Hotels in Cayo Guillermo, Cuba

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Best hotels in Cayo Guillermo

The fables of Hemingway still resonate in Cayo Guillermo, a wildly captivating stretch on the northern edge of Cuba. It was from this marina that the master of understated prose would set off to wrestle with the lithe predators of the deep sea, and it was in this area that he set his last—and some would say best—novel, “Islands in the Stream.” Even the local beach, widely considered the most beautiful in Cuba, is named after Hemingway’s boat, Pilar. With its staggering beauty, thrilling wildlife, and wide-ranging opportunities for adventure, it’s easy to see what brought Hemingway to Cayo Guillermo.

Things to see in Cayo Guillermo

At the marina on the southern tip of Cayo Guillermo, it’s as much about soaking up the atmosphere and swapping tall tales as exploring the area's marine heritage. The waters around the shore are home to a notorious reef drop-off, where marlin and barracuda prowl the deep, while at the Delfinario Cayo Guillermo you can get acquainted with the cay's more peaceful inhabitants by observing the antics of 4 playful bottlenose dolphins. Then there are the soft white dunes curling along the shore at Playa Pilar, which have seduced visitors from Hemingway to Batista to Castro. Here, the primary colors of coral white and aquamarine are often punctuated by the pinks of the area’s famed flamingos.

Hotels in Cayo Guillermo

The majority of the hotels in Cayo Guillermo are modern and well-appointed, making the most of their unspoilt location on the Cayo’s northern and eastern coastlines. A few have earned 5 stars, providing their guests with a choice of restaurants, spa facilities, and exercise equipment. Others are more mid-range, offering some reasonably affordable Cayo Guillermo hotel rates, while still maintaining high levels of service. Discount hotels in Cayo Guillermo can be harder to find, but bargains are available, particularly during the low season.

Where to stay in Cayo Guillermo

Cayo Guillermo is a small island just 5 miles in length, backed by a lagoon and fronted by the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Most of its hotels are strung along the northern Gulf-facing shoreline, between the marina in the south and Playa Pilar in the north. If you're looking to explore the coast, the luxury accommodation close to the marina may be your best bet. But for an abundance of natural wonders, the pristine shorelines of Playa Pilar are hard to beat.

How to get to Cayo Guillermo

Travel to Cayo Guillermo is easy enough for most visitors: a flight into Jardines del Rey International Airport, followed by a transfer to their chosen hotel. But you can also get here from the Cuban mainland by road, crossing the glittering Bahia de Perros on a 17-mile causeway to Cayo Coco. From there it’s a 20-minute drive to Cayo Guillermo. Once here, it’s easy to get around using the hop-on-hop-off bus, which runs from Playa Pilar to Cayo Coco. Local taxi drivers also offer good rates for those looking to travel to the more remote cays.