| 4 min read
Although Playa Larga wasn’t originally on our planning, we soon changed our minds when a fellow traveler compared it to Baracoa. Given that Baracoa had been the highlight of our entire trip so far, we decided we had to check it out. We arranged transport from Havana, and a few hours later we found ourselves on the super quiet, tropical beach of Playa Larga.
The Playa Larga beach
The best part of Playa Larga is definitely its beach. Playa Caletón on the west side is not very wide and is bordered by a line of palm trees, which adds a nice exotic touch to it. We started walking along the coastline and after about 2 kilometers, we reached the end of the beach, where a Cuban man was selling cocktails. He pointed to his stash of coconuts and mentioned the word ‘cocoloco’, which was all it took to convince us. He made us two cocktails, each with a different kind of coconut, which considerably changed the taste. We preferred the traditional green coconut over the bitter yellow one. We hung around for a bit while talking with Rigoberto, the vendor.
Then we walked back and explored the beach on the other side of the village, in front of the big hotel Horizontes. We decided we liked the other beach better, so we returned there to watch the sunset.
Although the village of Playa Larga is inhabited by a considerable amount of locals, it’s clear that almost all the bars and restaurants are focused on tourism with prices for dinner averaging between 8 and 15 CUC. We had a hard time finding a local place, and when we finally did, they give us a different menu as soon as they saw we were tourists.
While we were looking for a local place, we ran into Rigoberto who we’ve met at the beach earlier. We asked him about recommendations for food, upon which he guided us to a government restaurant that was kinda hidden away. It was already closed, but given that he knew the people working there, he was able to arrange something for us. A boy jumped on his bike and came back a little later with a portion of fresh crab.
With the right connections, everything is possible in Cuba. We ended up having a very nice meal with soup, rice, fresh crab and a salad for 5 CUC only.
How much time in Playa Larga
This entirely depends on you and how you’d like to spend your holidays. If you’re there to visit, one day is enough to check out the beaches and wander through the village. If you’re on a family holiday or a lazy holiday, Playa Larga is a nice place to hang out for a longer period. In that case, I’d recommend booking a casa by the beach which is a bit more expensive than the ones in the village, but they seemed really nice. You can see the sea from your bedroom window, or have breakfast on the beach. I somehow regret having picked the cheap option in the village over a casa by the beach.
From Playa Larga, it is possible to arrange different excursions. At nearby nature reserves like Las Salinas you can spot birds such as flamingos, while you can also encounter exotic species of fish while exploring caves. Did I mention you can swim in those caves as well? All these excursions cost 15 CUC per person, to which you should add another 25-30 CUC for the taxi to take you there. We didn’t feel like paying such a high price for an activity that moderately appealed to us, so we decided to skip on them.
Now that I’ve seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn’t compare Playa Larga to Baracoa. The latter offers way more activities and is a much more vibrant place, but Playa Larga is nice too, especially to escape from the hustle and bustle of Havana and enjoy some laidback time.
- How to get there? You can take the Viazul from Havana to Playa Larga, which costs 13 CUC
- If you want to eat in a local restaurant, you should look for Las Brisas.
- We stayed in Casa Eva, located super close to the bus stop and the Tank Statue, which cost only 10 CUC per night for two people.
Have you got questions? Did you experience something similar? Did you notice a mistake? Please share!