Cuba’s Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo

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Photo Feature by Juan Suarez

HAVANA TIMES — We paid a visit to the keys north of Ciego de Avila in the resort area known as Jardines del Rey, which includes Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo. The popular tourist destination has exuberant vegetation, exotic birds, a colony of pink flamingos, and one of the best beaches in the country, Playa Pilar.

Cayo Coco

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19 thoughts on “Cuba’s Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo

  • August 26, 2015 at 9:44 am
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    I was able to enjoy the Cayos’ views of exquisite waterfowl and songbirds while on a birding tour, last year. I found the construction of yet more new resorts and infrastructure to be a huge disappointment, however, and can’t help but envision how this massive development will ecologically compromise what is surely one of Cuba’s most precious wildlife jewels.

  • August 20, 2015 at 3:05 pm
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    Addendum:
    To obtain information about Casa Particulars all over Cuba including details of each and prices go to:
    cubaparticular.com
    You can book accommodation through the site and will receive confirmation. You pay the owner of the Casa directly when you arrive.
    The site and service is managed by Raul Fuentes

  • August 20, 2015 at 1:46 pm
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    Yes of course staying on a beach at a hotel gives you little to none interaction
    with the real life or vibe of where you are visiting. When time permits we will vacation in another manner…. But when we have one or two weeks to vacation away from our bitter winter, it is more of a relax vacation. We always get of the beat and track on our own or with a private tour guide. It would be difficult for us not to explore a bit. Still nothing wrong with relax and recharge either. Looking forward to the time in our life that will allow a leisurely pace, staying at Casa Particulares and just exploring…….

  • August 20, 2015 at 12:43 pm
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    Over the past 23 years I have visited seven main tourist areas of Cuba and each has good and not so good points. One of my favorite areas is in Granma – Marea Del Portillo – Pilon – Niquero.

  • August 19, 2015 at 5:27 pm
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    Agreed, if you want to have a “generic vacation” (sun, sand, sea, silence and services”, surrounded by other White tourists in relative luxury and served by over-eager, colored help, the “cayos” are ideal…provided no hurricane comes along. If you are more adventurous, rent a little car and hit the road. it’s very safe and people are helpful everywhere. There are licensed Casas Particulares (B&B’s) and inexpensive hotels all over and is always better off the Gringo Trail in every country I’ve ever been.

  • August 19, 2015 at 2:58 pm
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    Memories Flamenco was where we stayed in Cayo Coco. I can’t say enough good things about it. We spent time in Moron (closest city to the cayo), went snorkelling, did some scuba diving, took an old steam train ride, etc. Taxis and busses are easily available if you want to just explore, and there are lots of pre-packaged excursions if you want them to take care of the details for you.

  • August 19, 2015 at 12:25 pm
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    We visited Varadero and Havana. Beautiful! We hired a private driver and tour guide to see Havana. We stayed at Breezes Vardero, wonderful beach, very clean resort and lovely people working there. The food outside of the hotels in town soooo much better, we had dinner out almost every evening. Now we are looking to explore smaller areas. Trinidad is on my list and the valley area. Love rural settings and cities with old arctiture. Love Cuba
    and the people of course. Found Havana had some real aggressive people that just wanted whatever, but so be it…

  • August 19, 2015 at 12:14 pm
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    Which hotel would you recommend or sights to see?

  • August 19, 2015 at 10:56 am
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    I always hear Caya Coco is beautiful, never been myself… I suggest staying in Varadero or Holguin if your looking to go out and about your self, only my opinion as I never stayed in Cayo Coco, so not sure how close everything is on the mainland. Yes for example, Vardero is all tourist and and a tourist town.. But, if you want to experince going outside Varedero I highly recommand the area. When your at your hotel/in the city you have everything needed. But once you leave that area, you will experience real Cuba.. I am bias as my wife is from Matanzas (30 min from Varadero), I have rented cars and driven all over Matanzas Province. The best times I have ever had, the smaller towns no where near tourist zones are the best. Don’t be scared to rent a car, buy a map and just drive.

  • August 18, 2015 at 10:24 pm
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    Cayo Coco is OK, but Cayo Santa Maria (for us) was even better. A better beach, more to see and do on the cayo itself, and a more established infrastructure for tourists.

    The downside of course is that causeway. 90 min to the airport from Santa Clara to CSM as opposed to 10 minutes from the CCO airport to most hotels.

    None of the cayos will give you much of a chance to interact with the local people (other than staff) though. No one lives on CSM, CC, or CG, All of the staff bus in from the main island. If you really want to meet people where they live, you have to make an effort to get out to the main island. There are lots of opportunities to do that if you’re so inclined, but it’s an added expense and you have to plan for it.

  • August 18, 2015 at 10:14 pm
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    Amazing to see how crowded it is in the summer. We were in Cayo Coco in March, and it was so much quieter. There were a lot of people there, but I never saw anywhere near that many people on the beach or in the water!

  • August 18, 2015 at 10:08 pm
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    Thankfully most Americans are going to be crowding in to Havana and Varadero. People with a more knowledge of the island will probably still be able to enjoy their favorite spots for at least another year before they get over-run.

  • August 18, 2015 at 6:52 pm
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    Senor Suarez, magnificent photos and it looks like I’ll be making my first trip to Cuba in January, 2016.
    As a Hawaiian resident for ten years, Cuba looks “sick” compared to Honolulu! (Sick, in todays Urban Dictionary means insane, or holy #[email protected]% cool!)

  • August 18, 2015 at 3:52 pm
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    Without a doubt, Cayo Coco.

  • August 18, 2015 at 3:05 pm
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    Both 51% military.
    The Iberostar in Trinidad rates high reviews. For guests not part of tourist groups, the charge exceeds $300 per night with buffet supper at $35 (In short bed and breakfast exceed the average annual earnings of Cubans. There is a shop kitty corner to the hotel which oddly always has Cuban coffee for sale – not something which is normal in other shops.

  • August 18, 2015 at 12:30 pm
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    I have done over 40 different resorts / hotels and camp sites in Cuba since 1993. The best chains are – Melia which includes Paradisus – Sol – Level . the other great chain is Iberostar. Both are from Spain and offer 3.5 to 5 + star resorts.
    Gordon Robinson Port Alberni B.C.
    [email protected]

  • August 18, 2015 at 11:45 am
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    The pictures are beautiful. If having a choice between the two Cayo Coco or Cayo Guillermo which would be your first choice and at which hotel? Would really
    Like advise on this and tours that we can do on our own.
    Much Thanks
    Irene

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