Cayo Coco is a beautiful tropical island in the archipelago of Jardines del Rey located off the central northern coast of Cuba. Jardines del Rey (meaning gardens of the king) was named in honor of Ferdinand II of Aragon. The archipelago grew on the reef system that runs along the coast of Cuba for 120 miles between the Atlantic Ocean, the Bay of Buena Vista and Bay of Jiguey. Jardines del Rey, itself part of the larger Sabana-Camaguey Archipelago, is comprised of some truly beautiful cays and islands like Cayo Coco, Cayo Guillermo, Cayo Romano, Cayo Santa Maria and more.
Cayo Coco- Flying In and Simply Being
Cayo Coco is your first stop if you fly in as the Jardines del Rey Airport is located on this resort island. Many foreign tourists and travelers spend a long part of their holidays at Cayo Coco.
The name Cayo Coco comes from the white ibis that flock this part of the archipelago. Locally, these birds are called coco (coconut) birds. During the colonial period, this cay was a small and serene settlement for fishermen and charcoal producers and used as a hideout and refuge by pirates. Although it has been long since then, Cayo Coco is still the perfect place if you want to escape and simply hideout from the routine and stress and revel in the pleasure of doing nothing and simply being.
Long white sand beaches, the crystal clear and calm waters and the natural surroundings attract hundreds of travelers to Cayo Coco. The place has an ‘away from it all ‘vibe. You can take long and relaxing strolls beside the gentle waves and gorge on simple yet incredibly tasty Cuban cuisine.
Scuba Diving: Coral Reef, Shipwrecks and Underwater Caves Exploration
As much as Cayo Coco is popular for its serene atmosphere and turquoise waters, scuba diving off the islands is another prime attraction for tourists. The Jardines del Rey archipelago offers some great scuba diving experiences and is known for its diverse and quality dive sites.
You can opt for various kinds of dives at different depths and choose between day and night dives. Cayo Coco diving excursions include shipwrecks, caves and coral reef explorations. Both beginners and diving enthusiasts have much on offer from the Jardines del Rey dive sites.
The Natural Experience in Cayo Coco
The pristine beaches in Cayo Coco are all located towards the northern end of the island. While many of these are resort beaches, you can find isolated spots in plenty when you want to experience the sea and the beach in isolation. You are allowed to roam and tan topless on the beaches and resort pools at Cayo Coco, so that’s another excuse to hit the tropics!
Swimming in the waters of Cayo Coco is a pleasurable experience. The waters are calm and the slopes are gentle. Besides, most Cayo Coco resorts have private pools which offer water sports and other fun activities.
If you are flying in, then you can land on the island itself as Cayo Coco has an international airport. Other than that, this idyllic island is connected to mainland Cuba by a 27-kilometer long causeway, of which 17 kilometers run through the sea. The drive is beautiful as you cross as many as 14 bridges before you reach the Cayo Coco.
Language and Food in Cayo Coco
You can expect to be understood in English in all the resorts at Cayo Coco. If you want to interact with locals, you may need some basic knowledge of Spanish.
Cuban food is a beautiful buffet of fruits, vegetables, seafood, pork and chicken. If you have a palette for spicy food, it is advisable to carry some seasonings and Tabasco as the food served, though incredibly tasty, is generally a little on the bland side.
Expect to have a lot of amazing lobster dishes!
Excursions and Places to Visit from Cayo Coco
Cayo Santa Maria and Cayo Guillermo are two other popular islands in the neighborhood of Cayo Coco. Café Guillermo which is reachable from Cayo Coco via a 7-kilometer long causeway. This road offers a scenic drive and some sudden encounters with cows. Playa Pilar is another favorite destination from Cayo Coco as it is renowned as one of the most beautiful beaches in Cuba. Nautical catamaran excursions and scuba diving expeditions are other popular activities. You can also rent a scooter and explore the island if you are feeling adventurous.
Experience the Beauty of the Atlantic in Cayo Coco
Unwinding in the soft sandy beaches of Coco, wading through the sea to visit tiny islets, sunbathing in isolated beaches- all this and so much more you can experience in Jardines del Rey. The all-inclusive resort island of Cayo Coco offers an immersive experience into the Atlantic atmosphere. For rejuvenating holidays in Cuba, Cayo Coco is a great bet.