How to find the best beach in Cuba
By Rosa Jordan
Twelve years ago my partner and I set out to cycle the entire coast of Cuba. Afterwards we wrote Lonely Planet's Cycling Cuba, the first-ever cycling guide to the island. There followed many queries about bicycling in Cuba, but even more questions from travelers wanting to know which were Cuba's "best beaches."
Uh, best for what? Some were looking for a resort beach, some for a beach where they could mingle with Cubans, some for a beach off the beaten path. It seemed to me that a guide was needed—one that would describe the best beaches in each of those categories and also tell how to get there, where one could stay, and what there was to do in the area.
That's how Cuba's Best Beaches came to be written. It provides such information for the top 30 beaches in Cuba for a resort vacation, a place to experience island culture, or to simply get away from it all. Not exactly a definite answer as to which is the absolute best, but it does help narrow the field. (And once you've decided, if reservations are needed, www.cuba-junky.com is a good place to make them.)
Cuba's Best Beaches, by Rosa Jordan & Derek Choukalos, is available from Amazon.com
The beaches of Cuba
It is a common knowledge that the Cuban sea is excellent. The high degree of conservation of its coral formations and powder white clean beaches. It has a nice subtropical climate, the lovely warm water cooled by the winds, so temperture range between 75.2F and 84.2 F (24C and 29C.). There are an average of 330 sunny days per year, with a few clouds.
The main tourist resorts including the ones on the cayos of Jardines del Rey, Cayo Coco & Cayo Guillermo, have international airports, and the very good hotel infrastructure is complemented with a wide range of extra hotel facilities (car and bus rentals, marinas, scuba-diving centers, beauty parlors, fitness centers and more.), entertainment all day and night long, Tours to nearby cities and other must sees, medical attention, and family and honeymoon packages.
Many places on Cuba's coasts are already famous: Varadero, Guardalavaca, Esmeralda, Santa Maria del Mar, Santa Lucia and Ancon Beaches, which are loved by tourists from all over the world, and Cayo Coco, Cayo Guillermo, Largo del Sur, Santa Maria, Las Brujas and Cayo Levisa.
But there are other places-anonymous as yet or little known-virgin beaches which are not the exception but rather the rule. Large or small, they are waiting to be discovered on the Guanahacabibes Peninsula, a preserve of the biosphere; the coasts in the center and eastern parts of the country; and in tranquil Baracoa, at the eastern extreme of the island. You can enjoy them to the full in complete safety. There's nothing quite like walking along a beach for hours with nothing to disturb you.