Playa La Boca

Varadero was the easiest choice for the former – a mega resort that pulls people in by the thousands each year. Selecting a place for my Cuban beach time was, on the other hand, a much harder job courtesy of the flat-out poor accommodation options.I spent a day at the beach at Playa Ancon and took a catamaran snorkelling trip from the beach. Although the snorkelling was a fun way to break up a day of suntanning (the trip is 1 hour) and the cost was low $10CUC/USD per person, I was horrified to find the guide touching the fish, the marine life and the (small) reef. The problem was, despite all of the searching I did, all of the local beaches pointed me in the direction of the same thing: a 1950s, Government run, Fawlty-Towers-esque hotels that promised nothing more than a sub-par version of what I expected to experience during the resort-based part of my trip to Varadero. It might seem a curious decision that I would choose to take myself to a sub-prime shingle beach that was the domain of the local people and couldn’t even boast it’s own spit of sand. However, based on my pre-trip research, La Boca came to represent the third way – the middle ground in a range of otherwise seemingly bad alternatives.

I’ll be honest, I had pretty grim expectations for my time in La Boca, a tiny collection of thrown-together streets in the Sanctus Spiritus Region of Cuba. La Boca was a Cuban beach area and research had (badly) informed me to expect the worst.
Disappointed but still enjoying the view I carried on down the road passing one building after another. There were very few places to stay that fronted the sea in La Boca but the second I saw Hostel “Villa” Flerida, I knew I’d found the one. The wrap-around porch was decked with rocking chairs that sat painted in primary colours – red, blue and green – while, in the corner, strung between two wooden posts swayed a hammock all but calling my name.Amiga muchas gracias nuevamente por promocionar nuestra Villa Flerida ya nos han hecho reserva por todo el mes de Diciembre y algunos dias de Enero ja,ja FELIZ NAVIDAD Y prospero Año Nuevo Marle Y TitoThe facilities were perhaps the most basic out of all of the casas I’d stayed in Cuba. The toilet, though sparklingly clean, was absent a seat (not as uncommon in Cuba as you might think) and the springs of the bed I slept on were so broken that I spent each night coiled in a u-shape across the top of the bed, hoping I wouldn’t get pulled into the depths of the pit of the mattress, never to be seen again. But none of it mattered. I stepped back onto the porch, slunk into a rocker, surveyed the scenery and smiled. I had finally found what I was looking for.

Over recent years those lines have been permitted to blur as Castro’s more tolerant brother, Raul, has allowed the rules to soften, allowing foreigners and Cubans to more freely frequent each other’s beach domains. But still, historical habits hold strong.
However, it was the location that drew me in. La Boca was sandwiched between the thriving city of Trinidad and Playa Ancon, a beautiful stretch of white sand that would have been ideal were it not for two of the aforementioned 1950’s style Cuban hotels. If La Boca were truly that dire, I could hot-foot it back to the city (for another rave in a cave) or go cry into a Cuban Government hotel pillow in defeat.The casa was not a step-onto-the-sand cabana but it was as damn close to one as it could be. That night Marlene and her husband, Tito, cooked lobster which had been caught that day and the night after I sampled the market’s freshest fish. I swam in the water, swung in the hammock, read in the rocker and as the sun slunk over the horizon I sipped rum and picked up the local game – dominoes (which, it turns out, I’m horribly bad at, but that didn’t matter).

Hey Scott, I’m afraid I didn’t get out that way. And I know zero about fishing in the region. I presume you’ve tried forums like Lonely Planet and Trip Advisor? Otherwise I guess maybe try and track down some casa owners and message them; even local hotels might be able to help. If there’s still no info, maybe it’s time to go exploring. You may not find what you’re looking for but I bet you’ll have an adventure along the way? Good luck and do come back and let me know how you get on. Happy travels!
Wow, Jose – what an experience that must have been, seeing Cuba move (or not move) over the years. I’m sooooo sad – Jibacoa was on my list for visiting but I ran out of time and regretted it then but regret it even more now 🙁 Oh well, I guess that means I’ll have to go back – thanks for the tip! I hope you have a great return trip.

