Twenty-five kilometres west along the north coast from Santa Lucía, Cayo Sabinal could not be more different – a deserted white-sand beach cay that’s so paradisiacal it’s almost eerie. The reason it’s yet to be discovered by the masses is its geographical isolation, hidden away at the end of a 7km stretch of notoriously bumpy dirt-track road, part of which forms a causeway across the bay, flanked by foaming salt marshes; there’s no public transport, and very little general traffic makes it this far.

All the beaches are on the north side, accessible by signposted turnings off the single main road, itself bordered by thick vegetation. The longest beach is pearl-white Playa Los Pinos, where the sea is a clear, calm turquoise and wild deer and horses roam through the woodland that backs onto the sand. Occasionally a group of holidaymakers arrives by boat from Santa Lucía, but otherwise it’s a top choice for a couple of days’ total tranquillity. Just 2km further west, smaller Playa Brava has similar soft white sands. Playa Bonita, another 3km west, has a lengthy stretch of coral reef perfect for snorkelling, as well as 3km of pure white sand.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Cuba features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

12 tips for backpacking Cuba

12 tips for backpacking Cuba

Cuba’s captivating, colourful streets and carnaval­ feel make it appealing for travellers year­-round. The country's popularity is skyrocketing, and visit…

10 May 2016 • Freya Godfrey insert_drive_file Article
Delving into the Daiquiri: Havana’s favourite drink

Delving into the Daiquiri: Havana’s favourite drink

Cuba’s cocktails chart the country’s ambivalent relationship with its neighbour to the north, America. This is most obviously demonstrated by the Cuba Libre…

24 Feb 2016 • Henry Jeffreys insert_drive_file Article
What's new for Cuba in 2016? 10 developments to watch out for this year

What's new for Cuba in 2016? 10 developments to watch out for this year

Record numbers of visitors have been racing to get to Cuba ‘before it changes forever’ since President Obama’s historic announcement in December 2014 that…

18 Jan 2016 • Matt Norman insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month