Guide to the Cuban Islands
Everyone knows Cuba as the only tropical island "socialism, cigars and hot salsa." However, a part of the country includes many smaller islands of the archipelago nearby. They are often left out of the attention of tourists, but in vain - each of them has its own unique features and interesting to visit.
When planning a trip should take into account the time of year and climate - though Cuba always hot, the temperature varies depending on the time of year. Thus, the average January temperature - 19-20 ° C heat, and in July - 30-35 ° C heat. It is not necessary to go to the island in September and October, because this is the season of storms and tsunamis. The dry season lasts from September to April, the rainy season - from May to October. The water temperature does not drop below 25 ° C throughout the year, which gives a special charm of relaxing on the beach and snorkeling.
Juventud translated from Spanish as "youth". This island - the largest after Cuba itself. Many believe that he is described in the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson's "Treasure Island". The place is famous for its fantastic scenery, beautiful beaches with white sand and clear blue water. There is a nature reserve and national park of Punta Frances - some of the best places for diving in the region. There, under the water, you will find all sorts of caves and coral reefs, an incredible variety of tropical marine life, and in the Los Barcos-Undidos even found remains of sunken ships.
If the machine (or better a scooter) to go to the south-east of the island's capital, Nueva Gerona, you can explore caves with cave paintings dating from the I century BC. e. (Cueva Punta del Este). Also on the island is a crocodile farm where you can feed the reptiles. Flight from Havana Cuban capital costs approximately $ 60 and lasts about 45 minutes. The island is also possible to get a $ 10-20 from the bay Batabanó that about an hour drive from Havana. In this case, you will be spectacular diving in the Caribbean on a catamaran. The path will take about three hours.
Cayo Largo - a small island, about 30 km in length. There are no permanent residents, not counting the Cubans that work with tourists in the small village of Isla del Sol. Cayo Largo has several hotels and beautiful white sand beaches on the southern side of the island. The island passes only one paved road, from which depart in opposite directions primer. Where you just need to rent a jeep or a scooter or a bike and take a ride around the neighborhood. On the island lives a huge number of colorful birds and iguanas, and sea views and surrounded by tropical greenery, just fascinating. Off the coast of Cayo Largo is also a picturesque coral reef - a paradise for diving enthusiasts.
There Vilo Acuña International Airport, which can accommodate larger planes. Flight from Havana costs around $ 50.
Cayo Coco Cuba declared a national nature reserve. Here you can see the unspoiled flora and fauna, such as pink flamingos and ibises (coco, as they are called here; in fact, in honor of ibises island and named). But most importantly, on Cayo Coco, you can settle down: There are excellent hotels, working on the system all inclusive. It offers guests massages, spa treatments, diving tours, and 26 kilometers of white beaches. The island is part of the famous coral reef Jardines del Rey ( "royal gardens"), named after the Spanish conquistadors in the King Fernando. In the XVI century, the island was a haven for pirates and illegal traffickers.
You can get there by car from most of Havana on the 30-kilometer dike overlooking the sea. Only way out here - it's an adventure.
Cayo Santa Maria
Imagine a white sandy beach, a beautiful garden, bright rooms and a luxury spa. Such conditions are waiting for tourists in these hotels. Cayo Santa Maria - a very small island length of 13 km and a width of not more than 2 km. In addition to a beach holiday to visit the local villages. Caibarién - a small fishing village, where you can taste tilapia, bonefish, tarpon and lobster; Remedios transmits a distinctive atmosphere Cuba; Pueblo la Estreya was built a few years ago specifically for the entertainment of tourists (here you will find souvenir shops, bars and restaurants).
If you want to visit the paradise of Cuba, then wander down to the nearby island of Cayo Ensenachos. You will find yourself in a quiet lagoon, surrounded by palm trees, where the crystal clear water is always in complete calm (as surrounded by coral reefs), and rustling underfoot white fine sand.
Moozhno be reached by car along the scenic dam, also called Pedraplen, from the island of Cayo Coco, or fly from Havana to a small airport at Las Brujas Airport, a 15-minute drive from Cayo Santa Maria.
It will be difficult to find locals here sooner you meet tourists from all over the world. Until 1993, the Cubans here was officially denied entry to those not infected with harmful for socialist society bourgeois ideas. Miniature island, 13 km area, it is only three beaches. The most famous - Playa Pilar with white fine sand and calm turquoise harbor. It is considered the best beach on the whole Cuba. It was named in honor of Ernest Hemingway's yacht "Pilar", because this is where the famous writer loved to fish. Cayo Guillermo also inspired him to describe the nature of the novel "The stream". Here arrange exciting show with sharks in the middle of "Abalone". The greater part of Cayo Guillermo are not settled, and each camper can enjoy walks in the wild - the beaches and mangroves, populated by tropical birds.
You can get there by car along the causeway that runs from the main island of Cuba through Cayo Coco and comes to Cayo Guillermo. Way from Havana to the island takes about six hours. You can also fly from Havana Airport Jardines del Rey on the island of Cayo Coco, that will take no more than an hour.
Cayo Cayo Guajaba
Cayo Cayo Guajaba covers an area of 107 km2. The island is famous for its mangrove forests, beautiful beaches and a variety of wildlife. It is worth visiting the mountains of Los Hornos, in the center of the island. There you can take a walk through the rainforest with tall palm trees, breadfruit trees and swim in the beautiful waterfall with a refreshing cool water. And in the lagoon del Hato, in the south of the island, if you're lucky, you can see flocks of pink flamingos. In the north of the island has lovely beaches - if you drive around the island by car, you will not miss them. On Cayo Cayo Guajaba are more than 200 hotels, among them you can definitely pick up something to your liking. This is one of the closest islands to Cuba itself, and can be reached by a causeway. Way by car from Havana takes about five hours. When driving, be careful and do not be surprised to cows on the road, because the road passes through extensive farming.
Cayo Romano - the island area of 777 km2 - is part of the archipelago Sabana-Camagüey. Located in the northern part of Cuba and is the largest reef of the archipelago. Amazing nature draws on the territory of a large number of tourists, despite the fact that the Cayo Romano is not as well developed as the Cayo Guillermo and Cayo Coco in terms of infrastructure. The island is also famous for its large deserted beaches with fine sand, all of which are close to the road. Hotels and tourist centers offer equipment for kite surfing, windsurfing and scuba diving, you can also hire an instructor if necessary. The island is popular with fishing enthusiasts: Although commercial fishing is prohibited, but everything is made for tourism. Here, the following catch edible fish species: bonefish, the permit, tarpon, big snapper, snook and barracuda. Some fish reach a length of 1, 5 m - the dream of fishing!
How to get there: from Cayo Coco on the machine and on the dam.
Cayo Sabinal - the southernmost island in the Jardines del Rey, located on an area of 335 km2. Originally we lived natives, and later - pirates and Spanish miners. There are many hotels, where you will surely find accommodation, if you want to stay here for a few days. It is worth to visit the most beautiful local beach called Playa los Pinos. In the east of the island there is a beautiful XIX century lighthouse Foro Colon, where you can even spend the night to allow for a small fee. A little further there are small ruins of San Hilario, which was built during independence (1868-1878) the first Cuban war. Also on the island are many wild deserted beaches, where you can place a tent and cook food on a fire. There are a huge variety of wildlife: deer inhabit, the most numerous population of flamingos in Cuba and four species of sea turtles. From Camagüey by car can be reached by road from the dead corals, but keep in mind that it is not too good and not an SUV you can not do. At the checkpoint need a passport.