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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

Jibacoa

Jibacoa Holidays

Jibacoa has one of those beaches that you can rock up to and never leave. There's a coral reef nearby, stretches of sand, and not much else, just the way relaxation-seekers like it. Once you're ready to dial up the heat, Varadero and Havana are just on the horizon.

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Pint-sized but perfectly formed

Jibacoa is little more than a traditional fishing village, but that's all part of the appeal. A solid block of sun, as well as sand and surf without all the fuss is what makes it so special. Tucked up along Cuba's northern coast, Jibacoa is wedged between Varadero and Havana – so it's ideal as far as day trips go.

On holidays in Jibacoa, it's all about lounging on the beach and snorkelling over the nearby coral, or dining at local spots and settling in at your hotel buffet. You won't find the same holiday activities you'd find in a larger resort, but that's because Jibacoa is all about relaxation, and we have a feeling you won't mind.

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A shore for sore eyes

The beach at Jibacoa is this little village's main event, with glistening sands that lead out to nothing but clear blue sea. Like Varadero, these shores are renowned for their beauty, but with less tourism. Here, things go back to the basics. And with a beach this good looking, you don't really need much more.

There are a few chairs put out by the resorts that edge up to the beach, but other than that, you're not looking at many amenities. But that's what makes this stretch of shore so picturesque – no roaring cars or the sounds of watersports, just you, a grove of leafy trees and a brilliant blue lagoon.

Coral diving

So when we said there was nothing but sea stretching out from Jibacoa's beach, that's mostly true, minus one key point – there's actually a huge coral reef just beneath the water's surface. It's one of the closest and greatest reefs in proximity to Havana, so you'll see a number of holidaymakers coming here on their Cuba holidays for a scenic dip.

The reef is accessible straight from the shore, too, so you won't have to waste any time boarding a boat and heading out to sea. All you'll need is some snorkelling gear and a keen eye for the fish below, and you'll discover a whole underwater world.

Cuban cuisine

There aren't lots of dining options in Jibacoa outside of what your resort is offering. This won't matter if you're All Inclusive as you won't have much reason to step outside your hotel, unless you want to give the local fare a try.

There are a handful of restaurants here, but don't expect luxury – these little spots are often no more than shacks, but it's here where you'll get a true taste of Cuban cuisine.

When it comes to dining on your holidays to Cuba, you can expect a lot of seafood and chicken, with rice and beans being solid staples, not to mention, plenty of fruit for dessert. But you can't leave Cuba without sampling a mojito –after all, they were invented here along with Bacardi rum. So if anyone knows how to whip up these sweet, minty drinks, it's the Cubans.

City living

Jibacoa's prime location means it's within easy travelling distance to Varadero and Cuba's capital Havana. Varadero is about an hour and a half drive away, while the journey to Havana clocks is just under an hour. That means Varadero's famous beach and the history-packed, salsa-soaked streets of Havana are right at your fingertips.

And you won't need to hire a car to make the trek, either, with their close proximity and popularity – you can join a tour that'll take you from A to B without the hassle of having to find your own parking spot. Choose Havana, and take a retro ride from the back seat of a vintage car.