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Best Gulf of Mexico beaches in Cuba and Mexico

Article by GVI


Posted: February 4, 2023

If you’re looking for a sun-kissed, turquoise-watered escape, look no further than the Gulf of Mexico. And while there are plenty of American hotspots around the Gulf, we’re here to dive into the Mexican and Cuban side of the Gulf today. So pack your sunscreen, grab your swimsuit, and get ready for some serious beach therapy.


Cancun, Mexico – The Spring Break Capital of the World

Cancun is a popular tourist destination located on the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico. With its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lively nightlife, it’s the perfect destination for those looking to party and soak up the sun. Whether you’re soaking up the sun on the beach, exploring the local shops, visiting the famous underwater museum, eating your weight in churros, or trying your hand at water sports like snorkelling and windsurfing, you’ll never run out of things to do in Cancun.

Tulum, Mexico – The Boho Chic Beach Destination

Tulum is the perfect escape for those looking for a more relaxed, bohemian-chic vibe. With its stunning Mayan ruins, crystal-clear waters, and delicious street food, Tulum is the ultimate destination for beach bums and culture buffs alike. And when you’re not exploring the ancient ruins, you can kick back and relax on one of Tulum’s many pristine beaches or indulge in a beachfront yoga class.

Playa del Carmen, Mexico – The Perfect Blend of Adventure and Relaxation

Playa del Carmen is the perfect destination for those who want a little bit of everything. It’s known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife, and exciting adventure sports. Here you can soak up the sun on the beach, zipline through the jungle, scuba dive in the beautiful reefs, explore the nearby cenotes (natural swimming holes) or dance the night away.  

Varadero, Cuba – The Classic Caribbean Destination

Varadero is the epitome of a classic Caribbean destination. With its powder-soft sand, crystal-clear waters, and lush vegetation, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a tropical paradise. Whether you’re here to lounge on the beach, take a salsa class, or explore the nearby caves, Varadero has something for everyone. And with its vibrant nightlife and delicious seafood, you’ll never run out of things to do after the sun goes down.

Ancon, Cuba – The Historic Caribbean Gem

Trinidad is a historic Caribbean gem that is not to be missed. With its stunning colonial architecture, lively street music, and delicious seafood, Trinidad is the perfect destination for those who want to experience the real Cuba. Take a stroll through the streets, listen to the sounds of the local musicians, or relax on the nearby beach. Trinidad truly has something for everyone.

Santa Maria, Cuba – Seafood Lover’s Paradise

Santa Maria is a stunning beach located on the southern coast of Cuba. With its soft white sand, crystal-clear waters, and lush tropical vegetation, it’s the perfect destination for those looking for a relaxing beach vacation. Whether you’re sunbathing on the beach, trying your hand at water sports like kayaking and windsurfing, or exploring the local seafood scene, Santa Maria has something for everyone.


When it comes to accommodation in the Gulf of Mexico, you’ll find plenty of options to suit your style and budget. Here are a few of the most popular options:

  • All-Inclusive resorts: If you’re looking for a hassle-free vacation, an all-inclusive resort is the way to go. With everything included – from meals and drinks to activities and entertainment – you’ll have nothing to worry about except soaking up the sun. Many all-inclusive resorts in the Gulf of Mexico offer luxurious amenities such as private beaches, spa services, and on-site restaurants and bars.
  • Vacation rentals: For a more personalised experience, consider a vacation rental. From cosy apartments to spacious villas, you’ll find the perfect place to call home during your stay. And with many rental options offering full kitchens, you can save money by cooking your own meals instead of dining out.
  • Boutique hotels: If you’re looking for a unique and intimate experience, a boutique hotel might be the perfect fit. With their small size and personalised service, boutique hotels offer a more intimate and personalised experience compared to larger resorts. Many boutique hotels in the Gulf of Mexico are located in historic buildings or offer breathtaking views of the ocean.


Getting around the Mexican and Cuban side of the Gulf of Mexico is easy and convenient. Here are a few options for getting from place to place:

  • Flights: With regular flights to Cancun, Tulum, and Havana, getting to the Gulf of Mexico is easy. Once you arrive, many of the popular destinations are within a short drive or taxi ride from the airport.
  • Renting a car: Renting a car is a great way to explore the region at your own pace. With a rental car, you’ll have the freedom to travel when and where you want, without having to rely on public transportation or taxis.
  • Taxis and public transportation: Taxis and public transportation are readily available in most cities in the Gulf of Mexico. Taxis are a convenient and affordable option for getting around, and public transportation is a great way to experience the local culture.
  • Tours: If you’d rather not deal with the hassle of transportation, consider booking a tour. From snorkelling trips to historical tours, there are plenty of options to choose from. With a tour, you’ll have a guide to show you the sights and make sure you get the most out of your trip.

Food & Drink

When it comes to food and drink, the Mexican and Cuban side of the Gulf of Mexico does not disappoint. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite or a gourmet meal, you’ll find plenty of delicious options to choose from. Here are a few must-try options:

  • Traditional Cuban cuisine: Cuban cuisine is a fusion of Spanish, African, and Caribbean flavours, and it’s definitely worth trying. Some popular dishes to look out for include ropa vieja (shredded beef stew), arroz con pollo (rice with chicken), and the ever-popular Cuban sandwich. And, of course, no visit to Cuba is complete without trying a traditional mojito cocktail.
  • Mexican street food: Mexico is famous for its street food, and for good reason. From tacos and quesadillas to churros and paletas (Mexican ice pops), the street food in Mexico is cheap, delicious, and a great way to experience local culture. Be sure to try a few of the many street food stalls and food trucks to get a taste of authentic Mexican cuisine.
  • Seafood: With the Gulf of Mexico at your doorstep, it would be a crime not to try some of the delicious seafood on offer. From grilled shrimp and fresh fish tacos to ceviche and lobster, you’ll find plenty of seafood options to choose from. And with many restaurants offering outdoor seating and ocean views, you can enjoy your meal while taking in the stunning scenery.
  • Drinks: Whether you’re looking for a cold beer, a fruity cocktail, or a delicious coffee, you’ll find plenty of options to choose from in the Gulf of Mexico. From beachside bars to rooftop lounges, there are plenty of places to grab a drink and relax after a long day in the sun. And with many bars offering live music, you can dance the night away while sipping on your favourite drink.

The Mexican and Cuban side of the Gulf of Mexico is home to some of the most stunning and picturesque beaches in the world. With a wide variety of destinations to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect beach for you. Whether you’re looking for a lively party scene, a relaxing beach vacation, or a bit of both, this region has something for everyone.

But the adventure doesn’t have to stop at sunbathing, dancing and swimming. Why not take it to the next level and learn to dive with GVI in Mexico? Who knows, maybe while you’re learning to explore and conserve the deep blue you might just make new friends to share your Mexican and Cuban adventures with.

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