We stayed in Playa Larga for 2 nights and explored the Bay of Pigs area. Read about all things to do and where we stayed in Playa Larga here.
It was a big day on the road from Vinales to Playa Larga in the Bay of Pigs area, around 350ks. We left Vinales at 8.30am in our rental car and with only one stop at an expensive road side restaurant and arrived at Playa Larga at 2.30pm.
Unfortunately for us it decided to rain most of the time we were there, this meant extensive exploring was not an option. The town was really quiet, with hardly any tourists at all, we were travelling in low season in Sept.
Playa Larga is a really small town located on a beach in the Bay of Pigs. The beach was not what we would call fantastic, the sand was nice but the water was not clear at all. However, the rain wouldnt have helped. It did seem there was an outlet from the swamp which continuely released brown water straight into the sea.
Where is Playa Larga?
Playa Larga is 350km from Vinales and takes around 6 hours to get to by car. If you were travelling from Havana its 170k around 2.5 hour drive. Or from Cienfuegos its 130k, 1.5 hour drive. The road was pretty good, we got to travel at around 85ks.
How to Get to There
There is no direct route to Playa Larga from Havana but you can get there by bus, get in touch with the bus company. There is only one bus company you can use from Havana to Playa Larga which is called Viazul.
The bus station in Havana is not very convienent and will cost in a taxi ride to get to it, but its your cheapest mode of transport unless youre travelling in a group.
Book and pay for your tickets at least a few days in advance online at www.viazul.com or go to the bus terminal to book. Arrive 30mins before your bus departs. All Viazul buses are modern and air conditioned.
It’ll be expensive, sorry I don’t know how much.
We rented a car and drove ourselves from Vinales to Playa Larga, which is a great option at only $60 CUC per day including full insurance.
Install the app MAPS. ME before you leave home and download the map of Cuba. Once in Cuba make sure your location GPS is always turned on and youll get fantastic directions using this map. It even works with voice directions. This map works perfectly offline.
In the middle of Playa Larga town on the right hand side well before the hospital, youll find a small restaurant with a large undercover seating area, this is your WiFi hotspot area. Bring your internet card with you.
Where to Stay
It seems that just about every house in Playa Larga has a Casa sign on it, meaning they have a room for rent. In the low season Im sure you can just rock up on the day and get a room no problem at all. But I wouldnt chance this in high season. Even though Airbnb has a number of casas in Playa Larga its still missing loads of them.
There are more on Homestay, however still not all of them are listed. Im sure as time goes by the list will grow on both these websites.Read about the Casa we stayed at in Playa Larga
Youll only find one hotel in Playa Larga called Horizontes Playa Larga. This hotel is owned and run by the government. It is self star rated, to get the true rating always knock off at least one of the stars. There are a few more hotels along the coast heading towards Playa Giron, all seemed very unappealing.
Where to Eat
As we were travelling out of season (Sept) this meant most of the restaurants seemed to be closed with only a handful of very little local places open. We decided to eat all our meals at our casa in Playa Larga – add a link to this page, which was an excellent choice, the meals were fantastic.
The one big hotel called Horizontes Playa Larga was deserted, we decided to stop in for lunch one day while walking around town (the only meal we didnt have at our casa) and were the only ones in the whole place it seemed. Would definitely recommend the ham & cheese sandwich for $2.50 CUC washed down with a $1.50 beer, great value and really nice. Not on their menu, we just asked for a sandwich.
We overheard a couple saying the food in the local places was not good at all, especially the pizza.
Best Things to Do & See
To be honest there is not much to do in Playa Larga, you really only need one night here. Its a nice little town on an ok beach. In town I did notice you can book an eco tour which I image would involve bird watching as there is so much swamp around. We were super lucky to see a Humming bird right in front of us taking nector from a flower on our walk to the big hotel. Such a tiny and beautiful bird.
The drive from Playa Larga through to Playa Giron is along the coast with peeps of the sea along the way. The scuba diving around here is very good. We took a look around the museum in Playa Giron which didnt take long because everything was in Spanish.