Playas del Este
- Enjoy these white sandy beaches just a few km's out of the city
- Go for fishing - Yacht charter is available. Big fishes are waiting for you
- Kiteboarding & Windsurfing in Cuba - also for beginners. Book a course!
- Nightlife is great here by the beaches. Huge open air clubs will let you sleepless.
- Make an excursion to the city center and in the evening you are back on the beach. Good for recreation!
- Scuba Diving for divers and beginners - Caribbean underwater-world!
Playas de Este (Havana’s tropical beaches) start 18 km to the east of the capital city. This stunning stretch of coastline begins at Bacuranao, and then continues through Tarará, El Mégano, Santa María del Mar and Boca Ciega on to the town of Guanabo.
This delightful stretch of Atlantic paradise is where all the locals come to play and chill-out during the balmy months of July and August. If you want an escape from the modern touristy developments or an authentic Cuban beach experience, this is the place to go!
The beaches all have their own unique character and charm. Tarará is a diver’s paradise and an idyllic sailing destination. Boca Ciega is popular with gay couples. While Santa María del Mar is where you’ll find the most tourists and pricey resorts, Guanabo is at the more rustic end of the scale with cheap hotels, casas particulares (private houses) along with some local-type nightclubs and small shops.
During winter months these beaches can often look scruffy and almost desolate but that all part of their charm! In summer however, they get jam-packed with crazy Cubans, all out to party, swim, socialize, mingle and have fun.
In terms of facilities, these postcard-like beaches are quite limited. So far, they have remained relatively tourism-free when compared with the likes of say Cancun or Cayo Coco. But, be warned, the crowds will inevitably come, so get here fast!
Sights in Playas del Este
Tourism in Playas del Este: The main sights or attractions in Playas del Este are unquestionably the bright white sands, pristine turquoise waters and endless blue skies! Yes, the beaches are what you come here for!
The Playas del Este beaches are well-connected with the main districts of Havana. Most of the Playas del Este Hotels offer shuttle service 3 times a day.
Fun, Leisure and Sports in Playas del Este
Yacht charters and deep-sea fishing can be arranged by Cubanacán Náutica Tarará, located just over 20 km east of Havana.
If you want to hit the depths you can go scuba diving at the Diving Center Tarará. Depths typically range from 5 – 25 meters. Expect to see some fascinating wrecks, colorful coral, narrow caves and a massive variety of fish. You can also go snorkelling at a variety of locations along the coast. Ask at the local dive centre or hotel for the best spots.
If this all sounds like way too much physical exertion, why not just chill out on the beach with a cocktail or beer, maybe brush up on the tan! Be careful though, the sun here gets very strong! Make sure to wear appropriate sunscreen!
Excursion to the center of Havana
If you get bored of the beach, you can always just hop on a bus and experience the magic and romance of the Cuba’s legendary capital city – Havana/Havana Vieja (Old Havana). There are three buses per day that will get you there in no time!
Playas del Este, that means beaches and more beaches. The coastline of the beach district of Havana offers more than 20 km's full of white sands and blue Caribbean water.
Here you find all the information about these popular waterfronts:
"Playa Bacuranao" beach (Havana)
Head 12 km east of the capital and the first beach you’ll come to is Playa Bacuranao. It’s a popular spot with the locals and an excellent snorkeling location – rich in colorful coral, bathed in warm waters years round.
"Playa Tarará" beach
Next up is Tarará - another excellent snorkeling and diving location, bursting with a wide variety of exotic sea life. There’s a small resort complex and marina here, where you can also go sailing and fishing. The villa area of Tarará is where the legendary Che Guevara went to recover after the epic battles in the Sierra Maestra.
"Playa Mégano" beach
One of the most popular beaches in Playas del Este is Mégano. It has excellent live music and (possibly) the finest filet of fish and lobster you could ever taste - served right on the beach. It’s not a touristy as Santa María del Mar – which sees the largest amount beach goers.
"Playa Santa María" beach
If you’re into the whole pick-up scene or want loud music and non-stop partying, Santa María, or “disco beach” is the place to go. It’s become the most popular beach in Playas del Este. Don’t be put off by the crowds and loud music though! It initially became popular because of it’s stunning natural beauty, which it still retains. Tourist facilities include; water sports, bars and hotels.
"Playa Boca Ciega" beach
Playa Boca Ciega (perhaps one the least attractive beaches in Playas del Este) starts just east of the Río Itabo Estuary. There’s a residential and rental complex here where the locals often rent “cabinas”. It’s a good spot if you want to hang out with the locals away from the more touristy parts.
"Playa Guanabo" beach
Head east and you’ll come to Playa Guanabo, at around 27 km east of Havana. The cute little village of Guanbo (with its plantation style homes) sits right on the beach. You can stay in a casa particulare (private house) right on the beach here! Amenities include the usual: shops, restaurants, bars and discos.
"Tropico, Puerto Escondido and Playa Jibacoa" beaches
If you continue further east still, in the more rural part of Havana, you’ll come to three lovely little beaches - Tropico, Puerto Escondido and Playa Jibacoa beach. These fine white sandy stretches, surrounded by huge cliffs and lush green vegetation are well worth a visit!
There’s a wide and tasty variety of cuisine available here in Playas del Este – everything from local Cuban to European and international.
Here’s a few options…
Paladar Maeda (Guanabo) (Havana)Serving both Cuban and international food, this friendly paladar offers great variety at an excellent price. Worth checking out!
Paladar MercedesJust down the road, there’s another paladar (Mercedes’s) with superb cuisine (mostly Cuban). It’s cheap-cheap-cheap and also works as a take-away if you’re on the move!
Paladar El PiccoliIf you want to go Italian, check out Paladar El Piccoli in Guanabo. It’s a bit pricey but serves some of the best Italian food in Cuba! Sometimes it gets crowded but it’s always worth the wait!
The nightlife here is fairly limited compared to other beach locations in Cuba. There are, however, a few interesting spots…
Cabaret GuanimarCabaret Guanimar is an outdoor club with a 11pm show, where you can enjoy the balmy Cuban nights all year round. Front row seats are more expensive.
La PatéThe gay scene here revolves mainly around a La Paté – a beach bar at the east end of Santa María del Mar, near Restaurante Mi Cayito.
- Excursion to the center of Havana
- "Playa Bacuranao" beach (Havana)
- "Playa Tarará" beach
- "Playa Mégano" beach
- "Playa Santa María" beach
- "Playa Boca Ciega" beach
- "Playa Guanabo" beach
- "Tropico, Puerto Escondido and Playa Jibacoa" beaches
- Hotel Blau Arenal Club
- Aparthotel Izlazul Las Terrazas
- Hotel Gran Caribe Club Atlántico
- Hotel Villa Mégano
- Hotel Villa Armonía Tarará
- Hotel Villa Los Pinos
- Hotel Villa Armonía Tarará
- * all the bigger hotels have a moeny exchange office
- * Cadeca Santa María (Av de las Terrazas btwn Calles 10 & 11 / "Edificio Los Caroles" building )
- *Clínica Internacional de Playas del Este - Ave. de las Terrazas No. 36 / Playa Santa María del Mar / Tlf.: (53 7) 97-1032 · 97-1651 · 97-1626
- normally all the bigger hotels have medical care
- Paladar Maeda (Guanabo) (Havana)
- Paladar Mercedes
- Paladar El Piccoli
- Cabaret Guanimar
- La Paté