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12 Beautiful Beaches in Havana, Cuba (2024 Updates!)

Explore coastal treasures through our guide to the exceptional beaches in Havana.

From lively shores to tranquil retreats, we unveil the perfect mix of sun, sea, and sand, offering insights into activities, amenities, and the unique vibe of each location. Embark on a journey to find your ideal beach paradise near Cuba’s vibrant capital.

Santa María del Mar

1. Santa María del Mar

  • Location: The most celebrated beach near Havana, known for its fine white sand and azure waters.
  • Vibe: A lively atmosphere that encapsulates the quintessential Cuban beach experience, attracting both locals and tourists.


  • Water Sports: Offers jet skiing, windsurfing, and more for enthusiasts.
  • Sunbathing: Ideal conditions for soaking up the sun on its soft sands.
  • Volleyball: Beach volleyball games are a common and welcoming sight.


  • Dining: Numerous beachfront restaurants and bars serving delicious Cuban cuisine and refreshing cocktails.
  • Rentals: Available services for beach chairs, umbrellas, and water sports equipment.
  • Amenities: Well-maintained public restrooms and changing areas.

Getting There & Tips:

  • Access: Easily reachable by car or bus from Havana, approximately 20 minutes from the city center.
  • Best Time to Visit: Early arrival recommended, especially on weekends and holidays to avoid crowds.
  • Essentials: Don’t forget sunscreen and plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Guanabo beaches in Havana

2. Guanabo

  • Location: A favorite among those seeking a more authentic Cuban beach experience, located east of Havana.
  • Vibe: Offers a glimpse into local life, with a more laid-back atmosphere compared to more tourist-centric beaches.


  • Surfing: Recognized for its great surfing waves, attracting surfers of all levels.
  • Horseback Riding: Unique opportunities for horseback riding along the scenic beachfront.


  • Local Eateries: A variety of local eateries offering traditional Cuban dishes and seafood.
  • Accommodation: Guesthouses and private rentals available for a longer, immersive stay.

Getting There & Tips:

  • Access: Accessible via a short drive or bus ride from Havana, offering a more secluded retreat from the city.
  • Best Time to Visit: Weekdays are less crowded, providing a more personal experience.
  • Essentials: Bring cash for local vendors and eateries, as card payments may not be widely accepted.

Guanabo presents a wonderful contrast to the more commercialized beaches in Havana, providing visitors with a taste of Cuba’s natural beauty and local culture.

It’s the perfect destination for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy a more relaxed pace of life by the sea.

Boca Ciega

3. Boca Ciega

  • Location: Known for its clear waters, Boca Ciega is a part of the Playas del Este group, situated east of Havana.
  • Vibe: A family-friendly atmosphere, making it a popular choice for both locals and visitors seeking a peaceful day by the sea.


  • Snorkeling: The clear waters are ideal for snorkeling, offering a glimpse into the underwater world.
  • Paddle Boarding: Calm waters provide the perfect conditions for paddle boarding enthusiasts.


  • Picnic Areas: Designated spots for families to enjoy a seaside picnic.
  • Shops: Small local shops selling snacks, drinks, and basic beach gear.

Getting There & Tips:

  • Access: Easily accessible by car or public transportation from Havana, with a journey time of about 30 minutes.
  • Best Time to Visit: Mornings are particularly serene, with fewer crowds and cooler temperatures.
  • Essentials: Pack a picnic and snorkeling gear to make the most of your visit.

Boca Ciega offers a tranquil beach experience, perfect for families and those looking to enjoy the natural beauty of Cuba’s coastline without the crowds.

With its clear waters and gentle waves, it’s an ideal spot for water activities or simply relaxing on the beach.

El Salado

4. El Salado

  • Location: Approximately 30 kilometers west of Havana, known for its unique saltwater swimming pool and natural surroundings.
  • Vibe: El Salado offers a blend of natural beauty and tranquility, making it a great spot for those looking to escape the city’s bustle.


  • Diving: The presence of a saltwater swimming pool makes it a preferred spot for diving enthusiasts.
  • Fishing: Its coastal location offers ample opportunities for fishing, attracting locals and tourists alike.


  • Dive Center: Equipped with facilities for diving lessons and equipment rental.
  • Restaurant: A local restaurant serving fresh seafood and traditional Cuban dishes.

