Playa Coral information
Your closest bet for shore snorkeling is Playa Coral, on the old coastal road (about 3km off the Vía Blanca) halfway between Matanzas and Varadero. You can snorkel solo from the beach, but it's far better (and safer) to enter via the Laguna de Maya (8am to 5pm). At the Flora and Fauna Reserve, 400m east of the beach, professional Ecotur guides rent snorkeling gear (CUC$2) and provide guides to take you out to the reef (CUC$5 one hour).
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 and can be organised through most Varadero hotels or the Barracuda Scuba Diving Center . Most of the coast hereabouts is a gray-white coral shelf but there are beaches just west of Playa Coral.