The Wonderful Beaches in Havana
Almost everybody knows about the beautiful beaches in Cuba but most people are
not aware that there are fantastic beaches very close to Havana. These are loc-
ated about 30 kilometers east of Old Havana and are named the Playas del Este ,
which literally means “eastern beaches.” The Playas del Este area is made up of
several separate beaches, the most popular of which are Playa Santa Maria, Boca
Ciega and Guanabo.
The beaches are typically wide, with soft white sand. The ocean water is gentle
and usually shallow even 100 meters from the shore. At these beaches, tourists
are few and far between, mostly because there are not many hotels in the area.
Furthermore, it can be expensive (20 CUC or more) to get to the beach from
Havana, unless you know how to use the communal taxi routes.
Cubans love to go to the beach in the months of May through September, and par-
ticularly in the hot summer months of July and August. On summer weekends,
tens of thousands of locals flock to the Playas del Este . In the months of Decem-
ber and January, these beaches are almost completely deserted. Despite the cli-
mate being warm year round, most Cubans find that the temperatures in the winter
months, which, on a cool day, only hover around 25 degree Celsius, are just too
cold for beach-going. Personally, I consider the Playas del Este a great place to
visit, any time of the year. And once you know how to get there in a taxi particular,
you will surely consider them one of the cheapest, and most fun destinations in the
Getting to the Beach in a Taxi Particular
The main route for all the taxis particulares going from Havana to the Playas del
Este starts at an unmarked taxi depot in Old Havana, located at the corner of Agra-
monte and Mision streets. This is the only location where you will be able to find a
taxi particular which will take you to the beach. The main taxi route runs from Old
Havana until the large beach town of Guanabo, located 30 km east. The taxi par-
ticular fare to get there is only 50 peso (MN). I will give you step by step instruc-
tions on exactly how to find the taxi depot and how to get to the beach.
Finding the Taxi Depot (corner of Agramonte and Mision)
1) Get to the Capitolio .
2) Orient yourself in front of the main entrance of the building (where the
steps are). The main entrance of the Capitolio faces east. The street directly in
front of the building is called Prado. Directly in front of the Capitol building is the in-
tersection of the streets Prado and Brasil (Teniente Rey)