Cayo Guillermo Tourist Information and Tourism

(Cayo Guillermo, Ciego de Avila, Jardines del Rey, Cuba)

They may not share the depth of Cuban culture embodied in cities like Havana, but Cayo Guillermo and its lovely cousin Cayo Coco (linked by a causeway) boast some of the finest sand and sea in the Caribbean. These two islands in the Jardines del Rey archipelago are among Cuba's top tourist beach destinations, gracing the posters of many a tourism shop in the wintery north.

Visitors flock to the islets' handful of all-inclusive resorts in droves when the mercury drops. The beaches are truly stunning, the proximity to North America convenient, and the resorts are both stylish and welcoming. There are plenty of water sports on offer at each resort, in particular saltwater fishing and scuba diving, both of which rank among the world's best.

Cayo Guillermo Tourist Information and Tourism: Top Sights

It is hard to imagine how much Cayo Guillermo has evolved over the past few decades, whilst retaining its appeal as a superb deep-sea fishing location. In fact it was not until the early 1990s that the very first hotel appeared on the island. The finest beaches include the Playa Larga, the Playa Los Flamencos and the Playa Pilar, the latter of which was once favored by renowned American author, Ernest Hemingway, who used to holiday in Cuba on a regular basis. At the Marlin Marina, various cruises and boat trips are on offer, with passengers being transported through the mangroves. If you are here for fishing, then full-day excursions are likely to be of interest, since they arguably offer the best chance of catching some giant barracuda and marlin. To check out an abundance of Cuban flora and fauna, both the Bagá Nature Reserve (Parque Natural El Bagá) and the Round Lake (Lago La Redonda) are worth visiting. More information about Cayo Guillermo Tourist Attractions.

The twin islands of Cayo Guillermo and Cayo Coco are known more for their beaches and coastline than for their man-made landmarks. Just over the causeway is the old town of Morón, where a quaint selection of historic colonial buildings reside. One that stands out in particular is the Morón Railway Station, which dates back to 1924 and features a glorious stained-glass ceiling, a period telephone booth and a yearly festival each December, celebrating the arrival of the steam locomotive. More information about Cayo Guillermo Landmarks and Monuments.

Morón is also the place to head for a spot of culture, being where you will find the Museum of Archaeology and History (Museu de Arqueologia e Historia), which stands alongside the old Railway Station. At the museum you can expect to find information about the history of the islands of Jardines del Rey, with some important pre-Columbian relics being showcased and accompanied by local archaeological finds. Not to be missed is the rooftop lookout, a popular vantage point boasting excellent panoramas across the town. More information about Cayo Guillermo Museums and Art Galleries.

The surrounding cays afford many an opportunity for day trips, and across the islands are parks, lakes and plenty of Cuban wildlife to be spotted. On the outskirts of Morón, the Milk Lake or Milk Lagoon (Laguna de la Leche) as it is often otherwise known is a good place for birdwatching, and it won't take you long to see large numbers of bright pink flamingos and many other wading birds, such as pelicans. At the neighbouring National Park of Caguanes (Parque Nacional Caguanes), a series of small islets has become the home of a huge number of seabirds, being approximately an hour's trip from Cayo Guillermo. To the south of Ciego de Avila, the Archipelago of the Gardens of the Queen (Archipielago de los Jardines de la Reina) is made up of a chain of coral islands, with sumptuous beaches and colourful coral reefs just waiting to be explored. Rather closer is the Cayo Paredon Grande, a small islet with beaches, an iron lighthouse and various coastal trails. More information about Cayo Guillermo Attractions Nearby.

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