|Cayo Largo ...
is a small key located at the southeastern end of the Canarreos archipelago (which belongs to Cuba). The islet is approximately 80 kms south of the main island of Cuba (177 kilometers from Havana and 140 from Nueva Gerona).
This small limestone island is 28 kms long and no more than 3 kms wide. Fine white sand beaches stretch out along the south coastline for more than 20 km. The north coast is mostly mangroves and salt pans.
Cayo Largo has no permanent inhabitants (except for birds and iguanas of course! :-) Cubans come to Cayo Largo only to work in the hotels.
They work for 20 continuous days and then go back to their families at Isla de la Juventud (Island of Youth), or other cities on the main Island of Cuba, for the rest of the month.
While in Cayo Largo, they live in small apartments located in the only village on the island called « Isla del Sol » where the marina is located as well as Restaurants, turtle farm, dive center, polyclinic, etc. Cayo Largo has a modern international airport where large aircraft can now land directly. The name of the airport is: Vilo Acuña.
Click HERE to know more about Cayo Largo airport (CYO).
History of Cayo Largo ...
Cayo Largo was the place chosen by pirates and corsairs for short stays and to hide the treasures conquered or ransacked during their adventures across seas and cities. One of those pirates erected a cross on the coast of Cayo Largo as a symbol of conquest and enforcement of their customs and habits.
Years later, slaves running away from Spanish colonialism chose the most inhospitable places to escape from punishment. A group of slaves ran away from the sugar cane plantations in Matanzas Province to Ciénaga de Zapata.
Later on, they sailed south on canoes and found this part of the land. Walking around the island, where Playa Blanca is today, they found a cross to which they offered a religious ceremony, blessing it with the rites of their gods, resulting from religious syncretism.
They assigned the duty to protect this land to the cross. This epic went further beyond the island borders and in 1961, at the start- up of the construction of the hotel Isla del Sur, the cross was transferred to the place where it is today. From there, it safeguards this land blessed by nature.
The founders of this tourist area say that this cross must not be touched and even less, taken down. There is much talking about its legends, but nobody dares to dispute that it has accomplished the task given by the orishas.
The Hotels are all located within a 5-kilometer stretch of the south coastline. The rest of the island is undeveloped and virgin. There is only one main paved road, which connects the village (marina), the airport and the hotel zone. There are also a few small side roads, but they’re mostly sandy trails.
Note that all hotels are located within 10 minutes of the airport.
To discover this small island the best way is to rent a Jeep or a scooter for a day. Visit the Transportation section to learn more about all kinds of transportation available.
General informations about Cayo Largo ...
Gran Caribe Italian Club:
(Isla del Sur, Villa Coral, Villa Soledad, Villa Lindamar)
In the rooms: 220 Volts & 110 Volts
Inthe bathroom: 110 Volts
Sol Cayo Largo and Hotel Olé Playa Blanca:
In the rooms: 220 Volts, in the bathrooms: 110 and 220 Volts (bathroom outlet is for low-wattage appliances only such as an electric shaver)
The sockets can accept both flat and round pins.
The airport in Cayo Largo (CYO) is called Vilo Acuña and is located less than 10 minutes from the hotel zone. It’s the second longest landing strip in Cuba after the airport Jose Marti in Havana. Large aircraft such as Boeing 747 or Airbus 330 may land in Cayo Largo. After Customs (on departure), you can find a bar (drinks & snacks), a souvenirs shop (coffee, rum, etc.), bathrooms, etc.
The airport is air-conditioned. The airport and the Tour Operator representatives offer a VIP service for 20 CUC per person, it includes a private transfer, priority check-in, private air-conditioned lounge with more comfortable couches and armchairs , open bar, snacks). This VIP service can be booked and paid only at destination anytime before your return flight.
There are direct flights to Cayo Largo from Canada, Italy and Argentina.
Rum (Havana Club is the most well-known brand), hand-made cigars, CDs of Cuban music, coffee (Cubita is the most popular brand), handicrafts, etc. Cayo Largo is NOT a shopper’s paradise but there are a few small boutiques on the island.
They open from 9h to 21h.
Tienda Sol Cayo Largo (phone: 24 8122)
Tienda Sol Pelicano (phone: 24 8124)
Tienda Isla del Sur (phone: 24 8123)
Tienda Olé Playa Blanca(phone: 24 8121)
Tienda Bucanero (village) (phone: 24 8131)
Tienda Playa Sirena (phone: )
Tienda Airport (phone: 24 8125)
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