Cuba // Santiago de Cuba and Granma //

Marea del Portillo

Smack in the middle of Granma’s southern coast, backed by a sweeping wave of mountains, is the resort of Marea del Portillo. Accessible from Granma’s west coast and 150km southwest from Bayamo, the resort is set on a black-sand beach which looks impressive from a distance, but like a muddy field close up. It won’t be most people’s first choice for a beach holiday, although the white sands of tiny Cayo Blanco just offshore go some way to making up for this.

Appealing largely to older Canadians and Germans, as well as a few families, Marea del Portillo doesn’t have the universal appeal of some resorts, especially as there is little infrastructure – just two hotels on the beach and another nearby, plus a dive shop. The surrounding countryside is beautiful, however, including the picturesque El Salto waterfall, and there are eighteen dive sites, including the El Real Spanish galleon sunk in 1846, to keep keen divers busy.

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