The days sailed by and the nights disappeared just as gently. Without emails to check or a phone that might ring, I’d finally found one of the best beaches in Cuba – I’d found a spot where I could simply sit and be.
Hi Sam, I really enjoyed Toppes de Collantes as well as Viñales. Also, taking the Hershey train from Havana was a highlight. As well as Havana and Bocas, I’d say you have time for one of those as a 3rd stop. I’ve got guides to all these places on the site. Have a great trip.At the end of my research tether, I chose La Boca on a whim. It was a place that barely featured on any of the online websites I’d scoured (I’m guessing because the beach is more shingle than sand) and it merited little more than a passage or two in my favourite paper-based research tool, Lonely Planet. Before I arrived in La Boca I’d prepared myself for a level of hassle even more intense than what I’d experienced in Trinidad. But within seconds of stepping out onto the beachfront street, I realised that the vibe couldn’t have been more different. Hi, Jo! So glad to have found this post. I’m going to Cuba in April and I’ve been trying to figure out where to go outside of Havana that will feel “authentic” but also be relaxing and get some beach in. I arrive the night of the 2nd and leave the morning of the 9th (in/out of Havana). Do you have a recommendation for a rough itinerary that would include a nice amount of time in Havana as well as a few days to chill in La Boca. Should I even bother staying overnight in Trinidad? Other must-sees I’m missing?Hi Terry, this may fall into the category of ‘most unhelpful reply ever’ but I didn’t find a whole heap to do in Cienfuegos in terms of activities. The beauty of the city lies (IMO) in the city streets – it really is like an open air museum. In addition, there is a historical naval museum and a castle and the port, which is worth a stroll. Playa del Yacht Club had good food, service and a brilliant view over the port. I also had a great time at El Tranvia, which has a rooftop and a streetcar theme. Food in Cuba isn’t exactly great but Tranvia was one of the best places I ate. I hope you have an amazing time.

Foreigners continue to take charter flights to the most supreme of the tourist beaches (Varadero and Caye Coco, for example) while the bulk of the local people, most often constrained by price, stick to their own lower-key, often less sparkly stretches of sand, or…in the case of La Boca, shingle.
Remembering that I had a bag on my back and was still searching for a place to stay, I ambled down the street while the sun blazed on down. I was searching for a casa particular (by far the best accommodation choice in Cuba, and La Boca was one of the few beach areas that offered this kind of accommodation) but the first two places I came across were locked-up for the season.

While the resorts of Varadero have attracted a range of hotels from Cuban to international brands, development a
t Cuba’s non-tourist beaches seems to have stagnated back in the same decade that much of the rest of the country came to a halt.
Hi Simone, I’m afraid I’ve never been to Playa Larga but a quick google search tells me it looks beautiful. I enjoyed Trinidad but didn’t feel the need to spend too many nights there. It depends what you prefer. I’m ocean all the way so I’d opt for coast over cities every time. Perhaps one or two nights in each if you have time? Have a great trip.There were no cabañas. There were no tiny beach shacks I could frequent. There were no places at all that could satisfy my (outrageous?) demands. So, with a wistfulness for what could have been, I let go of the dream. It was time to compromise.

Consequently, Soviet-era, nuclear bunker lookalikes provide the primary form of accommodation at Cuba’s local beaches and game as I am for a quirky experience (I went on to experience exactly this kind of accommodation when I headed into the mountains at Toppes d Collantes), it wasn’t what I had hoped for during my Cuban beach time.

So glad you had such a great trip to La Boca – thanks for the tips. I really must return and happy to hear it’s still offering a little slice of tranquility. Happy travels!

Hi Therese, I’m sad to say that the food was my least favourite part of Cuba and if you do a quick search online you’ll see that many people feel the same way. Mostly this is because of trade embargoes. So, I don’t have that many restaurant recommendations for you. I did have a fair to average pizza at the Hotel Nacional in Havana, but that was mainly because I sipped on a lot of sunset cocktails (which were worth it!) and needed some carbs to soak up the fun. I really enjoyed El Tranviavia but mostly the best meals I had were cooked in the casas and I’d always recommend eating with your host in the first instance. Hope you have an amazing trip and I’m very happy to have helped.
I had to ask him several times to stop and it wasn’t until I got quite stern with him before he respected my request. However, he was absolutely convinced that he hadn’t done anything wrong. If you do take a snorkelling trip, ask the guide not to touch the marine life before you head out. Hopefully if enough tourists ask, they will stop this harmful part of the trip.

I’d promised myself contrasting beach experiences in Cuba. I wasn’t specifically looking to sit on the best beaches in Cuba, but I wanted to stare into both sides of the sun: from a foreign-tourist beach resort to a local affair.

Bright red flowering trees framed the picture while, across a stretch of water stood the Escambrey mountains, grey, misty and gnarly. It was a striking visual – the imposing mountains promising the excitement of a sufficiently distant storm contrasted against the sun shimmering over the sea. I drank in the view and knew instantly that I’d struck gold – I’d found one of the best beaches in Cuba.Did I need a taxi…a casa…a restaurant…a boyfriend, they offered. “No, thanks.” I smiled. I was absolutely fine… and I really was because looking down the long, paved street to my left I saw the sea. It didn’t have the same turquoise translucent glow as the beach I’d met and fell in love with in Varadero. And the shingle was anything but appealing. But the backdrop was pure drama.

