Sailing Cuba: Get off the beaten beach

February 11, 2015 Cate Lorimer

Wherever in the world you may be, If you’re in need of some serious Vitamin D, Cuba’s secluded beaches are some of the most perfect places in the world to find it. And the best way to make sure you hit the best beaches this country has to offer (and arguably, in the world) is to sail the coastline. More and more people are sailing Cuba these days because it’s the ideal way to experience this stunning and relaxed part of the world. So grab your swimsuit and that SPF, because we’re going to explore Cuba’s most remote beach areas from the waters.


SPF not included.


This city is dubbed “La Perla del Sur” (Pearl of the South) and as you approach its coastline in your boat, you’ll know why. Cienfuegos has some of Cuba’s most beautiful architecture. In fact, its urban historic centre is also on the UNESCO Heritage List. But besides this city’s beautiful buildings, this area has one of the best beaches on the island: Playa Rancho Luna. Many divers and snorkellers flock to this area of the island because it is home to some of the most stunning and flourishing coral reefs (thanks to Cuba’s lack of tourist infrastructure). If you speak to any of the locals, be sure to ask them about “Notre Dame,” a natural coral formation that looks like two large cathedral pillars. If you love exploring the water, then Cienfuegos is the place for you. Plus you’ll be sure to meet plenty of new friends while you’re swimming, like sea turtles or the harmless whale shark.

“La Perla del Sur” (Pearl of the South)

La Perla del Sur” (Pearl of the South) .

Cayo Largo

The Canarreos Archipelago, which is off the south of Cuba, is made up of over 300 islets that are some of the real stars here. Cayo Largo is the second-largest island in the archipelago. However, I should really use the term “large” loosely as this island is only 26km (16 mi) long and just about 3km (2 mi) wide. This paradise has become quite the destination for the beach worshipper who is looking to enjoy a week in the sun, but without a swarm of sunburnt bodies. Plus, if you’re looking to get an even tan, then Cayo Largo is the place for you, as sunbathing in the nude is allowed at certain areas of the beach. But what makes this islet special, is its natural assets. If the white sand and turquoise waters weren’t enough, this tiny limestone island has become the home for nesting sea turtles (and to think you had to head down to Costa Rica to witness that) and countless flamingos. This place is a must-stop for any beach-loving seafarer.

Cayo Largo really isn't large at all.

Cayo Largo is pararise found. Photo courtesy Stefan T.

Cayo Rico

Among all of Cuba’s hidden gems, the tiny islet of Cayo Rico is among the most special. Serene and isolated (and surrounded by water) the only way to get here is by boat. Cayo Rico is also home to an incredible population of iguanas and green coves which will allow you to play “stranded on a deserted island” for the day. After a day of splashing in the waves, make sure you sit on the sand for an incredible sunset. It will make the perfect backdrop for that Instagram photo (and you won’t even need a filter!).

An iguana on Cayo Rico. Photo courtesy Danilo S.

An iguana on Cayo Rico. Photo courtesy Danilo S.

Getting There

If you’re a beach lover, sailing-junkie, or just love that infectious Caribbean flavour, then take another look at Cuba from its waters. Discover those undiscovered beaches in this truly unforgettable way, because we promise, you’ll go home with much more than a tan. Check out our Sailing Cuba trip today.

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