We went from Havanna to Playa Larga (map) by bus. The bus ride took a couple of hours, but the Viazul buses are very modern, comfortable and offer a lot of space. They are usually right on time and sometimes they even arrive a little bit too early. We therefore recommend to arrive at your bus station around 1 hour before your departure time.
Playa Larga is famous for its historical importance in the cold war and is known all over the world for the American disaster at the Bay of Pigs. You will find a lot of political signs and posters as well as old bunkers around Playa Larga. As this place is on the list of many Cuban visitors, it is a good idea to book your casa particular in advance.
We booked the casa particular “Casa de Zuleyda” which is named after the owner of this casa. It is just a couple of minutes away from the bus station and located right on the beach (take a bicycle taxi for 1 CUC from the bus station, if you are traveling with a lot of luggage). It consists of 4 rooms and a small restaurant. If possible, ask for one of the 2 rooms that are directed towards the ocean. This casa was one of the best ones we stayed in, during our whole trip. Zuleyda, her husband and her staff are very friendly, helpful and they speak English (The cook/chef even has a Master´s degree in English). They will also help you to organize your tours and transportation. Every morning you will also have a great breakfast (including pancakes) on their own terrace and with a stunning view over the ocean.
We stayed 3 nights in Playa Larga (25 CUC per room/ per night) and really enjoyed this little town. The beach is great and you can go for long walks towards the mangroves. Still, the water is not as spectacular as in Jibacoa or Varadero, as the mangroves colour the ocean red/brown. But you will experience the pure and wild plants and animals of Cuba, including huge crabs, hummingbirds and a lot of exotic fish. Remember to take something against mosquitos with you!
Through our hosts we were able to go on some tours. We went on a bird watching tour by boat on a river in the Zapata national park, where we saw a lot of birds, turtles and even went for a swim in the river head. This boat tour costs 20 CUC per person and you have your own personal guide. Our whole group consisted only of us and another couple. We also went on another boat tour to Guama and the Laguna de Tresor. This tour takes about 1 hour and you will see beautiful little islands and enjoy the lakes natural highlights. Another trip took us to Cueva de Pece. It is interesting to go diving there, as it is somehow a small lake that has an underwater connection to the ocean. We recommend to only stop there on your way to Playa Giron, as it is not worth staying there for a whole day.
Our friendly hosts organized all the tours and transportation for reasonable prices and were always very helpful. We can definitely recommend the casa de Zuleyda and Playa Larga in general.