuba is renowned for its spectacular beaches, which are kissed by the Atlantic Ocean on the north coast and the Caribbean Sea to the south. The country offers sun-seekers more than 300 beautifully clean natural beaches spread out along 588 km of its expansive 5,700 km coastline. Swimming and diving in the calm, clear waters can be enjoyed year-round thanks to a pleasant, subtropical climate. In fact, Cuba averages an enviable 330 days of sunshine a year.
Cuba’s beaches are unique for the varied tones of their sand, from dazzling white at Varadero to glittering gold at Holguin’s Guardalavaca, to distinctive black at the remote Playa Duaba near Baracoa. Stunning cliffs and limestone rock formations frame the beaches along the higher parts of Cuba’s coastline, such as Playa Siboney near Santiago; while lush mangrove thickets line the lower-lying beaches, like Cayo Levisa in Pinar del Rio.
Varadero Beach is the country’s most famous, with 20 km of pristine white sand melting into the tranquil turquoise waters. Further east, famed author Ernest Hemingway was enchanted by the towering dunes of Playa Pilar, perched on Cayo Guillermo in the gorgeous Jardines del Rey archipelago. Just south of Trinidad you’ll find Playa Ancón, which is arguably the best beach on Cuba’s southern coast. It features sparkling white sands leading into glistening, clear Caribbean waters that are perfect for snorkeling.