Cayo Coco Cuba

Dreamy Cuba Holidays Cayo Coco Island 2024 From An Expert!

Cayo Coco Cuba, one of the Cuban Keys off the northern coast, is famous for its beautiful beaches with crystal turquoise waters and white sand. If staying in a pampering resort is your dream Caribbean holiday, Cuba holidays in Cayo Coco may be perfect for you.

This part of Cuba is home to some of the world’s best coral reefs, like Jardines del Rey (the King’s Garden), which is filled with colorful fish and other marine wildlife.

Although an island lingering outside the northern coast of Cuba, Cayo Coco is connected to the main island with a long causeway.

A whole island dedicated to all-inclusive resorts and Caribbean pampering, here is all you need to know about visiting Cayo Coco.

Affiliate disclosure: I only recommend tours, services and purchases I know and love on this website.

Cuba Holidays Cayo Coco

Cuba holidays Cayo Coco. Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo in Cuba, outside the northern shores towards the Atlantic, has stunning beaches like this one. White sands, and lounging chairs surrounded by green palm trees by the crystal clear water.

If you are wondering why you should go for a holiday in Cayo Coco, Cuba, it has to be because you want to wind down in a luxurious all-inclusive hotel steps from a Caribbean beach.

Here, you don’t need to focus on anything but enjoy the amazing temperature, warm water, and pampering service, and go on leisurely day activities on or off the water.

Cayo Coco Cuba Map

Map created using Wanderlog, a trip planner app on iOS and Android

Cayo Coco In Cuba

A blue and white beach bar sitting on the wihte sandy beach in Cayo Coco in front of the crystal clear blue water with a white catamaran on a sunny day with blue skies
Beach life in Cayo Coco

An impressive 17-mile causeway connects both islands, stretching over the Bahía de Perros (Bay of Dogs).

First you will reach Cayo Coco, and all the way up in the western corner of this key, you can cross over to tiny Cayo Guillermo.

Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo are undoubtedly among the most stunning holiday destinations in Cuba. And there’s one clear reason for this—the beaches and waters are simply mesmerizing.

However, be advised that in Cayo Coco, there is nothing that resembles the “real Cuba” anywhere, and no locals live on the island.

Things To Do In Cayo Coco

With its stunning beaches, resorts, and breathtaking nature, the island is ideal for sunbathing, swimming, and snorkeling in its crystal-clear waters.

Cayo Coco Excursions

Three small white and blue boats lying next to each other in the calm water in a beach, where you can see the white sandy bottom beneath the boats, and the horizon where the blue sea meets the blue sky in the distance
Lots of tours and excursions in Cayo Coco

You can explore the Jardines del Rey coral reefs with guided scuba diving trips or experience the thrill of kitesurfing and windsurfing.

Fishing is also popular in Cayo Coco, and there are plenty of opportunities to catch a variety of species, including marlin and sailfish.

Other activities include kayaking, horseback riding, and cycling through the lush nature trails, exploring nearby caves and lagoons, or birdwatching around the wetlands.

There is a bit of distance to cover if you want to go for a day trip, but it is possible to visit the city of Moron and the province capital Ciego de Avila on the main island.

Day Trips from Cayo Coco

Day tours from Cayo Coco & Cayo Cuillermo:

Many of the hotels also either have in-house organizing or connections with organizers of day trips in Cayo Coco, Cayo Guillermo, the waters outside the islands, or to the mainland.

If you are venturing over to the mainland for a day trip, you might want to consider a short stop at the Parador la Silla bar and restaurant on the way back out to the island!

Apparently, they serve the best Pina Colada for miles and miles!

Fly Fishing Cuba Cayo Coco

The aft of a moving boat wihere fishing rods are set up by the white railings on a bright sunny day, the sea behind the boat is beautifully greenish blue, and the sky light blue above.
You can go fishing for the day in this amazing scenery

Yes, you can go fly fishing in Cayo Coco. The island is home to an abundance of fish species, such as snapper, tarpon, and bonefish.

Fly fishing trips can be arranged for experienced fishermen or for those wishing to learn the sport. Book your deep sea fishing trip at your hotel, or ask them for help with your booking.

Experienced guides will take you to some of the best locations around both keys.

Cayo Coco Scuba Diving

Cayo Coco is a great starting point for scuba diving on various dive sites along the Jardines del Rey archipelago!

