Hitting the Beach on The Isle of Youth

The Louis Cristal at anchor off Punta Francis
The Louis Cristal at anchor off Punta Francis
ABOARD THE LOUIS CRISTAL-Today, Cuba lives up to its reputation for great beaches and crystal clear water. I’ve loved visiting the historic cities but have to admit to a longing for a day at the beach. Today is the day, and fittingly, it is the last day of the cruise before we dock back in Havana tomorrow. We are anchored just off Ilsa de la Juventud, the Island of Youth, at Punta Francis. There’s miles of white sand beach waiting, but first I take the snorkeling excursion out to the reef.
snorkling on the coral reef
snorkling on the coral reef

The water is warm and the waves are pretty tame so the snorkeling is easy. I spy some lovely blue and yellow fish, lots of black and white ones, but there aren’t many of them and the reef itself looks pale and washed out – erosion, pollution or recent storms?

Still, it’s nice to be in the water and the group, about twenty of us, is a happy one.

Latrobe Beach, named for a notorious pirate
Latrobe Beach, named for a notorious pirate
Later, I hit the beach, and it is an a prize winner – clean, and perfect, with just the passengers from the ship here. It is called Latrobe beach, after a notorious pirate. We could purchase vouchers on board before taking the tender, that could be used to purchase snacks and drinks on the beach.
It’s quiet and beautiful, and just about as good as it gets.
Latrobe Beach
Latrobe Beach
Rum and coconut milk on the beach
Rum and coconut milk on the beach
A group workout class in the waves
A group workout class in the waves
Punta Frances dock.
Punta Frances dock.

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