The island of Cayo Coco in Cuba is part of the Jardines del Rey archipelago. It was named after the white ibis, «coco bird» (coconuts). The resort of Cayo Coco is increasingly getting into tourist guides, because the island is warm, peaceful and beautiful.
Description of Cayo Coco
The area of the island is 370 sq. km. Cayo Coco is washed by the Atlantic Ocean and is the best suited for a beach holiday. To the south of the island is the Bahia de Perros, which separates it from Cuba. A road runs along the bay connecting Cayo Coco with the island-state.
What is interesting about resting on Cayo Coco?
The climate of the island is tropical, which means that the weather here is hot all year round. The beach season lasts approximately 11 months. The average air temperature in summer reaches +28 ºС, and the sea warms up to +26.4 ºС. In winter, the temperature drops slightly, by a couple of degrees. The best time to visit Cayo Coco is from November to April. During this period, there is little rain, and the water and air temperatures are comfortable.
The natural beauty of Cayo Coco inspired Ernest Hemingway to create such works as Islands in the Ocean, The Old Man and the Sea. Not so long ago, only fishermen inhabited these places, then they were declared protected, but only until the Cuban authorities realized what profit Cayo Coco would bring to Cuba as a resort.
What to do in Cayo Coco?
The main entertainment, besides sunbathing, are:
- surfing, including wind and kite surfing;
- excursions to the large island-state and neighboring islets;
- diving near coral reefs;
- swimming with dolphins;
- fishing from a boat or shore;
- discos and game centers.
The island is suitable for families with children. The hotels offer appropriate services, and the climbing center has a special area for children aged 4 to 8 years. Bungee jumping is on the rise in Cayo Coco.
The nightlife of tourists during their stay on Cayo Coco can be very intense, even in hotels. Bars and parties are organized here. The best discos are held until late at night at the Melia Hotel in Cayo Coco. Almost every hotel has its own nightclub, open if not around the clock, then at least until late at night.
Having decided to go scuba diving, you should contact one of the centers — “Coco Diving” at the Melia Cayo Guillermo hotel or “Blue Diving” at the Melia Cayo Coco hotel. Diving in Cayo Coco is a popular activity for beginners. Beginner divers will be given a free lesson in the hotel’s swimming pool.
Cayo Coco — Attractions
Travelers who find themselves in this part of Cuba will not have problems with what to see on the island of Cayo oko (). Some of the most popular local attractions include:
- Pilar bay, Ernest Hemingway’s favorite fishing spot. It also has one of the best beaches on the island. Fishing on Cayo Coco is one of the best, given the huge amount of living creatures that live in coastal waters.
- Coral reefs is a popular place among tourists. Given that most species of underwater life are found nowhere else on Earth, it is easy to understand the heightened interest in Cayo Coco. From a boat or boat with a transparent bottom, you can see yellowtails, red parrotfish, striped black-blue-yellow angelfish, black-speck grunt.
- Bayade Naranjo Natural Park — often visited for performances with fur seals and dolphins. Tourists can even swim with them in the pool.
- Coppo de Maita Museum — refers to the historical sights of Cayo Coco. Its exhibits were replenished as a result of excavations of an ancient Indian settlement on a hilltop.
- La Cueva del Jalbani — a cave converted into a nightclub. Transport takes tourists from the hotel to the cave and back. The ticket price includes the entrance fee and unlimited drinks.
The beaches of Cayo Coco
The island has 22 km of excellent beaches, which are concentrated on the Atlantic coast. Here, vacationers are waiting for mangroves and coconut palms. The lightest fine sand is present on 9 beaches:
- Playa Uva Caleta;
- Playa Los Perros;
- Playa La Jaula;
- Playa Flamencos;
- Playa Dorada;
- Playa Prohibida, where there is a cozy restaurant;
- Playa Las Cochas with spa and hotel;
- Playa Larga, located between the capes of Punta Rasa Peno and Las Coloradas;
- Playa Las Coloradas.
The nature on the beaches is untouched by man, since Cayo Coco has remained a protected reserve. Due to its convenient location (the beaches are located in the northern part of the island), they will be able to meet an amazing sunrise.
Cayo Coco hotels in Cuba
Tourist development of the island began in the 20th century, so the hotels are built using modern technologies. They are well-appointed and comfortable, and most work on an all-inclusive basis.
According to tourists, the best hotels in Cayo Coco include the following:
- «Colonial Cayo Coco» is a five-star hotel with 458 comfortable rooms of four types, from 4-bed guest rooms to deluxe Pool View Rooms. The hotel operates on an all-inclusive basis.
- Playa Coco – a four-star hotel, built in 2004, offers 307 rooms, of which 285 are standard double rooms. The hotel is a 20 minute drive from the international airport and next to Playa Flamencos beach.
- Melia Jardines Del Rey suitable for family holidays, honeymoons and weddings in Cuba. It is located on a white sandy beach and consists of 25 three-level bungalows. In total, the hotel has 1176 comfortable rooms.
- «Memoris Flamenco Cayo Coco» run by a Canadian company and tourists from Canada usually stay here. Suitable for families.
- Sol Cayo Coco Hotel in Cuba offers 270 rooms and is located opposite one of the largest coral reefs in the Caribbean.
- «Iberostar Colonial» is a hotel in Cayo Coco, which is ideal due to its reasonable prices. If you want to relax in paradise, but finances are limited, you should settle here. The hotel is built in the style of a Spanish colonial village.
Cayo Coco Restaurants
Beneath the palm trees and next to the white-sand beaches, Caribbean cuisine seems especially delicious. Of all the restaurants on the island, the following are considered the best:
- Lenny`s Barand Grill, which is stylized as a palm hut. It serves Cuban cuisine, seafood;
- Ranchon Playa Flamenco, famous for the bridge that connects the restaurant to the beach. Delicious meals are served at reasonable prices. The menu is dominated by Cuban and Caribbean cuisine;
- Ranchon Las Dunas is located near the beach and specializes in seafood. The menu also includes various fruits and vegetables, pineapples and coconuts.
How to get to Cayo Coco?
The most popular way to get to the island is via the causeway connecting Cuba and Cayo Coco. Its length is 27 km, the main part of the road falls on 14 bridges. It was built in 1988 in 16 months of work. Before entering the dam there is a checkpoint.
First, tourists arrive at the airport of Havana or Varadero, and then hire a taxi or rent a car. Cayo Coco Airport, although small, accepts international flights. You can get to the island directly from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kyiv.
If you need transport to Cayo Coco, then you need to know that car rental is controlled by two large companies: TRANSTUR and GRUPO GAVIOTA. To rent a car, you need to present your passport and driver’s license, as well as pay a deposit in cash or from a bank card.