Getting There & Tips:

  • Access: Best reached by car, offering a scenic drive along the coast from Havana.
  • Best Time to Visit: Avoid weekends if you prefer a quieter experience, as it’s a popular spot for local families.
  • Essentials: Bring your own diving gear if you have it, though rentals are available at the dive center.

El Salado’s unique appeal lies in its natural saltwater pool, offering a different experience from the typical beach visit.

It’s a place where visitors can enjoy the therapeutic qualities of saltwater, engage in underwater exploration, or simply enjoy the serene environment.

Whether you’re an avid diver or looking for a quiet spot to relax, El Salado provides a refreshing getaway.


5. Jibacoa

  • Location: Nestled between lush green mountains and the North Atlantic, Jibacoa is roughly halfway between Havana and Varadero.
  • Vibe: With its mix of natural beauty and secluded spots, Jibacoa offers an idyllic retreat for those seeking tranquility and adventure.


  • Snorkeling and Diving: The beach is renowned for its vibrant coral reefs accessible directly from the shore.
  • Hiking: Nearby trails lead adventurers through tropical forests to hidden caves and breathtaking viewpoints.


  • Campsites and Resorts: Options range from beachfront camping to staying in cozy resorts.
  • Beach Bars: Casual spots to enjoy a drink with stunning ocean views.

Getting There & Tips:

  • Access: A car or bus journey from Havana, Jibacoa is more remote but well worth the trip for its unspoiled beauty.
  • Best Time to Visit: Weekdays to enjoy the beach with fewer people and a more personal connection to nature.
  • Essentials: Bring snorkeling gear and sturdy shoes for hiking. Also, pack food and water if you plan to explore the trails.

Jibacoa is a gem for those looking to immerse themselves in Cuba’s natural landscapes.

Its coral reefs provide an excellent backdrop for underwater exploration, while the surrounding hills offer a haven for hikers and nature lovers.

This, as one of the beaches in Havana, is a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure, offering something for everyone.

Playa Tarará

6. Playa Tarará

  • Location: A well-maintained, private beach community situated east of Havana, known for its calm waters and exclusive vibe.
  • Vibe: Offers a serene and upscale beach experience, with beautifully landscaped areas and pristine conditions.


  • Kayaking and Sailing: The calm sea is ideal for kayaking and sailing, available to beachgoers seeking a tranquil sea adventure.
  • Leisure Activities: Perfect for leisurely walks, sunbathing, and enjoying the peaceful beach atmosphere.


  • Marina: A full-service marina for those arriving by boat or interested in water sports rentals.
  • Villas for Rent: Luxurious villas and apartments available for visitors seeking a longer stay with comfort and privacy.

Getting There & Tips:

  • Access: Accessible by car, with a gated entrance ensuring exclusivity for guests and residents.
  • Best Time to Visit: Anytime is ideal, thanks to its private nature, ensuring a quiet and uncrowded beach experience.
  • Essentials: Consider booking accommodation or a day pass in advance to ensure access to this private beach.

Playa Tarará is the epitome of an exclusive beach getaway near Havana, offering visitors a slice of paradise with its tranquil waters and luxurious amenities.

It’s an ideal destination for those looking to indulge in a quiet, upscale beach experience, away from the crowds, with all the comforts of a high-end resort community.

Playa Megano

7. Playa Megano

  • Location: Part of the famous Playas del Este beaches, situated close to Havana, known for its vibrant atmosphere and clear waters.
  • Vibe: Lively and welcoming, Megano attracts a mix of locals and tourists with its energetic beach scene and beautiful setting.


  • Beach Volleyball: Regular games invite participation from all skill levels.
  • Live Music Events: Occasional live music and DJ sets enhance the beach’s festive atmosphere.


  • Beach Clubs: Offering loungers, umbrellas, and a range of refreshments.
  • Umbrella Rentals: Essential for comfort during the sunniest parts of the day.

Getting There & Tips:

  • Access: Easily reachable from Havana by car or public transport, making it a convenient option for a day trip.
  • Best Time to Visit: Early morning to secure a good spot and avoid the midday sun.
  • Essentials: Bring sunscreen and a hat for protection against the strong Caribbean sun.

