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Hotels in Cayo Coco, Cuba

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Best hotels in Cayo Coco

Cayo Coco has been renowned as a wildlife paradise ever since Diego Velázquez, the Spanish conquistador, first set foot here in 1514. He called this stretch of sun-bleached islands and azure cays the Jardines del Rey—the Gardens of the King. Its mangrove swamps, jungles, and coral reefs have been home to all kinds of adventurers over the years. Buccaneers like Jacques de Sores hid here, while Ernest Hemingway found the area the perfect playground for his maritime exploits. Today, adventurers come to Cayo Coco to seek out its dazzling wildlife, including its iconic colonies of pink flamingos.

Things to see in Cayo Coco

“Accidental Eden” is a moniker readily applied to Cayo Coco. Its pristine and sublime natural wonders are the result of isolation: for most of its history, this 25-mile long island was uninhabited. Those natural wonders get a dash of danger at the natural park, Parque Natural El Bagá, which covers 1,800 acres of swampland, home to crocodiles up to 11 feet in length. Birds are the star attraction though, including herons, vultures, and elegant white egrets. And you may even catch sight of the ghost-like ibis, which gives this island its name—locally they’re known as coco birds. The Parador la Silla is one of the best places to see the island’s other famed avian inhabitants, its pink flamingos. Many of the 30,000 flamingos in Cayo Coco fly over this superb vantage point as dusk draws in. Then it’s time for the 19th-century Diego Velazquez Lighthouse to shine, as its beam reaches out some 20 miles into Cayo Coco’s inky night.

Hotels in Cayo Coco

Those wanting a touch of opulence in their Cuban stay won’t be disappointed by the luxury hotels in Cayo Coco. Developed over the last few decades to serve international visitors, 4- and 5-star accommodation abounds here. You’ll find extravagant spa hotels in Cayo Coco among the options, particularly on the cayo’s northern coastal fringes. Most of these come with high-class restaurants, complemented by excellent service and all mod-cons. Expect WiFi, air-con, and a full range of gym and massage facilities. Some Cayo Coco hotels are grandly housed, decked in lavish colonial style, while others scatter their luxury chalets across exquisitely landscaped tropical gardens.

Where to stay in Cayo Coco

Most of the hotels in Cayo Coco can be found in 2 narrow strips either side of the most northerly cape. To the east, between the Playa Las Coloradas and the Playa Las Conchas (stretching some 3 miles), are half-a-dozen hotels. These are closest to the airport and to the road that leads to the Cuban mainland. A couple of miles west lies another band of hotels, stretching from Playa Dorada to Playa La Jaula. All of these hotels are close to the natural attractions of this paradisiacal retreat.

How to get to Cayo Coco

Jardines del Rey Airport is the main point of entry for those looking to travel to Cayo Coco. But it’s also possible to travel here from the Cuban mainland, across a 17-mile causeway. Once on Cayo Coco, those looking to explore the coastline and its many wildlife spots can make use of the hop-on-hop-off bus, which runs as far as Playa Pilar. Alternatively, if you’re looking to discover the remoter cays, you can often negotiate good rates with the local taxi drivers.