Playa Coral information
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 (open 8am to 5pm).
At the Flora and Fauna Reserve , 400m east of the beach, professional Ecotur guides rent snorkeling gear and provide guides to take you out to the reef at a bargain CUC$5 for one hour plus CUC$2 equipment hire. There are a reported 300 species of fish here and visibility is a decent 15m to 20m. Diving is on offer too. The Laguna de Maya also incorporates a snack bar-restaurant by the eponymous lake nearby with boat rental and horseback-riding opportunities. A package including all the activities is offered for CUC$25. Most of the coast hereabouts is a gray-white coral shelf but there are beaches just west of Playa Coral.