Cayo Largo is the jewel of the Los Canarreos Archipelago, off the southern coast of Cuba. The archipelago includes 300 other cays including the Isle of Youth (the second largest island in the Cuban archipelago). Cayo Largo has 15.5 miles of beautiful beaches with emerald green water.
Cayo Largo is the perfect sun destination for those looking for a non-commercial quiet place away from mass tourism. Cayo Largo is a simple escape with lower star-ratings than many other Caribbean destinations featuring large luxury resorts with an easy-going and laid-back atmosphere. Cayo Largo is one of the very few places in Cuba where you’ll find a few hotels with a clearly identified Clothing Optional section of beach to enjoy an “Au Natural” suntan.
Their main attraction are the beaches located along the southern coast of the island. The hotels are located on the stretch called Playa Lindarena and on the west end of Playa Blanca. But the most famous beaches in Cayo Largo are Playa Sirena and Playa Paraiso, both located to the west of the island.
Cayo Largo Weather (When to Visit)
Temperatures here usually average from 71°F to 86°F during the day. There are two seasons, the dry season from November to April and the wet season from May to October. However Cayo Largo is rather arid, so even during the wet season you will not see a lot of rain. It rarely rains during the day. Showers are usually strong but quick and occur mostly at night or early morning. During the winter months, the evenings may sometimes be a bit cool, so it’s better to bring long pants and a jacket for those chilly nights. The summer months are very hot (86°F +) and humid. The hurricanes season begins officially in June and finishes in November. Historically October and September are more at risk for hurricanes.
Best Cayo Largo Beaches
This pristine beach with sparkling white sand, turquoise and crystalline waters, is part of the Cayo Largo area called the western beaches, with Playa Sirena and Playa Mal Tiempo. This beautiful virgin and protected beach has no hotels, only some basic services to accommodate tourists.
Strutting around or sunbathing in your birthday suit is not officially allowed, but tolerated on the long stretches of secluded beaches and in designated areas. Try it – it’s liberating!
This beach depends very much on the tide conditions, so the width of soft white sand to lie or walk on may be limited. Because it’s not your typical expansive beach, it’s not that popular, almost deserted, which is perfect finding a solo spot to chill out. It’s also a great starting point to walk to the even more secluded beaches of Playa Los Cocos and Playa Tortuga (towards the east end) or to Playa Lindamar and Playa Paraiso (west end of the island).
Punta Mal Tiempo
This beach is located east of Playa Paraiso. Punta mal Tiempo is a long sand point going into the sea, facing the large coral reef. This beach is for people who really enjoy a very quiet and relaxing place. The beach is breathtaking and definitively not crowded. Naturists love this beach as the waters are calm, with a pristine environment.
More popular than Playa Paraiso and the most crowded is Playa Sirena. Mainly because most hotels offer free scheduled transportation to and from here, plus it’s the only beach where watersports are available. Lounge chairs and umbrellas are offered for a small fee, and there’s a couple of restaurants that serve up the most delicious grilled langoustine.
Cayo Largo Activities
Activities include sunbathing, going on yacht and catamaran cruises (with possibilities for living on board in the cays), taking out smaller boats, swimming, scuba diving (for beginners through professionals), other water sports, seafaris to nearby cays (including Iguana Cay, where you can feed the scores of iguanas that live there without any danger), fishing, air tours of the cays, excursions to the inner part of the cay, beach volleyball, horseback riding, motorcycling, taking pictures and observing the fauna. In addition, there is entertainment during the day and at night and many other options that will make you feel both relaxed and entirely fulfilled.