Playa Megano stands out for its dynamic environment, where the warmth of the Cuban sun is matched by the warmth of its people.

It’s the perfect spot for visitors looking to immerse themselves in the local beach culture, with plenty of activities to keep everyone entertained.

Whether you’re there to soak up the sun, join a volleyball game, or just enjoy the live music, Megano offers a quintessentially lively Cuban beach experience.

Playa Bacuranao

8. Playa Bacuranao

  • Location: The closest beach to Havana, offering a mix of sand and coral fragments, surrounded by lush vegetation.
  • Vibe: Predominantly local, with a more authentic Cuban beach experience, less frequented by tourists.


  • Snorkeling: The coral fragments make for interesting underwater exploration close to shore.
  • Local Street Food: A chance to try authentic Cuban snacks and dishes from nearby vendors.


  • Basic Amenities: Though more rustic compared to other beaches, essential facilities are available.
  • Local Vendors: Offering affordable food, drinks, and handmade crafts.

Getting There & Tips:

  • Access: Easily accessible by car or public transport, making it a quick escape from the hustle and bustle of Havana.
  • Best Time to Visit: Weekdays, when it’s less crowded, offering a more relaxed and intimate beach experience.
  • Essentials: Bring snorkeling gear if you wish to explore the underwater scene and cash for local vendors.

Playa Bacuranao is the go-to for those seeking an unfiltered slice of Cuban life by the sea. Its proximity to Havana makes it an ideal spot for a spontaneous beach day, where visitors can enjoy the simplicity of sun, sea, and sand alongside locals.

The beach’s mix of natural beauty and cultural vibrancy makes it a unique find for travelers looking to experience the authentic side of Cuba’s coastal lifestyle.

Playa de los Alemanes

9. Playa de los Alemanes

  • Location: A more secluded spot, situated further east of Havana, known for its tranquility and untouched nature.
  • Vibe: Quiet and serene, Playa de los Alemanes is the perfect escape for those seeking solitude and a deep connection with nature.


  • Sunbathing and Relaxation: The peaceful environment is ideal for unwinding, reading, and sunbathing.
  • Exploration: The surrounding area offers beautiful landscapes for those interested in exploring the natural beauty.


  • Minimal: In keeping with its untouched appeal, facilities are sparse, encouraging a more natural beach experience.
  • Bring Your Own: Visitors should come prepared with their own supplies, such as food, water, and beach gear.

Getting There & Tips:

  • Access: Best reached by car, as public transport options may be limited. The journey rewards with stunning views and a peaceful destination.
  • Best Time to Visit: Anytime, given its generally low visitor numbers, but mornings offer the coolest and most serene experience.
  • Essentials: Pack everything you might need for the day, including sun protection, food, and plenty of water, as there are no vendors or shops nearby.

Playa de los Alemanes stands out as a haven for peace and privacy, offering a stark contrast to Havana’s more bustling beach scenes.

Its untouched nature not only provides a rare sense of solitude but also a beautiful backdrop for relaxation and personal reflection. This beach is for those who cherish quiet moments and the simple sounds of waves and wildlife.

Santa Maria del Mar

10. Santa Maria del Mar (East Section)

  • Location: An extension of the popular Santa María del Mar, this eastern section offers a quieter slice of the beach’s beauty.
  • Vibe: Less crowded and more serene, it’s perfect for those seeking peace without straying too far from the amenities and vibrant life of its western counterpart.


  • Wind Surfing and Kite Surfing: The breezier conditions on this side of the beach are ideal for wind and kite surfing.
  • Relaxation: Its less crowded nature makes it a prime spot for quiet sunbathing and beach reading.


  • Limited: Fewer facilities than the main area, but the essentials for a comfortable beach day can still be found.
  • Nearby Amenities: A short walk or drive west brings you to the more developed section with full amenities.

Getting There & Tips:

  • Access: Easily accessible from Havana, with the same routes serving Santa María del Mar leading you here, but continuing a bit further east.
  • Best Time to Visit: Morning or late afternoon to enjoy the solitude with the beauty of sunrise or sunset.
  • Essentials: Bring your own beach gear and snacks, though you can always head to the main area for more options.

The East Section of Santa Maria del Mar offers a tranquil alternative to its busier western side, retaining the same beautiful sandy shores and crystal-clear waters but with more space to breathe.