Check with your hotel to see if they arrange scuba diving trips. If not, they may refer you to organizers who can take you to the best spots.

Best Beaches In Cayo Coco

Stunning endless white sandy beaches surrounded by palm trees around Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo in Cuba.

Around the islands, both Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo, there are beaches to find “everywhere,” but here are two that are super popular and famous for their tropical Caribbean beauty.

Playa Prohibida

The charming and petite Playa Prohibida is just 300 meters long. This beach may be small in size, but it packs a punch in terms of natural beauty.

One of the highlights of Playa Prohibida is Lenny’s Bar. This popular restaurant seems to hit a soft spot with travelers and visitors judging from the overall really good reviews on TripAdvisor.

This eatery is renowned for mouth-watering lobster dishes that are prepared using only the freshest ingredients.

Weird fact: Lenny’s Bar is also famous for its unique collection of license plates from around the world, which adorn the walls of the restaurant and lend it a quirky and eclectic vibe!

Playa Flamenco

Playa Flamenco is a spectacular beach in Cayo Coco. It is just over a mile long, and bordering the sands are the two hotels, Memories Flamenco and Melia Jardines del Rey.

As there is no one else around for miles, this is as close to a private beach as you can get.

Plenty of activities are available; just ask your hotel to help you out and organize whatever you want to spend your day doing.

Cuba Holidays Cayo Coco: Where To Stay

Cayo Coco Holidays offers a variety of accommodation options ranging from small, family-run hotels to luxurious resorts from international hotel chains offering the best possible all-inclusive experience.

There is even a camping experience site in Cayo Coco for those looking for a more rustic experience.

This campsite gets a staggering two stars on TripAdvisor, so staying here would be for adventurous travelers who like to challenge their comfort zone.

Very few booking pages will offer stays at Cuban resorts due to trade restrictions and the US Cuba Restricted List.

As a non-US citizen, you can stay at any resort in Cuba, but you must make your booking directly with the hotel or hotel chain website.

Cayo Coco Resorts

Check out these resorts in Cayo Coco Cuba:

Sitio La Guira Hotel

Melia Jardines del Rey Hotel and Resort

Pullman Cayo Coco

Also, check TripAdvisor’s overview of resorts in Cayo Coco.

📍 Note that US citizens can not stay at resorts owned by the government in Cuba as regulated by the US Cuba Restricted List.

Resort Booking In Cayo Coco For Americans

If you are an American citizen, be advised that you are bound by the 12 pre-approved reasons to visit Cuba, as defined by the US Government, as well as the Cuba restricted list detailing where you can stay.

This list details which properties and hotels US citizens can not stay at, of which the Cuban state owns the majority. Most large all-inclusive resorts in Cuba fall under this category.

As a US citizen, you can find an American travel agency that specializes in Cuban travel from the US to research your hotel and resort options for legal Cuban travel.

Where To Eat Cayo Coco

There are mainly all-inclusive resorts all over Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo, and there is no town center or town at all where locals live on the islands.

However, if you want to step outside of your resort turf, there are a few independent restaurants listed, paladares, that you can try out if you get tired of the resort buffet.

Ranchon Playa Flamenco In Cayo Coco

Ranchon Playa Flamenco is an open and airy restaurant and bar right on the beach with a clear, relaxed beach vibe that receives mainly good reviews.

Amazing food and service

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A 10-minute walk down the beach from Memories Flamenco. Great food and very friendly service! Food, we had the lobster and the shrimp was cooked perfectly and super fresh. If you are looking for a change from the resort, definitely check this place out!
April 2022

Lenny’s Restaurant On Playa Prohibida

On the forbidden beach; Playa Prohibida, you find Lenny’s Restaurant, and you can “visit” yourself in the video below!

Ranchon Las Dunas

The Ranchon Las Dunas is an independent restaurant at Plata Mojito Beach on Cayo Coco, close to the hotels Tryp Cayo Coco and Mojito.

Great food and beautiful setting

5 star rating
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Great lobster, shrimp and fish dinner at a reasonable price, beautiful setting at Playa Prohibida. We took a taxi (1954 Chevrolet) from Melia Cayo Coco. Busy for dinner, but good service, great food, and fabulous sunset viewed from the open restaurant
RD Hiscott
April 2023

Shopping in Cayo Coco Cuba

Shopping in Cayo Coco Cuba, or shopping in Havana, or Cuba in general for that matter, is not really a “thing”.

The rule of thumb should be that you will NOT find what you need in Cuba, which is why I always recommend that when you visit – bring everything that you know you will need!

That includes travel pharmacy and medicine you normally or often use (you WILL NOT find normal painkillers in Cuba), cosmetics, and anything, really.

On Cayo Coco, there is a small shopping center, but do not expect it to be like anything you are used to. It is mainly filled with tourist stuff and Cuban memorabilia.

How To Get To Cayo Coco

You can fly directly to Cayo Coco Jardines Del Rey Airport with several international airlines.

If you arrive at a different destination in Cuba, there is no public transport that goes all the way out to Cayo Coco.

You can take the Viazul bus to Ciego de Avila, and take a taxi from there, which is around one and a half hours drive.

You can also book a taxi privado, or a taxi collectivo from wherever you are directly out to Cayo Coco. A taxi collectivo is a taxi that you share with other travelers, and you pay for your seat in the taxi.

The Smaller Cayo Guillermo In Cuba

Cayo Guillermo, connected to Cayo Coco, in Cuba. Stunning paradisiacal beach with light greenish blue water, white sand, and palm trees.

Cayo Guillermo is a lot smaller and less developed than neighboring Cayo Coco, making it a great option for those who prefer a quieter, more intimate vacation experience.

Despite its size, Cayo Guillermo still packs a punch when it comes to stunning natural beauty and exciting activities.

Accommodations on Cayo Guillermo are limited compared to other destinations, but the hotels here offer everything you need and more for a comfortable stay.

The properties are clustered along Playa El Paso, which means that you’re never far from the beach.

Hotels also offer on-site restaurants serving up fresh seafood and other local favorites, along with cold beer and tropical cocktails.

Things To Do In Cayo Guillermo

Kite surfing is one of the fun activities you can do in Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo in Cuba.

One of Cayo Guillermo’s biggest draws is its idyllic beach, Playa Pilar, which is perfect for lazy days in the Caribbean surf.

If you’re a fan of water sports, head to Playa El Paso, where you can paraglide or kite-surf to your heart’s content. It’s a popular spot for kite-surfing enthusiasts, and you’ll often see colorful kites bobbing atop the waves.

This stretch of white sand is nestled against rolling sand dunes, providing a picturesque backdrop for sunbathing, swimming, and beachcombing.

Playa Pilar On Cayo Guillermo

Widely regarded as one of the Caribbean’s most stunning beaches, Playa Pilar is situated on the northwestern tip of Cayo Guillermo, a short bridge away from Cayo Coco.

Here, you have uninterrupted views of the turquoise sea and can marvel at the small but picturesque Cayo Media Luna, located just two kilometers offshore.

Playa Pilar is roughly one kilometer long and boasts powdery, ultra-white sand that feels impossibly soft to the touch.

The shallow, calm waters that lap at its shores are perfect for swimming and water sports of all kinds.

You can also spot quite a lot of exotic wildlife around here, like the famous pink flamingos and iguanas in the nearby mangrove swamps!

Other Stunning Cuban Keys

Although most people think of Cuba as an island, Cuba is also an archipelago consisting of more than 4000 little islands.

The two biggest are the main island of Cuba and Isla de Juventud. Outside the northern coast east of Havana, there are paradisiacal Cuban keys like Cayo Coco, Cayo Santa Maria, and Cayo Ensenachos.

The Colorados Archipelago, situated off Cuba’s north coast in the far west, is a breathtaking cluster of much smaller Cayos that also attract tourists from all over the world.

Of these stunning islands, Cayo Levisa stands apart as the only island with fully equipped and well-furnished accommodations for tourists.

Another noteworthy island in the Colorados Archipelago is Cayo Jutias, which is connected to the mainland by a short but scenic causeway.

This beautiful island, with its serene beaches and crystal-clear waters, is an extremely popular day trip destination for visitors to Vinales.

Tourists flock to Cayo Jutias to soak in the stunning natural beauty of the island, engage in water sports, or simply lounge on the pristine beaches and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

FAQs Cayo Coco & Cuba

What Is Nicer Varadero Or Cayo Coco?

Well, the beaches and Caribbean ambiance are beautiful both in Varadero and Cayo Coco (and Cayo Guillermo, which is basically the same place).

The difference between Varadero and Cayo Coco is that Varadero is on a peninsula connected to the main island of Cuba, around two to three hours east of Havana.

Cayo Coco is an island further east that is connected to the main island of Cuba by a long causeway, far from most other Cuban destinations.

This makes it less accessible and a more difficult starting point for day trips to any other famous Cuban places that you might want to visit.

How Far From Cayo Coco Cuba To Havana?

The distance from Cayo Coco to Havana is just over 500 kilometers, and it will take around six and a half hours to drive in a car.

There are no buses or public transportation directly between Havana and Cayo Coco. To travel directly between the two destinations, you would need to book a private taxi or collectivo.

Is It Safe To Travel To Cayo Coco In Cuba Now?

Yes, it is safe to travel to Cayo Coco in Cuba now. The island is solely a tourist zone with hotels and resorts with high levels of security.

Does Cayo Coco Hava A Town?

No, there is no town or local community on Cayo Coco or Cayo Guillermo Cuba.

Why Is Cayo Coco Famous?

Cayo Coco is known for being a hotel and resort zone where tourists can travel for a luxurious holiday in one of the all-inclusive resorts on the island.

It is also known for being close to the Jardines del Rey, which is part of the larger archipelago called Sabana-Camaguey, with an amazing variety of marine life and a great place for snorkeling, deep-sea fishing, or scuba diving!

Why are US citizens not allowed to travel to Cuba?

This is NOT correct. US citizens ARE ALLOWED to travel to Cuba.

Americans can choose a reason for Cuba travel among 12 pre-approved reasons for traveling to Cuba, determined by the US government.

Can US citizens travel to Cuba as a tourist?

Technically, US citizens are NOT allowed to travel to Cuba as a tourist.

Americans choose between 12 pre-approved reasons for Cuba travel, among which the most common one is “to help the Cuban people”.

American citizens still need to buy a tourist card, also called a tourist visa, to enter Cuba.

What are the 12 requirements to travel to Cuba?

You can read about the 12 pre-approved reasons to travel to Cuba for US citizens here.

The easiest and most common reason for Cuba travel is “to help the Cuban people.” There is no paperwork or application process connected to this; you just choose your reason and state that reason if anyone asks.

What happens if a US citizen travels to Cuba?

Nothing happens if a US citizen travels to Cuba apart from hopefully, the US citizen will have a fabulous holiday and encounter Cuban culture.

US citizens need to choose one of the pre-approved reasons to travel to Cuba and need to buy the PINK Cuban tourist card, also called a tourist visa.

Selected airlines sell this visa/tourist card, or you can buy one online.

What documents do I need to travel to Cuba?

You need the following documents to travel to Cuba:

Do Americans need to be vaccinated to enter Cuba?

No, specific vaccines are not required before entering Cuba. Your country’s health department probably has recommendations for what vaccines you should consider.

How Do I get a tourist card for Cuba?

You can buy a tourist card online from Easy Tourist Card, or from the Cuban embassy in your country.

You might also be able to buy a Cuban tourist card from your airline or at the airport prior to departure.

A tourist card can be bought at Miami International Airport’s check-in counter for American Airlines and Delta Airlines.

How Do I Get A Tourist Visa For Cuba?

A tourist visa is the same as a tourist card for Cuba. You can buy it from the following places:

  • Buy one online from Easy Tourist Card
  • Buy one from your airline if they offer this
  • Buy one at the airport of departure if they offer this
  • Buy one from the Cuban Embassy in your country

Is Travel To Cuba Allowed Right Now?

Yes, Cuba travel is allowed right now.

American citizens must choose one of the 12 pre-approved reasons for traveling to Cuba (Americans can not travel as “tourists”) and follow some simple guidelines for traveling in Cuba.

Wrap-Up Cuba Holidays Cayo Coco

Of all the Cuban destinations, Cayo Coco in Cuba is the perfect place for anyone who loves the Caribbean vibe, beach lounging and hotel pools, snorkeling, and, in short, a luxurious, done-for-you pampering holiday.

This is what you should expect on Cayo Coco, where you are “miles from anything else.” Day trips are a minimum of one hour away, and many famous and popular Cuban sights and destinations are not within day-trip distance.

But Cayo Coco is a perfect place to wind down and recharge!

Related blog posts:

Sensational 7 Days In Cuba Itinerary By A Local

How to travel to Cuba: Must-know Tips From An Expert

Awesome Action Packed Two Day Tour In Cuba!

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