Probably surfing is not the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of Cuba. However, with more than 3,500 miles of unspoiled coastline, surfing in Cuba is becoming more and more popular among those who enjoy wave-riding destinations.
Not long ago, surfing in Cuba was forbidden as authorities believed it to be a way for locals to escape the island during the Cold War. Today, the culture of surfing and kite surfing in Cuba keeps growing thanks to its climate, friendly locals and laid-back Caribbean vibe. If you are interested in either of these sports, keep reading. Here is a guide to where to surf in Cuba, which also includes the best season to practice this sport on the island.
When to go surfing or kitesurfing in Cuba
As any other Caribbean destination, Cuba has a tropical climate. In its specific case, the island has prevailing north-easterly trade winds all around the year, as well as a pleasant temperature during the twelve months of the year with an average of 21ºC. However, its tropical nature causes it to have a wet and a dry season. Meaning you can expect constant rain and storms running between May and October and steady weather from November to April. During the dry season, the Atlantic creates great groundswells coming from the NE. For that reason, the winter months are best if you want to surf in Cuba.
You might be tempted to head to Cuba to ride some waves during the stormy season, especially if you are a professional or experienced surfer. However, with Cuba sitting in the hurricane corridor, surfing or kitesurfing in Cuba during that time of the year can be very dangerous.
Best spots to surf in Cuba
Now you know all about the different seasons to practice water sports in Cuba, it is time to talk about where to surf in Cuba. The island has some interesting surfing spots to be explored, which mainly concentrate in the northern coast of Cuba. Here is a list of Espíritu Travel’s top destinations to surf:
Thirty kilometers east of Baracoa, you can find one of the best spots to surf in Cuba. Yumuri is a beautiful river mouth which offers decent waves all year long, breaking either to the right or left depending on the swell.
- La Setenta
If you ask a local where to surf in Cuba, they will probably answer La Setenta. Very close to La Havana is the reef break of La Setenta. On this spot waves reach 8ft during strong swells, making it an ideal place for those looking for big waves.
- Playas del Este
If you want to kitesurf in Cuba, playas del Este is your place. These beaches run along the northern coast for 24km. Making it also a good spot to practice surfing and bodysurfing. Even though in Playas del Este good waves really depend on the swells, it is one of the very few places in Cuba where you can find a shop to rent surf and kitesurf equipment as well as arrange private lessons.
- Other great spots to surf in Cuba
On the southern side of the island, Baconao is a very good spot to surf. In the heart of Varadero, you can find Sun beach, an ideal location if you are just starting on this sport. For pros and experienced surfers, Cabo de San Antonio offers great scenery for surfing during storms.
Wherever you decide to go surfing in Cuba, our all-time top tip would be to always be very careful. As the surfing culture in Cuba is still developing, you might find that there are no lifeguards in your spot or that you have a hard time finding etiquette on the waves. Therefore, it is always best to avoid any risks when surfing or kitesurfing in Cuba.
Do you want to start planning your surfing or kitesurfing holiday in Cuba? Contact Espíritu Travel. We are experts in creating bespoke itineraries that help you fulfill your travel expectations.