Discover Cayo Largo del Sur
Cayo Largo del Sur, more commonly called Cayo Largo, is a small resort island in Cuba that attracts scuba divers, fisher-people, swimmers, beachgoers, yachting people and lovers. It is one of the few beaches and islands in Cuba where nude sun bathing is openly accepted. But, Cayo Largo has always been an intimate island even when Christopher Columbus and Sir Frances Drake visited here centuries ago. With some of the most private and spectacular beaches in the Caribbean, guests never lack for things to do.
25 kilometer long and 3 kilometers wide, Cayo Largo translates to long island. The total land mass is about 37 square kilometers making it the second largest island in the Canarreos Archipelago. Cayo Largo is part of the special municipality in Cuba known as Isla de Juventud whose capital city, Nueva Gerona is about 135 kilometers away by sea. The island rests peacefully in crystal blue waters with the Jardines de a Reina to the North and Isla de la Juventud to the west.
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This popular tourist destination was formed from the remains of marine organisms over the course of millions of years. One of the fascinating attractions of the island is the spectacular marine life, including dolphins and giant starfish that populate some of the most unspoiled coral reefs in the Caribbean. Scuba divers abound at Cayo Largo.
Guests can arrive by boat or by air, landing at Vilo Acuna Airport, an international airport located on the island. The island hosts five all-inclusive resort hotels and is especially popular with Argentinians, Canadians and Italians. Yordi and Dave are partial to the Melia hotel known as Sol Cayo Largo. With gorgeous pools, three top rated restaurants and the best entertainment on the island, this hotel is busy year round.
Paraiso Beach and Sirena Beach are the two biggest beaches on the island. Paraiso Beach is a 2 kilometer beach that lies on the western portion of the key. It is the biggest beach and one of the most popular in all of Cuba. Surrounded by beautiful palms that bend in the westerly wind, beachcombing on Paraiso Beach can reveal surprising finds. This beach has been nominated for the Travelers’ Choice award as one of the world’s finest beaches by such lofty travel experts as Trip Adviser.
Sirena Beach has magnificent white sand and even more coconut palms that seem to lure intimate sunbathers to its quiet Caribbean shores. An active turtle observation program is just one of the ecological attractions of Sirena beach. This beach is slightly less exposed to wind and surf than the larger Paraiso Beach.
In addition to scuba diving, fishing and ecological tours, the island is noted for its strong yachting culture. Rentals and guided tours are available at the marina. Shuttle trains from the hotels carry guest to the beaches, the marina or any other location of choice. The island also sports several undeveloped beaches. The northern coast is lined with mangrove trees and salt pans and is one of Cuba’s most popular fishing areas.
The hotels are friendly competitors and offer plenty of rooms for large parties. On this island, hotel staff work 20 days and then are entitled to a week off the island. Island workers leave their families on the mainland and travel to the island to work for 20 days before returning home for a week or more. The catamaran ferry is constantly taking guests and workers to and from the island. It is always best to reserve a seat when heading off island.
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