POINTS OF INTEREST

Bacuranao

Lying 18 km (11 miles) east of Havana, this tranquil crescent of sand surrounding a quiet lagoon is the first you'll come to along the Playas del Este. This is about as natural as they come, with a scattering of palm trees for shade and a few locals who will offer to catch some fresh fish and cook it for you or scale a tree to get you a coconut. Coral reefs and an 18th-century Spanish galleon lie far off shore, meaning that you'll occasionally see scuba-diving excursions here, too. Look for the Villa Bacuranao, hidden by rocks and trees, at one end of the beach, a quiet two-star resort with a swimming pool, restaurant, and inexpensive basic rooms to rent. Amenities: food and drink. Best for: solitude; swimming.

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