Robaina's plantation

Saturday 2 July 2016

Playa Jutias (Pinar del Rio)

                 Cuba has been blessed with having some of the best beaches in the world and that's not my opinion, I haven't visited enough beaches outside of Cuba to be able to make that claim, it's what I've read or heard say on many occasions. I can tell you that the beaches I've visited so far are some of the most beautiful, if not the best, that I've seen in my lifetime of travelling. Varadero, in my opinion, is not one of the better beaches that Cuba has to offer, it's the one that has been promoted and developed the most. The nicer beaches are the ones that don't get many visitors or are difficult to get to. Playa Jutias is one of those beaches, not difficult to get to but a little out of the way and no hotels. It's located on Cayo Jutias which is an island or key which is part of the Archipelago of Las Coloradas in Pinar del Rio Province (western Cuba) on the north coast. The key is about 3km long with about 7km of beaches and is connected to the mainland by a road or causeway. It's approximately 60km (a little more than an hour's drive) from the town of Vinales where most of it's visitors come from. They have organized day trips heading to the beach from Vinales every day. The drive to Playa Jutias from Vinales is quite picturesque as you drive through hilly terrain dotted with pines and small nondescript towns. A stop I made a couple of years ago on one of these trips was in the town of Matahambre to visit the now closed Copper Mine which has been declared a National Monument in Cuba.
                  I've always thought the name of this beach (and island) to be a little strange, although non-Spanish speaking people I'm sure don't give it any thought. Jutia is the name of a rodent that is indigenous to Cuba, a tree rat. As I said earlier, there are no hotels on this beach and that makes this place almost secluded. There's a restaurant, typically Cuban under a ranchon, as well as a nautical center offfering kayaks, boat rides to other islands and diving. However, I have to tell you that the food at this place is inexpensive but almost inedible. I had the most expensive item, lobster, and still couldn't eat it. On this 200 meter strip you'll also find beach chairs you can rent. You're not limited to coming here as there is access to the beach by car in many different spots so you can setup your own little piece of paradise if you like. Be aware, if you decide to go out on your own shade is not an option so bring umbrellas if you're going to spend any length of time out there.

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