It’s a hidden gem for those in the know, providing the perfect backdrop for a more intimate beach experience near Havana.

Mi Cayito

11. Mi Cayito

  • Location: Situated within the Playas del Este area, Mi Cayito is renowned as Havana’s unofficial LGBTQ+ friendly beach.
  • Vibe: Welcoming and inclusive, it has a vibrant atmosphere where everyone can feel free to be themselves.


  • Socializing: The beach is a hub for meeting people and enjoying the open and friendly community.
  • Beach Parties: Known for its lively beach parties and gatherings, especially on weekends.


  • Beach Bars: Several bars along the beach offer refreshing drinks and casual dining options.
  • Umbrella and Chair Rentals: Available for those looking to relax comfortably by the sea.

Getting There & Tips:

  • Access: Easily accessible by car or taxi from Havana, it’s a popular destination for both locals and tourists.
  • Best Time to Visit: Weekends for the most lively atmosphere, though weekdays offer a quieter experience.
  • Essentials: Sunscreen, water, and a beach towel are must-haves, along with an open mind to enjoy the diverse and inclusive vibe.

Mi Cayito stands out for its friendly and inclusive atmosphere, making it a favorite among Havana’s beaches for the LGBTQ+ community and allies.

The beach’s blend of socializing opportunities, vibrant parties, and the beautiful Caribbean setting creates a unique and welcoming environment for all visitors.

Playa Blanca

12. Playa Blanca

  • Location: A hidden gem located further from Havana, known for its stunning white sands and secluded setting.
  • Vibe: Tranquil and untouched, Playa Blanca offers a serene beach experience away from the crowds, making it perfect for those seeking solitude.


  • Exploration: Ideal for exploring nearby mangroves and observing local wildlife.
  • Relaxation: The quiet, pristine beach is perfect for meditation, yoga, or simply unwinding in peace.


  • None: In keeping with its untouched charm, there are no facilities, reinforcing its natural appeal.
  • Bring Your Own: Visitors should come prepared with everything they need for the day, as amenities are non-existent.

Getting There & Tips:

  • Access: Best reached by private car or taxi due to its remote location. The journey is rewarded with privacy and natural beauty.
  • Best Time to Visit: Anytime, as its secluded nature means it rarely gets crowded.
  • Essentials: Water, snacks, sun protection, and anything else needed for a day at a remote beach are crucial.

Playa Blanca is the ultimate retreat for those looking to escape the beaten path and enjoy Cuba’s natural beauty in its most unspoiled form. The absence of amenities and its remote location contribute to its status as a peaceful haven, where the rhythms of nature dictate the pace of the day.

beaches in Havana

For those who crave even more sandy escapades beyond the top 12, here are the runner-up beaches. Each offers its own unique charm and reasons to visit, making them worthy contenders for your beach exploration around Havana.

Runner-Up Beaches

1. Playa Cojimar

  • A historic fishing village beach known for its connection to Ernest Hemingway.
  • Offers a quieter, more reflective beach experience with local color.

2. Playa El Mégano

  • Another vibrant spot within the Playas del Este, popular for its lively beach scene and clear waters.
  • Great for those who enjoy socializing and beach sports.

3. Playa Boca Ciega (North Section)

  • Offers a different perspective of Boca Ciega with a quieter ambiance.
  • Ideal for families and those seeking a tranquil beach day.

4. Playa Baracoa

  • A small, secluded beach west of Havana, known for its local atmosphere.
  • Perfect for visitors looking to experience a day in the life of Cuban beachgoers.

5. Playa Guanímar

  • A remote beach further from the city, known for its natural beauty and excellent fishing spots.
  • Appeals to adventure seekers and nature lovers.

6. Playa Santa María (West Section)

  • The opposite end of the popular Santa María del Mar, offering similar beauty with potentially fewer crowds.
  • Suitable for those who enjoy the amenities and activities of Santa María but prefer a quieter setting.

These runner-up beaches provide additional options for exploration, each with its own set of attractions and activities.

Whether you’re looking for a quiet spot to reflect, a place to mingle with locals, or a beach that offers unique natural beauty, these beaches ensure that every visit to the Havana coastline remains memorable and diverse.

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