Being one of only two foreign faces in the tiny beach town of La Boca in Cuba is one of those travel experiences that will likely endure right down to my dying days. I hadn’t set out on a quest to find one of the best beaches in Cuba, but leaving La Boca I’m confident I’d found one.
One of the difficulties with travel (and pretty much everything else in life) is expectations. Get some firm notion in your mind and absent finding that nirvana that comprises your imagined experience, everything else is going to fall short.Lisa, I’m so pleased you had a great time in Cuba and with Marlene! Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside reading this. So happy to have been able to help 🙂 Come back for more travel tips next time you plan a trip!

La Boca is a very short ride from Trinidad and can be visited as a day trip, though I’d highly recommend enconscing yourself in the town for a couple of nights.
Hanging around on the first street corner that fronted the beach was a collection of “entrepreneurs”, or fixers who were certain they could help you solve any problem…for a price.

Therefore, the best place to eat is at your casa particular. Failing that, when I wanted a change of eating scene, I wandered the streets asking if anybody was serving food and within minutes another casa owner came onto the street and offered to prepare a plate of cheese sandwiches, a plate of mango and a juice for $1CUC/USD. I gladly accepted.
Standing across the street, I stopped and stared while the casa owner, who I later came to know as Marlene, sat nonchalantly in her chair. She didn’t heckle like her casa counterparts in Trinidad. She didn’t call at me across the street. She just sat, book face down in her lap and smiled. It was a big welcoming Cuban smile and it pulled me all the way across the street and into her home.Courtesy of Cuba’s idealised vision of a world where Cubans and tourists never collide, the country’s coastal locations have been carved up and supplied with a designation: tourist beaches and local beaches.

If you’re looking for more golden sands, there is a bus that does a circular route from La Boca to Playa Ancon, about 15 minutes away by bus, leaving around 11am each day and returning around 6pm ($2CUC/USD round trip). The bus also goes to Trinidad on the same loop. Hi!! I will be staying in La Flerida as part of my belated honeymoon trip to Cuba (which doesn’t include a trip to Varadero or to any other all-inclusive) for New Year’s. We’ll be staying for two nights of doing nothing but read, walk around, look at the ocean and red some more. All thanks to your post so I’ll say hi to Marlene from you! Hi, I’m Jo, the writer behind Indiana Jo. In 2010 I quit my job as a lawyer and booked an around the world ticket. As a solo female traveller, I hopped from South America to Central America, across Asia, the Middle East and Europe. It was supposed to be a one-year trip but over a decade later, it’s yet to end. I’ve lived in a cave, climbed down a volcano barefoot, spent years as a digital nomad, worked as a freelance travel writer, and eaten deadly Fugu. Now I’m home, back in the UK, but still travelling far and wide. You can find out more About Me.I wonder if you could advise US. We are coming from Vinales and we are not sure if we should stay for 2 nights in Playa Larga before we go to Trinidad.

There are two kiosks selling a small range of basics – water, bread, milk, pasta and rum (ok, that’s a list of what I consider to be basics). In addition, there is a small beach-front bar that serves drinks and ice-cream only. While I was in La Boca (low season) there were no restaurants open and, in any case, La Boca has very few restaurants at all.
For my local Cuban beach experience I had a very specific idea in mind. I wanted a low-key vibe and a glorious view of the kind I knew the Caribbean could deliver. I wanted fresh-fish at night, knowing it had been caught that day. I wanted a step-onto-the-sand cabana. I wanted to sip rum as I watched the sun set, swing in a hammock, read a book and for the first time in over four years, absent any access to the outside world (i.e. no internet), I simply wanted to be.Hi, I’m Indiana Jo. I used to be a lawyer in London but I quit in 2010 to take a gap year that still hasn’t come to an end. I’ve visited over 60 countries and on this site you’ll find everything from destination guides to planning tips, packing lists and advice to help you take your dream trip. Where are my favourite places? It’s hard to say but Mexico, Hawaii and Italy are all near the top of the list. And, of course, my home country of England. Oh, and I eat and drink a lot to expect plenty of food themed travel guides. Enjoy!

Since writing this article, I have kept in contact with Marlene, who now has an email address. As well as sending me the occasional picture of her and her husband and La Boca, she’s also written to thank me for this article because she now receives a number of customers who visit La Boca since stopping by this page. And, having spoken to the casa owners in Cuba at length, I know the difference each guest and their much appreciated payments can make to the quality of life of the local people. So, I’m sharing with you Marlene’s thanks and I’m adding my own. By staying with the locals like Marlene and Tito, we can have a positive impact in the countries we visit. And what more could we want from our travels than that?

