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Cayo Largo del Sur: Tourism in the Caribbean

Cuba, which offers a wide range of tourist and recreational options, benefits from the attractions of dozens of keys that make up the Cuban Archipelago.

Visitors' interest in new offers has led Cuban tourism authorities to focus on destinations like Cayo Largo del Sur, a 37-square-kilometer islet in the western tip of Los Canarreos Archipelago.

Its name results from its long shape. According to history, the key was visited by Admiral Christopher Columbus during his second voyage to Cuba in 1494.

Cayo Largo del Sur is 135 kilometers from Nueva Gerona (Isla de la Juventud – Isle of Youth) and 125 kilometers from Cienfuegos. Its only neighbors are Cayo Rico, Cayo Cantiles and Cayo Iguana, whose natural beauty is unique.

For tourism, Cayo Largo del Sur has 24 kilometers of excellent beaches of fine white sand that prevent excessive heat, due to the chemical origin of the sand. The beaches are excellent for outdoor recreation and nautical sports.

One of Cayo Largo del Sur's beaches is Sirena, which is considered the most beautiful and whose location protects it from strong winds and waves.

Excursion to Cayo Iguana.
Pier on Cayo Iguana.

The longest beach is Playa Blanca and the shortest one is Lindamar, which are in a shell-shape area surrounded by white rocks.

Playa Luna, of calms waters and dunes that descend in an underwater slope; Tortugas and Playa Cocos, the latter takes its name from the several coconut trees that provide shadow to bathers, are also part of Cayo Largo del Sur.

Of course, there are first-class hotels that welcome visitors, including Sol Club Cayo Largo, with air-conditioned rooms and facilities to practice nautical sports at the beach.

Other hotels are the 300-room Sol Pelícano and Isla del Sur, which is the oldest on Cayo Largo del Sur, in addition to the villages Lindamar, Soledad and Coral.

Also on the islet is Granja de las Tortugas (Turtles' Farm), which is part of natural preservation and protection programs.

That way, three kinds of marine turtles (green, doggerhead and hawksbill) choose the beaches of Cayo Largo del Sur to lay their eggs every year, so the farm takes care of the eggs and protects their offsprings until they are ready to return to their natural habitat.

Cayo Largo del Sur's tourist offers also include the services provided by marinas and diving centers, which are equipped to guide tourists to enjoy the breath-taking sea bottoms that surround the key.

The region is characterized by the well preservation of the natural environment, where coral reefs invite tourists to scuba dive and snorkel.

The islet was also a witness of the activities of corsairs and pirates, who left their imprint in the remains of ancient sunken ships.

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