Cuba, a tourist attraction par excellence, has expanded its offers beyond its limits by adding unexplored islets and keys for the enjoyment of vacationers.
North of the Cuban eastern province of Ciego de Avila is one of the fastest-growing destinations in the Island's tourist sector, the Jardines del Rey (King's Gardens) archipelago.
According to legend, the exuberant nature of such islets as Cayo Coco, Cayo Guillermo and Paredón Grande led Conquistador Diego Velázquez to name that region in honor of Spanish
King Fernando the Catholic.
The region's tourist infrastructure has grown dynamically, and the sector's main target is to build more than 20,000 rooms, in addition to a modern airport, ports, nautical bases, natural parks and, of course, to implement ecotourism programs.
Jardines del Rey's closeness to a 400-kilometer coral reef, considered the second largest in the world - after the one in Australia, gives a touch of class to the region's tourist offer, with a wide range of diving activities in warm and crystal-clear waters.
Many colonies of flamingos and other migratory birds choose the aforementioned islets to nest in winter, a condition that has been preserved while building a tourist infrastructure that respects the natural environment in the first place.
The region's major key, Cayo Coco, is the fourth largest islet in the Cuban archipelago, covering an area of 370 square kilometers, including 22 kilometers of excellent beaches, complemented by mangrove vegetation and coconut trees.
Among Cayo Coco's beaches stand out Las Coloradas, Jaula and Flamenco, where vacationers can go diving and enjoy the breathtakingly-beautiful sea bottoms, which are populated by a wide range of plant and animal species.
The name of Cayo Coco comes from the presence of White Ibis - popularly known as Coco (coconut) birds - which adorn the islet with their bright colors.
Some 200 animal species live on the islet, including birds and reptiles like iguanas, as well as more than 360 plant species, many of which are endemic.
Cayo Coco offers first-class hotels, artificial lakes, swimming pools, entertainment and services in an environment that has barely been altered by human action, guaranteeing an unforgettable stay.
The islet is separated from mainland by a causeway that begins in Turiguanó, which is north of Ciego de Avila and is famous for its lagoons, where trout fishing and beautiful rural landscapes are the main attractions for tourists.