Lonely Planet review for Playa Coral
With no reefs accessible from the coast in Varadero, your closest bet for a bit of shore snorkeling is the aptly named Playa Coral on the old coastal road (about 3km off the Vía Blanca) halfway between Matanzas and Varadero. Although you can snorkel solo from the beach itself, it's far better (and safer) to enter via the Laguna de Maya (8am-5pm). The Flora and Fauna Reserve 400m to the east is where professional Ecotur guides can rent you snorkeling gear and guide you out to the reef at a bargain CUC$10 for one hour. There are a reported 300 species of fish here and visibility is a decent 15m to 20m. Decent diving is on offer too. The Laguna de Maya also incorporates a snack bar-restaurant by a small lake with boat rental and horseback-riding opportunities. A package including all the activities is offered for CUC$25. You can hike 2.5km to the Cueva Saturno from here. Most of the coast hereabouts is a gray-white coral shelf but there are beaches just west of Playa Coral.