Although Havana borders the sea, there are few beaches within the city suitable for recreation. While the water is Caribbean blue and clean, jagged shoreline rocks offer only a few spots for hassle-free swimming in the city proper.
In the summer months especially, residents flock to the Playas del Este loaded with coolers, home cooked meals, inflatable rafts and all the extras needed for a day at the beach. In approximately 20 minutes, they arrive at the picture perfect Playas del Este (East Havana Beaches).
Santa María del Mar is the most popular of the seven beaches east of the capital. It has all the white sand, turquoise waters, and coconut palms you expect of a Caribbean beach. Horseback riding on the beach is another activity on offer here and simple places set back from the sand offer food and drink.
Guanabo, once a small fishing village, is developing apace as a tourist destination. While a still a sleepy beach town, many private restaurants, bars and places to stay meet the needs of national and international visitors. The white sand beach here is lovely.
The other beaches comprising Playas del Este are Playa Bacuranao, Mégano, Mi Cayito, and Boca Ciega.