Cayo CocoCopyright: vvital/Shutterstock.com
Cayo CocoCayo Coco's spectacular white sandy beaches remained untouched for centuries. Despite recent development, they still retain that same feeling, with untamed mangroves, beautiful coral reefs and colourful flocks of flamingos dotting the turquoise waters. Together with nearby Cayo Guillermo and Cayo Santa Maria, Cayo Coco has become Cuba's third most popular destination after Havana and Varadero, and it's not hard to see why.
The IslandCayo Coco is a stretch of land on the Jardines del Rey (Gardens of the King) archipelago, located just off the northern coast of Cuba and connected to the rest of the country by a 27-km causeway ('pedraplén'). Though the area was first explored by early Spanish colonizers as far back as the early 1500s, development in Cayo Coco only took off in the 1990s. The development of nearby Cayo Guillermo is even more recent, and in both cases all development was aimed exclusively towards tourists. The key with Cayo Coco is isolation. Visitors to any of the area's resorts can enjoy the pristine beaches and untamed mangroves without any other developments standing in their way. This means, however, that it can be difficult to get a good sense of local life since there are no towns or settlements for miles in any direction. A day trip to nearby Morón can be a rewarding experience to get a taste of Cuban residential areas. Otherwise, though, sit back and enjoy the idyllic beaches and absolute peace and quiet of the beautiful Cayo Coco.
BeachesCuba's beaches are famous the world over for their crystalline waters, white powder sand, beautiful mangroves and picture-perfect palm trees. With over 22 kilometers of beaches in Cayo Coco, you're spoiled for choice, but here we've narrowed it down to the best of the best.
Do & See
Cayo Coco's main attraction is its pristine beaches and calm waters, and as such, most visitors spend their days enjoying the sunshine. There are numerous worthwhile activities on offer, including great diving spots, interesting nature tours and fun activities for the whole family. For a taste of local Cuban life, a day-trip to the small town of Morón is a must. For even more relaxation, be sure to check out one of the island's spas.
Cayo Coco's numerous hotels offer fantastic high-quality cuisine from top chefs. They offer great variety, from typical Cuban dishes to the best of international gastronomy. However, the area also offers more local alternatives, especially in the form of 'ranchones', or local beach restaurants, famous for their grilled lobster. Lenny's is probably the best known and most popular, but they are all worth a try.
Bars & Nightlife
Nightlife in Cayo Coco revolves mainly around the different bars, lounges, and venues located at the area's hotels. There are, however, numerous bars and entertainment venues spread around the area, including beach parties, bowling, as well as a fantastic and animated cave bar.
Being exclusively a resort area, located far from any towns or local residents, there isn't much in terms of shopping in Cayo Coco. Most hotels have small gift shops with some souvenirs such as hats, cigars and the like, however, the selection tends not to be very wide. Plaza los Flamencos, described below, offers a small assortment of services and products.