5 must-see beaches in Cuba

The beautiful island of Cuba has been a long-time favourite for Canadians looking to escape to a paradise of sun and sand. With 400 kilometers of white-sand beaches, Cuba is a haven for those looking to unwind and dip their toes in clear blue waters.

With so many beaches to choose from, each one as beautiful as the last, it can be hard to choose which shores to explore during your next sunny escape, that’s why we compiled a list of our favourite beaches to soak up the sun when vacationing in Cuba.

Palm trees blowing in the wind along pier on Playa Cañon
Discover diverse ecosystems at Playa Cañon

Located on the northern coast of Cayo Santa Maria, Playa Cañon is a beautiful white-sand beach stretching over two kilometers. This beach is part of a diverse biosphere, nestled between lush tropical jungle and a turquoise ocean, offering vacationers more than just sand and surf. Start your day snorkelling along colourful coral reefs and end it on land as you explore the exotic vegetation native to Cayo Santa Maria.

Where to stay: Discover all that Playa Cañon has to offer when you stay at Melia Buenavista. This adult only resort features charming bungalow-style accommodations with garden and ocean views. Active travellers will enjoy the resort-offered ecological walks and water sports. Those looking to unwind after a can take advantage of the on-site YHI Spa, offering a range of services and treatments including massages on the white-sand beach.

Vacationers, catamarans and palapas on a stretch of sandy Varadero Beach
Fun for everyone on the world-famous Varadero Beach

Undoubtedly one of the most popular beaches in Cuba, the white-sand shores of Varadero Beach stretch for 20 kilometers and are home to some of Cuba’s best resorts. There’s something for everyone to enjoy on this pristine beach and the crystal-clear waters off its coast. From beach volleyball to catamaran cruises, golf courses and dolphinariums, there’s never a dull moment for vacationers looking to get the most out of their Caribbean getaway.

Where to stay: Stay in the heart of the action in Varadero at Meliá Varadero. Perfect for couples, families and solo vacationers, Melia Varadero offers activities and entertainment for guests of all ages. Lounge beneath a shady palapa on the pristine beach before jumping in the warm waters off the shore with resort-offered water sports. Upgrade your stay to The Level for added bonuses like personalized concierge service, free 24-hour room service and complimentary green fees at Varadero Golf Club.

Aerial view of Melia Jardines del Rey on Playa Flamenco
Explore the underwater world of the Caribbean at Playa Flamenco

Located on Cayo Coco’s north shore, this white-sand beach is protected from the rough waves of the ocean by offshore coral reef platforms. Playa Flamenco slopes gently into the water with many shallow areas created by sand dunes and calm waters near the shore are perfect for families with young children. Vacationers can take advantage of some of the best snorkelling and scuba diving conditions in Cuba at this beach which has one of the largest barrier reef formations in the world to explore.

Where to stay: Jump in the water at Melia Jardines del Rey, nestled on the white-sand shores of Playa Flamenco. With resort-offered non-motorized water sports like snorkelling and kayaking, you can explore the colourful underwater world of the Mesoamerican Reef, home to more than 500 species of tropical fish and 65 types of coral. After building up an appetite, grab a bite at one of the 10 on-site restaurants; with international buffets and à la carte restaurants serving a variety of cuisines, from Italian classics to Mediterranean favourites.

Man, woman and child walking past three Hobie Cat catamarans on beautiful Playa La Estrella
Soak up the sun at Playa La Estrella

Playa La Estrella, found on the north coast of Cayo Santa Maria, is a pristine beach featuring white-sand dunes that protect the coast from the strong tropical winds coming off the ocean. The powdery sands of Playa La Estrella are ideal for families looking for a relaxing getaway full of fun in the sun! Mini-vacationers can spend their day splashing in the calm, shallow waters or building sand castles while parents lounge on a beach chair or join in on a game of beach volleyball.

Where to stay: Named after the dunes of Playa La Estrella, Melia Las Dunas is a charming beachfront resort perfect for families with younger children. Kids can make new friends with supervised activities at the kids club or play in the kids pool before grabbing a sweet treat at the Ice Cream Parlor. While the kids play, parents can explore the resort’s main boulevard featuring live music, cultural shows and a host of culinary delights.

Aerial view of Melia Cayo Coco on Playa Las Coloradas
Conquer the waves at Playa Las Coloradas

Located on the northern coast of Cayo Coco, Playa Las Coloradas is a haven for water sports. The winds coming off the Northern Atlantic Ocean make the area perfect for kitesurfing and the calmer waters close to shore make for excellent kayaking. With the Mesoamerican Reef just off the shore, snorkelling enthusiasts can swim among schools of tropical fish on the south side, while the northern side’s deeper waters make for great scuba diving and sport fishing.

Where to stay: Melia Cayo Coco is an adult only oasis nestled on the white sands of Playa Las Coloradas. This beachfront resort features bungalow-style accommodations on stilts overlooking the sparkling waters of a lagoon. Guests can take advantage of a host of complimentary water sports like catamaran cruises and snorkelling while those looking for a more excitement can try parasailing and deep sea fishing (available at an added cost).

With properties on the most beautiful beaches across Cuba, Meliá Hotels and Resorts offers guests the ultimate sun and sand getaway to the Caribbean. With spacious, well-appointed accommodations, lavish amenities and endless entertainment to suit all vacation types, the ultimate Cuban vacation is easy with Meliá Hotels and Resorts.

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