Cayo Largo Marina
Deep-sea fishing, scuba diving, snorkeling, half-day and full-day cruises on catamarans, trimarans or yacht, boat transfer to surrounding islets, and a boat shuttle to Playa Sirena. Telephone: 53 45 248 212 Web: Nautica Marlin Cayo Largo
Turtle Rescue Center
You cannot be in Cayo Largo without visiting the Turtle Rescue Center. Not necessarily for its modest facilities, but to learn more about their impressive work and dedication to the protection, rehabilitation, and preservation of those species identified as vulnerable or endangered. This project is essentially aimed at increasing the survival rate of sea turtles from egg-laying to the release of newborns into the sea. Web: Turtle Rescue Center
Criadero De Cocodrilos
Here You can see thousands of crocodiles in all ages. A couple of hundred are set out in the swamp every year. If You are lucky, You will also have the opportunity to hold one small crocodile. Good strong coffe can also be provided along with cold beverages and rum. Web (TripAdvisor): Criadero De Cocodrilos
Cayo Largo is a prime location for scuba diving. Thanks to excellent conservation measures, the Cayo Largo marine reserve is often consider as one of the best place for scuba diving in Cuba. The aera is particularly known for the quality and diversity of its dive sites. Web: Nautica Marlin Cayo Largo
Best Cayo Largo Restaurants
Restaurante El Cuajani $11 – 30
A farm in the Vinales Valley located in the outskirts of the City at the foot of the famous ‘Mogotes’ in a relaxed setting emphasized by a lush vegetable garden and featuring a brick oven using vegetable coal for roasting. Telephone: 53 5 8828925 Web: Restaurante El Cuajani
Agroecological Sunset Restaurant $11 – 30
This is the location for sunset! It’s worth the walk. Plus, the food and drinks are fantastic and the service excellent. Everything from the menu comes from their own farm and portions are very generous. Telephone: 53 5 2655213 Web: Agroecological Sunset Restaurant
Cubar $11 – 30
Restaurant with amazing drinks and great options for food (including vegetarian options). Is a little bit pricey for Viñales, but it’s totally worth it! Telephone: 53 5 3642791 Web (TripAdvisor): Cubar
Finca Agroecologica El Paraiso $11 – 30
Exquisite scenery. Portions are really large here, so go hungry. Here you will find honest farm food…. like visiting a Cuban family home! Also very good value for money. Telephone: 53 5 8188581 Web: Finca Agroecologica El Paraiso
Balcon Del Valle $11 – 30
Balcon Del Valle is an authentic countryside Cuban food for a very reasonable price. You will also enjoy the view of the valley. The ambience is quite unique as you’ll see farm animals wandering around. Telephone: 53 5 695847 Web: Balcon Del Valle
Best Cayo Largo Bars
3J Bar de Tapas
This place was great and very cute. Best option for tapas in Vinales. The staff are incredibly helpful and nice and the place has a super chill vibe. Telephone: 53 5 3311658 Web (TripAdvisor): 3J Bar de Tapas
Tres Jotas is Viñales’ original tapas bar that has since been copied by all and sundry. Its inviting polished wood interior is the perfect place to unwind after a day in the countryside with classy cocktails, taste-exploding tapas, and deli-boards piled high with cured ham and manchego cheese. Telephone: 53 5 3311658
Casa del Mojito
Obligatory stop for Mojito fans. Casa del Mojito has good atmosphere in a quiet location & natural environment. Telephone: 53 5 5450690 Web: Casa del Mojito
Enjoy the best pina coladas at Cine Cafe. The cafe is right next door to the Etecsa store. Great place to use your wifi and wonderful live bands play here as well. Telephone: 53 5 695555 Web: Cine Cafe
Best Cayo Largo Hotels
Villa Bellarena is a dream refuge just a few steps away from Bella Isla Resort. With views of the gardens in the complex and a seaside location with their own reception, they have exclusive facilities and services for their guests, with the pool, sports and dining areas among the highlights. Learn more or book now here.
Bella Isla Resort
Bella Isla Resort has a restaurant, bar, a garden and tennis court in Cayo Largo del Sur. Featuring a kids’ club, this property also provides guests with a playground. The hotel features an outdoor swimming pool, fitness center, evening entertainment and a 24-hour front desk. Learn more or book now here.
Located in Cayo Largo del Sur, in the Caribbean Sea. All Inclusive Four-Star Resort with 307 rooms. Its comfortable accommodations offer guests the chance to enjoy a peaceful and calm vacation. The property faces 600 meters of beach, famous for its perennially cool white-sand. Fun-packed recreation programs for both children and adults. Recommended for families. Learn more or book now here.
Sol Cayo Largo
Located in Cayo Largo del Sur, in the middle of the Caribbean Sea. All Inclusive Four-Star resort with 296 rooms. Ideal for enjoying its pristine environment and for exploring its idyllic landscape and crystal-clear ocean bottom. The resort faces 600 meters of beach renowned for its perennially cool white-sand. Recommended for couples, weddings, honeymoons and groups. Learn more or book now here.
Cuba is definitely on my list for my next travel destinations, and it looks amazing! Would you recommend the wet or dry season? Trying to weight the pros and cons of both. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for reading about Playa Paraiso Cayo Largo Cuba William. You know, I don’t think they get enough rain to warrant tourist from not going during the wet season. Personally, either way to me is fine as I don’t mind a little rain. Of course, with the dry season comes more crowds, than with the wet season. I think for most it boils down to that.
These pictures are amazing! And such detail on the sites and the weather throughout the year. Definitely going to add Cuba onto my must visit list. I have a friend from Canada that goes every year and acts like it’s her second home lol. Thank you for all the great information. Really makes me want to stick my toes into that nice warm sand 🙂
What could be better than your toes in the sand, the ocean lapping on the shore, a cool breeze, and a tropical drink? Nothing in my book. Cuba has beautiful beaches, and is definitely worth a bucket list item. Thanks for visiting Beach Travel Destinations.com
Excellent review article. I have been to the Caribbean several times, but have never considered Cuba. That is until now. Your article is very well detailed, and provides all of the information that I would need to decide on a certain destination. I like the idea that these small islands are off the southern coast of Cuba. I will have to revisit this information when I am planning my next island vacation. Thank you for this great info!
You are very welcome Tom and I am glad you enjoyed reading about Cayo Largo Cuba. Playa Paraiso is definitely one of those beaches that any beach lover needs to visit. Thanks for stopping by!
