Horizontes Playa Larga is a budget hotel on a pretty beach which will particularly suit bird-watchers, military enthusiasts & those who enjoy diving & snorkelling.
Though the accommodation is in small barrack-like blocks & some guests have found maintenance issues & occasionally surly serving staff, Playa Larga is a good choice for anyone wanting an inexpensive base in this relatively remote area. The austere bungalows are brightly painted, maintenance problems are swiftly addressed & the standard of food & service actually belies the hotel’s 2-star rating. In short, don’t believe the hype.
Playa Larga’s reception & restaurant are right on the beach so you can step outside to picturesque views & a cool ocean breeze. The beach is small but never feels crowded while the hotel buildings are nicely spaced out around well maintained gardens. The standard of food is more than adequate though the restaurant menu is limited. There is also a snack bar & bars at the lobby, pool & beach, with more bars & restaurants in the nearby town of Playa Larga.
In addition to the hotel’s swimming pool there are organised activities such as hiking, bird-watching & volleyball on the beach. The area is also ideal for snorkelling & scuba diving with particularly memorable cave diving. Playa Larga hotel sits at one end of the Bay of Pigs & there are dozens of reminders of the famous action & a museum along the coast in Playa Giron. However, Playa Larga is arguably most popular with bird watchers exploring the Zapata national park.
Hotel Horizontes Playa Larga has so many places of interest on its doorstep &, with limited facilities, is likely to attract only those looking to use it as a base for exploring them. But this is a good, inexpensive 2-star option which is surprisingly comfortable & has great access to the area’s attractions.
Reception staff speak Spanish, English, French, German, Italian
Safety - front desk safe deposit box
Scuba diving school
Shop(s) with basic supplies, souvenirs & gifts
Telephone - national & international calls
TV room/bar (international channels & videos)
Details of Standard Room
Standard rooms at Playa Larga hotel have a bathroom, bedroom & sitting room, with fridge, satellite TV & good air conditioning. These may be charmless in shape but are brightly painted in whites, pinks & oranges with each having a porch & rocking chair; the ideal way to unwind after a day’s exploring
The rooms are rather basic inside but are clean, spacious & comfortable. Dotted around extensive grounds, these are quite peaceful & have recently been refurbished with solar power so provide plenty of hot water.
Parque Nacional Ciénaga de Zapata covers 628,171 hectares. is the main wetland in Cuba, as well as the largest (and well-preserved) of the Caribbean Islands. The Zapata Peninsula biosphere is a huge natural reserve for all manner of wildlife including local and migratory birds, lizards, crocodiles and rock crabs.
Zapata Biosphere Reserve shows a great diversity of ecosystems such as grasslands; mangrove, Ciénaga, semi-deciduous, evergreen coastal and sub-coastal forests; coastal and sub-coastal matorral and coral reefs with principal coral species and coastal lagoons. The area also supports the main populations of the Cuban crocodile (Cocodrilus rhombifer) and American crocodile (C. acutus) and birds as the great flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber). Some 9,000 (2001) people, mostly of Spanish origin, live permanently in one of the largest biosphere reserves in Cuba. Economic activities are mainly silviculture, fisheries, community agriculture, tourism, handicraft and apiculture.
At La Boca you can see crocodiles and take a boat to the picturesque Guama, a group of tiny islands connected by wooden bridges. The area is also home to one of the largest underground cave and lake systems in Latin America.
Continuing 13km south from La Boca de Guama you reach the famous Bay of Pigs at Playa Larga. US-backed exiles tried to invade Cuba through this bay on April 17, 1961. The main museum dedicated to these events is at Playa Giron, which is 35km father south. The little village of Playa Larga makes a good base for visiting the adjacent nature reserves in Gran Parque Natural Montemar.
Fishermen can partake in bonefishing at Las Salinas, and for tarpon and snook there is Rio Hatiguanico.
More Hotels in Zapata National Park & Playa Larga: