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Where is Cayo Coco Cuba?

Where is Cayo Coco

The island of Cayo Coco has an area of 370 km2, the second largest in the Jardines del Rey Archipelago after its neighbor Cayo Romano with its 777 km2. They are part of a group of several islands on Cuba’s north central coast called Jardines del Rey or King’s Gardens in English.

About 20km from Cuba’s north coast, in the Atlantic Ocean, the whole archipelago where Cayo Coco is located includes over 2,500 islands and islets spanning the two provinces of Ciego de Avila and Camaguey.

Where is Cayo Coco Cuba

The islands of the Jardines del Rey first saw tourist development in the 1990s, Cayo Guillermo in 1992, with the opening of the Hotel Gran Caribe Club Villa Cojimar, followed by the first resort called Guitart Cayo Coco (now the Hotel Colonial) opened in 1993 on the neighboring island Cayo Coco.

At the time, there was no international airport on any of the islands. Tourists would fly into the Maximo Gomez airport located in the capital of Ciego de Avila. The construction of the pedraplen causeway from the mainland began in 1988, its 27kms (16 miles) length connecting Cayo Coco to the mainland of Cuba was concluded in just 3 years and, with it began the meteoric era of tourism on both islands in the King’s Gardens. A seven kilometers causeway, which ends with a 1.5 km bridge, was built to connect Cayo Coco with Cayo Guillermo.

Road to Cayo Coco

Cayo Coco is 506km (314 miles) from Havana. Varadero is 466 km (289 miles) from Cayo Coco, whereas the closest cities to Cayo Coco are Ciego De Avila (population of 86,100) at 101km (62 miles) and Moron (population of 60,600) 62 km (38 miles). Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo are just 30km apart and are connected by the aforementioned causeway.

Even though there are no direct flights, to give an idea of just how close Jardines del Rey in Cuba is to The Bahamas, the Clarence A. Bain Airport (MAY) in the Bahamas is just 214 km (132 miles) from Jardines del Rey International Airport – Cayo Coco, Cuba (CCC).

With regard to the United States of America, Key West Florida is just 261 miles (420 kilometers) by flight from Cayo Coco, Jardines del Rey.

Melia Jardines del Rey | Cayo Coco | New Hotel 2014


Set to open in November 2014 is the brand new Hotel Melia Jardines del Rey in Cayo Coco. The 5 star hotel is said to have 624 rooms and is located on the west coast of the famous Jardines del Rey Island. Above is the only rendering released thus far and it appears to show a suit with a private pool. The naming of the hotel follows Melia’s evident force in Cuba, in which the Cuban tourism ministry allows this immensely powerful hotel chain to utilize geographic names for its Hotels. This began with the Melia Varadero in the 1990s and has extended right through the companies impressive 27 hotels in Cuba.

The new Melia Jardines del Rey hotel will feature a spa, tennis courts, fitness gym, Spa & Wellness center and, both salt and freshwater pools. The property is to have a large shopping complex annex, similar to the Pueblo Las Dunas in Cayo Santa Maria. The marketing teams at Melia Cuba have seen incremental growth in reservations when visitors to their shopping centers get a sneak peek at their associated hotel, a wise strategy for clawing reservations from other hotel chains in the same vicinity. The new Melia Jardines del Rey Hotel will follow this trend with over 30 shops and 4 (payable) restaurants in the shopping mall.

Guests at Melia Jardines del Rey will also benefit from up to 2 free daytime resort passes to allow guests to visit the chains Cayo Guillermo based hotels and sample restaurants, beaches and services on this neighboring island. This resort pass system was started by Melia Cuba in 2003 and has since been copied by most major chains operating in Cuba’s glorious “Cayo” destinations.

As soon as the hotel Melia Jardines del Rey is available for booking it will appear amongst the hotels at the below reservation link. Be the first to stay at the hotel for the 2014 winter season!

Cayo Coco Cuba hotel Reservations

Horseback Riding Tour Cayo Coco

horseback riding Cayo Coco

The Horseback riding tour in Cayo Coco is ideal for both novices and seasoned riders. There’s no galloping to speak of and the whole trip is taken at a trotting pace. At the beginning of the trip you sort of wonder what’s going on, you’re on this nondescript gravel dirt track behind the resorts, with little to see but mangroves either side. Then after about 20 minutes a beautiful private beach appears in the distance, this being your final destination. Once at the beach you stop at a thatched open-roofed restaurant when you are serenaded by two local singers-guitarists while eating a freshly cooked meal of either lobster tails or grilled chicken. The food is really good and the drinks are free. The Cuban lobster tail we got would have been a 90$ meal back home and, we were told that the lobsters are caught by hand, right there on the spot, a few hours before you arrive.

Cayo Coco horseback riding

The excursion team is very friendly and make for great hosts as your time here flies by in this idyllic wonderful setting. Probably the best part of this Cayo Coco Horseback riding tour is the leisurely trot back with the amazing sunset as a backdrop, riding home this time on a different route back, along the virgin beaches in front on the resorts. It will be an experience that will stay with you for the rest of your life and some photos you will truly treasure in the future. Please don’t miss this if possible.

Price: Basic 3 hours Tour without a meal 10 CUC (kids 5 CUC) – Full Tour 5 hours with meal 23 CUC (Kids 11 CUC)

Catamaran Seafari Excursion Cayo Coco

Cayo Coco Catamaran Excursion

The Cayo Coco Catamaran Excursion is a blast! The tour takes you out to two pristine beaches near the lighthouse, snorkeling is fantastic at any location, but here you really get to dive in just above the reefs instead of swimming out to them.  The water is extremely shallow which means that wandering back to shore and the beaches is a synch, as you walk by starfish and colorful on your way to the secluded virgin beaches. There are three distinct Cayo Coco Catamaran offers available:

Catamaran Excursion Cayo Coco

Half Day Catamaran Seafari – 49 CUC

As the title says, this is a morning Catamaran excursion which ends at around midday, so you’ll be out at sea for about 2.5 – 3 hours. It does not include lunch but, onboard drinks are free. This half day Cayo Coco Catamaran version is better for those who simply wish to snorkel for an hour or two then return to shore.

Full Day Catamaran Seafari – 75 CUC

This Cayo Coco Catamaran cruise includes a succulent lobster dinner, plenty of snorkeling and about 2 hours to either spend at the virgin beaches or more time snorkeling. As with the half day tour, the drinks are included. It’s highly advisable to bring plenty of sunscreen as there is no below deck areas on these Catamaran vessels and 6 hours on the open sea means lots of sun.

Moonlight “Booze Cruise” – 79 CUC

With more of a focus on drinking and partying, it’s a truly unique experience see the stars in the night sky and the lights along the coastline. The Moonlight cruise includes dinner, music & dancing and lashings of alcohol all included in the price! These vessels are extremely stable so dancing on deck is pretty easy and lots of fun. Of course, there’s the impromptu ducking of friends and jumping overboard.


Tips: Take a ziplock bag for your camera as you’ll be wading from the boat to the beach. Plenty of sunscreen. Butter & Garlic butter for the lobster (there’s non onboard the Cayo Coco Catamaran boats)

Visit Cayo Guillermo from Cayo Coco

cayo guillermo cuba

Many of the hotels in Cayo Coco offer day passes to visit hotels in Cayo Guillermo. These passes can range from being entirely free, where you simply use the all-inclusive services at the chains other hotels in Cayo Guillermo, to having a cost between 25-40 CUC. One recent example is Sol Melia offering its guests free use of their hotels in either resort. The best way to find out is to email the hotel before booking and, if you say that you have not yet booked, it could be that they offer you an email reply in which they approve this free option. One of the main reasons visitors to Cayo Coco wish to visit Cayo Guillermo is the Playa Pilar 5km beach, named after Ernest Hemingway‘s yacht, the cabin cruiser Pilar. The island provides the setting for the climax of Hemingway’s last novel, Islands in the Stream.

Playa Pilar Cayo Guillermo

In reality, not much different to the beaches in Cayo Coco, this beach does have a longer extension with a vaster visual appearance due to its length. Getting to Cayo Guillermo from Cayo Coco will set you back around 25 CUC in a private taxi which of course, would then be divided between the occupants. Or alternatively there is a 5 CUC per person shuttle bus service which is every half an hour.