Jibacoa, nestled along a beautiful bay and backed by lush green hills, is located halfway between two major tourist destinations in Cuba: Varadero and Havana, the capital of the country. Some argue that Jibacoa’s charms exceed those of both these two cities. This might be a bit exaggerated but it is true that Jibacoa offers visitors an experience that is distinctly different from any other Cuban beach-resort destinations. Jibacoa is one of Cuba’s best-kept secrets. more...
Deep blue waters and white sand beaches are some of Jibacoa’s key features. Jibacoa is beautiful, tranquil and has so far been sparred from mass tourism. The area holds special appeal for people who want to enjoy a private setting or look to unwind from the stress that comes with day-to-day life. Those looking to party or families with teenagers might want to consider staying in Varadero instead.
The quality of the Jibacoa beaches is excellent although the sea floor can be a bit rocky, water shoes are recommended. The crystal-clear water is warm most of the year. Jibacoa is great for snorkeling and scuba diving. It is easy to check out the coral beds and the thriving underwater live without the need for taking a boat or pay for an excursion. Among the most popular dive excursions are those to the Jibacoa and Sparta ships. The Jibacoa, a cargo ship, and the military ship Sparta have been used for military target practice, becoming eventually a favorite haunt for divers. The Jibacoa is visible from the surface and the Sparta lies on its side complete with guns, ladders and anchor ropes. In case you own an underwater camera you definitely should take it with you because the quantity of tropical sea life beneath the surface is simply astounding.
Besides sun, sand and sea sports, visitors can enjoy other outdoor activities like hiking and horse riding. If you need a break from the beach you may wish to check out Jibacoa’s old town and it markets. In the Jibacoa region many Cubans are living in wooden houses with palm thatched roofs. The locals are very friendly and love to converse with visitors. Other interesting places to visit are Santa Cruz del Norte, a small fishing village and the location where the famous rum Havana Club is being produced. Further east you can feast your eyes on the Bacunayagua Bridge, the highest in the country and one of the jewels of its engineering.
How to get there
This destination is accessible by international flights from the airports Jose Marti of Havana (60 km) and Juan Gualberto Gómez of Varadero (50 km). Tourist busses do still not service Jibacoa, therefore renting a car or catching a cab are your best options to get there. Driving to Jibacoa is easy. Just take Vía Blanca, a 4-lane highway linking Havana City with Matanzas.