Bay of Pigs (Bahia de Cochinos) was so beautiful that we ended up being there twice. The first time was on our way from Cienfuegos to Viñales, the second time was after the Cuban Adventures tour, during our stay in Playa Larga.
The first time we went to Cueva de Los Peces in Bay of Pigs our van left us on what it looked like a layby with a shed.
We realised that in fact it was a snorkeling and diving base. Indeed the Bay of Pigs is a bay protected from breakers so the water is always stable and with excellent visibility, which makes it the best place to enjoy watching tropical fish and coral reefs in Cuba. On one side of the main road there is the ocean and on the other side, only a few metres walk away there is the Cueva de Los Peces, a cave connected to the sea by a subterranean tunnel passing under the road.
The shore is quite small and pebbly, so what you enjoy the most is the experience in the water, but there are a few deck chairs to rent if you are in serious lack of sleep and tan. However we were there just for a few hours and we forgot our sleep debt as soon as we had a glance of the ocean after renting snorkeling equipment for about $5. If you have more time we would recommend diving though. We did that on our second visit to Bay of Pigs. On that occasion we used a diving base in Playa Larga and went to Cueva de Los Peces with a school bus.
Neither Darren or I are expert divers and the maximum we descended was six metres, but the instructor was really good and we really enjoyed the experience.
Also unmissable is the pool, possibly with lots of jumps in it and a synchronised swimming choreography if you are there with friends.
Playa Larga is a very small village, fishing and agriculture seem the main activities. Getting off the Viazul bus, you’ll see plenty of houses renting out rooms; it’s almost not worth organising one beforehand as there a huge number along the beach.
We went to Casa Frank, it was spacious and they had really good and fresh food served on their terrace. They also had bikes that you could rent for a few CUCs per day. The beach is fifteen minutes walk from the house, five with a bike and you can find people selling fresh fruit for a good price.
The owners of Casa Frank also helped organizing our excursion to the Parque Nacional Cienaga de Zapata for bird-watching.
We spotted a variety of birds including flamingos, cormorants and herons. Try to go early in the morning to have the chance to see much more.
There’s a restaurant with a view over the water (we can’t remember what it’s called), and we sat their one night watching distant lightning on both sides.