Pilar Beach, known locally as Playa Pilar, is widely considered to be one of the best beaches in Cuba. Named after Ernest Hemingway’s famous cabin cruiser yacht – Pilar – it features plenty of soft white sand to go with its clear turquoise water. More often than not, the water at Pilar Beach is safe for swimming, and since there are shallow areas, even younger kids can splash around safely. When hunger or thirst set in during a visit to beautiful Pilar Beach, there is a reputable beach bar/restaurant. Drinks can be purchased on the beach itself, and loungers are available for a modest fee. As a side note, the extreme western end of Pilar Beach is clothing optional and is considered by naturists to be one of the best clothing optional beaches in Cuba.
The location of Pilar Beach is at the western end of Cayo Guillermo. Public buses frequently travel between the beach and the Cayo Guillermo hotels. There are buses that also link Pilar Beach to another area hot spot – Cayo Coco. Both Cayo Guillermo and Cayo Coco are among the most popular tourist destinations in Cuba’s Jardines del Rey archipelago. Flights to the area are available, thanks to the fact that Cayo Coco is home to the Jardines del Rey Airport. Travelers can also reach the islands by way of car via the long causeway that connects them to mainland Cuba.
Cayo Guillermo Hotels
Cayo Guillermo Hotels
Many visitors to Pilar Beach come from the nearby hotels on Cayo Guillermo. These hotels are all-inclusive resorts and include the Melia Cayo Guillermo (pictured), the Sol Cayo Guillermo, the Iberostar Daiquiri, and the Gran Caribe Club Villa Cojimar. Since each of the Cayo Guillermo resorts is of considerable quality, it is hard to recommend one over another. For those who want to add to their area lodging options, Cayo Coco is home to about a dozen large international hotels. Public buses also make trips between Cayo Coco and Playa Pilar. Other ways to get from the area hotels to Pilar Beach include taking a taxi or riding a moped. Since the Cayo Guillermo hotels are considerably closer to Pilar Beach than the Cayo Coco hotels, those who are staying on Cayo Guillermo can also consider biking or even walking to Pilar Beach. Walking takes an hour or more, however, so it isn’t exactly the recommended means of transportation. Ask your hotel for transportation information if you are unsure. You can also inquire about any organized tours that include visits to Pilar Beach.