Located just 24KM (15mi) east of Havana Centro, the 8KM (5mi) this stretch of blissfully soft, golden sand beaches with turquoise waters was given a single name, Playas del Este. The “s” makes it plural with 8 very popular beaches in total, each with unique charm and features.
Interactive Beach Map
There’s no need to wonder where these beaches located as we’ve clearly marked each one on or interactive map below.
Top Beaches of Playas del Este
The beaches are mostly named after their villages and resort areas which are easily found on any map. You find this area to have a nice mix of locals and tourists with the weekend being the busiest for Cuban presence.
1. Playa Santa Maria del Mar
Santa Maria del Mar is arguably one of the busiest beaches in Havana. Its golden sands stretch three kilometers long and offer a resort atmosphere and infrastructure.
Sun loungers, umbrellas, kayaks and more are readily available for rent. There are also many independent stands and vendors selling grapes, coconuts, drinks, and snacks. The beaches are also backed by grasslands which offer plenty of space for outdoor activities and sports.
2. Punto Náutico
Technically, this area is part of Santa Maria del Mar and its most busiest section. You’ll find it in front of the MarAzul Hotel which is the most popular resort in the area.
At Punto Náutico you can rent pretty much anything from jet skis to inflatable rafts. If you’re looking for watersports, this is the place to be. There’s also a nearby supermarket where you can easily grab refreshments.
3. Playa Guanabo
Guanabo beach is the next one after Santa Maria del Mar and has the best local parties. While the beach may not be idyllic, the palm trees offer welcome shade. If you’re looking to crack a coconut and drink rum with Cubans, you’ll find parties in abundance here.
When the sun goes down, you can have a night out in one of Guanabos bars. There are also plenty of stores around to stock up on snacks and more alcohol.
4. Playa Tarará
Tarara is the closest beach to Havana with a distance of 24 kilometers (15 miles) from Havana Centro, and where the coastal strip of Playas del Else begins. The beach has idyllic, Caribbean features with white-sugar sand and coconut tree backdrops.
A note of interest. Beside the river, there’s an exclusive residential complex for the high-middle class. During the 90s, this area housed camps for students. Later, it was used as a recovery center for children affected by the Chernobyl accident.
5. Playa El Mégano
El Megano is a small beach located between Santa Maria del Mar and Tarara. It boasts of beautiful dunes covered with coconut trees.
The natural setting and rustic umbrellas will allow you to de-stress in this exquisite paradise away from the city noise. A few meters from the beach, you’ll find the Villa Megano hotel serving food and drinks.
6. Brisas Del Mar
Del Mar is an old holiday spot that was designed for the wealthy in the 1950s. At 32 KM (20 mi) from Havana Centro, it’s pretty the end of Playas del Este. The beach is known for the shallow waters making it ideal for families with kids. Because it’s located off the unbeaten path, this is the perfect place to stay away from the crowds.
Intimate and elegant, the glistering palm-lined beach gives a sparkling atmosphere with refined ambiance. After a long at the beach, you can take your favorite cuisine at Brisas Del Mar Inn. It serves fresh continental breakfast and other dishes with Spanish flair.
7. Playa Boca Ciega
Boca Ciega lies on the eastern side of Playas de Este. It consists of more than a kilometer of turquoise waters and sandy beaches. Also, you’ll find palm trees and dunes covered by vegetation.
Since the beach is open to all, kids and adults like to paddle around the estuary mouth. Along the beach, the restaurants offer snacks, meals, and lodging facilities. It’s worth mentioning that the beach is quiet and is popular among the gay community.
8. Playa Veneciana
This beach is only 800 meters long and is often frequented by fishermen. You’ll find couples and people who like to travel alone. While it may not be lively as Guanabo or Santa Maria del Mar, the tranquility fits visitors looking to unwind after a long day. It’s also a great place for people who want to spend quiet time with their families.
Playa de El Rincón
The Corner Beach is a very fitting translation, as it marks the end of Playas del Este. Not a true beach per se, but you’re already at Brisas del Mar and desiring a little privacy, just walk around the corner.
Havana Este Beaches
While not connected to the Playas del Este coastal strip, at just 18KM (11 mi) away, they are actually closer to Havana. The waters here are rockier, and the beaches less touristy.
This is the closest beach to the city. It boasts of coral reef and is generally filled with snorkeling enthusiasts. As opposed to other beaches in the region, Bacuranao it’s also mostly visited by Cubans.
Scuba divers like to visit the beach to explore the 18th-century Spanish galleon buried beneath the waves. You might also see kite surfers if the winds are just right.
Playa de las Hermanitas
The name when translated, Beach of the Little Sisters, is probably the most notable thing about this beach. That, and if you walk around the corner from Bucanero and wonder what that area is called… now you know.
Know Before You Go
- During summer months (June to Aug), these beaches will have a lot more local presence.
- During North American winter (Dec through April) expect the beaches to have a more touristy vibe.
- If visiting in May, September and early October, you can still have great weather, along with a lot more privacy and space.