Thanks for your advice Jo! We were looking for an experience similar to what you’ve described here and were surprised how difficult this was to find in Cuba. So we turned to random google searches to try and see what people were saying and your blog was one of the first to pop up. We booked with Marlene via email, solely based on your blog, and are very happy we did! Although more rustic, this was definitely one of the best parts of our trip – Marlene, Tito and Nany were so lovely, their cooking was wonderful and the sunsets on the porch were amazing. We also did some snorkeling right off the rocks in front of the casa (and were sure not to touch the sea life! 🙂 )
There is little to no sand at La Boca though it is possible to sunbathe on the fine shingle (put a sarong or beach towel down first!), and the water is beautifully calm for swimming.The beach has numerous state and private facilities in its vicinity, perfectly conditioned, which are rented for tourist use throughout the year. On this beach, you will find the ideal place for sports and recreational activities, which will allow you to enjoy this environment in the most exciting way.Playa de La Boca (Boca Beach) is characterized by its fine white sands and crystal-clear waters shining under the tropical sun. Called as such because it is located at the entrance (“the mouth”) of the channel of Puerto Padre Bay, in the central-eastern part of the island, this paradise awaits you in Cuba.Other attractive natural and tourist resources that you can visit are the la Llanita Beach, Club Amanecer (Morning Club), Villa Cabaña La Boca, the ferry landing and the Hotel Socucho.

La Boca Beach will surprise you with its genuine local atmosphere, with small fishermen’s cottages dotting some points of the beach, but that will not detract from its singular protagonist: the crystal-clear waters that bathe this small and, fortunately, unknown paradise. In the surroundings of the beach, the vegetation is varied and coconut trees predominate along with grape Caletas and casuarinas. You can also contemplate striking mangroves on the coast. Interestingly, evidence of primitive human settlements has been found in this area. Playa la Boca coast is free for all. This beach has the following amenities, loungers and umbrellas, beach restaurant, changing rooms, showers, toilets. During the season this beach line is supervised by a lifeguard.We use cookies and similar technologies to help personalise content, tailor and measure ads, and provide a better experience. By clicking OK you agree to this. To change preferences or withdraw consent, please update your Cookie Settings.There are 1 attractions near Playa la Boca that are popular with travelers. The nearest are Faro de La Boca located in 1.3 km. See the attractions section for details. Playa la Boca is in the 3th place out of 6 beaches in the Camaguey region 89.8 km away from its center, the city of Camaguey. It is one of the beaches of La Boca settlement, just 1.2 km from its center. The beach is located in a natural place. It is partially covered by trees which give natural shade. It is a with crystal turquoise water and pure golden fine sand, so you don’t need special shoes. The entrance to the water is very smooth. This beach is suitable for different categories of people, lonely travellers, relaxation getaway lovers, partygoers etc. It is not crowded place during the season.

The beach stretches on the sunny coast and the easiest way to get to the beach is by car or bike. If you don’t have this option, then the second best solution is to use the taxi, which can drive you directly to the beach. The only problem, if your stay is far away it can be quite expensive. There is also a possibility of use of public transport, but in this case you need to check the correct route to the Playa la Boca with the locals. Take into account that the bus stop is usually in some distance., but accessing the beach requires traversing some distance on foot. While driving or cycling are the most convenient options for reaching the start point of trail, these methods may not be feasible for everyone. Alternatively, a taxi can be used to drive directly to the location. Public transportation is another option, but it’s important to confirm the correct route with locals beforehand as the bus stop may be located at some distance.
The entrance to the water is very smooth, the bottom is comfortable. The prevalence of sharks in the area is low. In the season the beach is attended by lifeguard.

The Playa la Boca is covered with soft and fine golden sand. It’s relatively clean, the surface is pure and unmixed. Turquoise and clear water sparkles in the sun.
Playa la Boca (Camaguey) is located outside the La Boca settlement, which may cause some difficulties for travelers who stay far from the coast. However, the remoteness from the village is not always a bad thing. Lovers of quiet rest know, the farther the beach, the fewer crowds.The month with the highest temperature in Playa la Boca is July. Its average value reaches 32°C. The warmest sea is in September, the average value is 30°C. The coldest month is January with air temperature 27°C and water 26°C. See more details in weather section.

The Playa la Boca has a parking spot. It is not very large, so in high season it can be busy. The approximate distance from parking is less than 100 metres.The beach is located in a natural area. During the high season, the occupancy of the beach is moderate, which is very good for lovers of a relaxing holiday.