I would love to visit Cuba and your post has just reignited that interest. I’m definitely a lover of beach holidays especially white sandy, turquoise bath temperature sea. I have visited a fair few of the Caribbean islands over the years including Jamaica several times as my Mum is from there, but I’m yet to venture to Cuba.
Would you recommend it as a suitable family destination, my kids are 6 and 5 years? Also, is it a fairly safe destination for tourists?
My husband and I both have our PADI so would love to do some more deep sea diving and explore the under water world – looks and sounds amazing!
Oh, you would love it and yes – very family friendly for sure. This is also a very safe beach destination. You won’t run into any problems here. Thank you for reading about Playa Paraiso Cayo Largo Cuba Nicola, you will love it!
This seems like a very nice holiday destination with enough activities for all, am not much of a beach person but i enjoy beach excursion especially on a bike so i would definately consider Cuba. Did i read a naturalist beach….lol.am not one but that is interesting.
I am not a naturalist either LOL, but they do congregate in a specific area 😀 Riding bikes along the coast is always nice! Thanks for reading.
Im so excited for a hoilday, I want to visit them all after this reading 🙂 Playa Paraiso looks so beautiful. I can see myself beach hopping here!
Oh how fun that would be to beach hop on Cayo Largo! Thanks for reading about Playa Paraiso Cayo Largo Cuba!
Cuba is one of the destinations i have never visited, my wife loves beach holidays and we are both looking for one for this year, you have some great write ups on here and will most certainly by considering Cuba this Year.
Great topic and very good information, thanks for sharing.
You are most welcome Chris, and glad you enjoyed the read! Thanks for stopping by!
I have never been to Cuba before, but it is very beautiful. I read your about me page, if you are looking for beach destination. A beautiful place is: Jekyll Island in Georgia or St. Simons Island in Georgia. Check it out! Take Care 🙂
I did do a review on Georgia beaches and those are included 🙂 A lot of people don’t realize how many beautiful beaches there are on the East coast. Thanks for stopping by!
Another must visit place added to my bucket list! Your site really does justice to this beautiful location. With a rich history (I wasn’t expecting Christopher Columbus but I was educated!) behind the scenic environment, it’s worth every traveler’s penny to go there at least once.
I agree Jude! It is definitely a bucket list item for sure. Not just for the gorgeous beaches 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!
Great webpage on Cayo Largo, Cuba. I never knew Cuba has such nice beaches. Too bad the U.S. has travel restrictions to Cuba as this is one place worth visiting. Great beaches. I hope the hotels are deserving of the 4.5 and 4 star ratings. Plenty of things to see and do there. I like that they have a cruise around the island. That would be a must do for my wife and I.
I think you are right Mick, it is worth visiting. They have amazing beaches actually. The more I look into Cuba, the more it intrigues me. The ratings are reflective of TripAdvisor, and they are pretty spot on. So I think you will find that these ratings are correct. Cruising around the island would be awesome! Thanks for reading Mick!
OMG, Leahrae! It’s amazing! You get gave me another location to be added on the ‘To Visit’ list. I never been in that area.
You mentioned about ‘US citizens traveling to Cuba, no matter how they get there, must qualify for a “license to travel”’. What about EU citizens?
We travel by air, but is this license necessary for EU travelers?
Amazing post, thanks for sharing this complete list.
Great question Dany, you can actually fly there with no restrictions. The restrictions only apply to Americans, which totally stinks as Playa Paraiso Cayo Largo Cuba is definitely on my bucket list!
I haven’t learned to scuba dive and was wondering if there is anywhere in Playa Paraiso Cayo Largo Cuba that would teach you? Or do you think it would be better to learn before you go? You mentioned there are quite a few shipwrecks there and I think that sounds like the most interesting thing to do to me.
Yes, you can in fact learn while visit Playa Paraiso, and it would be a great place to learn! Definitely interesting and worth doing. Thanks for visit Playa Paraiso Cayo Largo Cuba.
Wow, this is truly a paradise on earth. I definitely plan on visiting Cuba someday, and now I’m even more determined to go there.
It is paradise. I am sure that is why it has been rated as one of the top 10 beaches in the world. Worth visiting for sure, thanks for stopping by to visit Playa Paraiso Cayo Largo Cuba.
Gosh it looks amazing! Being Canadian it should be pretty easy to get there. My husband would be sold with “fishing”. Might have to consider this the next time we want a hot holiday!
Yes Sydney, you can get there easily. Tougher time for me, because Cuba really has so many amazing beaches. And yes, fishing is superb here!
The closest I have come to Cuba is Key West and looking at the sign saying it was 90 miles away. This sounds like a great destination with a lot of restrictions. I seen in the sidebar that Pearl Seas has a cruise around the island with several stops. This might be better for me if I do not want to go deep sea fishing.
Yes, the cruise around the island is a great way to get around some of the restrictions for visiting Cayo Largo, Cuba. Thanks for reading about Playa Paraiso Cayo Largo Cuba.