Las Cuevas Bay
The beach at Las Cuevas is also very popular, and is reached via the North Coast Road, 7 km east of Maracas Bay. It varies in width, and is 2.2 km long. It is bounded on its eastern and western ends by prominent headlands, Las Cuevas Point to the west and Abercromby Point to the east. ‘Las Cuevas’ is the Spanish word for ‘caves’. This bay gets its name from the small caves at both ends of the bay and from notches in the low, but steep, cliffs at the eastern end of the beach.
This gently sloping beach is composed of a grayish-brown fine sand, predominantly quartz. The eastern half of the beach is backed by low, steep cliffs, while the western half is backed by low-lying plains. The Cuaraguate River meanders through the flat land behind the western end of the beach. There is a fishing facility located at the eastern end of the bay. Coastal vegetation such as almond trees and sand runners are located in the western section.
This bay is sheltered at its eastern end. Plunging breakers averaging 48 cm in the dry season and 42 cm in the wet season, approach from a northerly direction. From November to April, waves may be as high as 1.50 m. Longshore currents flow to the west with an average speed of 6 cm/s and are weak in the eastern end of the bay. Lifeguards patrol the eastern portion of Las Cuevas daily and flag warnings are posted at locations along this section of the beach. The beach is well maintained and the water is usually clear and excellent for swimming. Surfing is done in the western section. Sand-flies may be a nuisance in the rainy season, especially in the evening.
The service facilities at Las Cuevas are located on top of the cliffs at the eastern end of the bay and consist of a beach facility with change rooms, showers and toilets available for a fee, cafeteria and a car park. A small hotel is located on the southern side of the North Coast Road, close to the beach facility.