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History of cayolargo.net

It is in March 1999, we first discovered Cayo Largo, after we heard comments from people who had fallen in love with this small Cuban paradise. In fact, it is after our first « Au Natural » experience at St-Martin in the French Caribbean during a cruise. Consequently, we sought a pretty beach where it was possible to tan in the « au natural » in a down-to-earth place which is not commercial.

In 1999,it was different from now because at that time, it was the concept « todo incluido » the island all-inclusive! It was possible to eat and drink at all the hotels of the island (in 1999, there were Pelicano, Villa Lindamar, Villa Coral, Isla del Sur, Villa Iguana and the Villa Caprichio). You select the hotel, and then you enjoy services throughout the island.

We fell in love with this small paradise of virgin beaches and the bohemian environment which reigned there. We went back in December 1999 with our first digital camera Kodak DC-210+ with an aim of taking photos of beaches, hotels, excursions, services, etc in the intent to build a website about this destination of Cuba. That was not our first website, but surely the most popular by far.

Many accustomed tourists saw with an evil eye our initiative to put on the web a site about this destination that they would have so much liked to remain secret! However, as the Internet was in full rise, one day or another, there would have been a site on the destination.

We judged that it was important to « WELL » informed people about what really is Cayo Largo and thus to avoid tourists searching for « party or ole ole » destination to go to Cayo Largo. We sincerely believed to have informed tourists about Cayo Largo.

What will be the future of Cayo Largo?

Quite hard to answer! Many factors are in stakes. There were few projects in past years like the « Bucanero I, II and III » hotels located in the east beaches (Playa Blanca), but never started except for the Barceló which took many years to complete. A Canadian consortium had (or have) a project for a luxury hotel with a golf course... Hard to imagine a golf course in such dry environment?????, We did not hear of this project for quite long time.

For the last years, we heard of investors from Qatar for a 5-stars hotel located in the most stable beach of Cayo Largo, Punta mal Tiempo. This project of $70 millions dollars with Gran Caribe consists of a 200-bedroom hotel and 60 deluxe villas is quite real, according to these sources...

  • Havana Journal of October 7th, 2008: http://havanajournal.com
  • Granma of November 8th, 2008: http://www.granmai.cubasi.cu/
  • arabianbusiness.com of April 29th, 2009: http://www.arabianbusiness.com
  • November 23rd, 2010
    Here is the information we received about this project ...

    After eight attempts .. plans for the new hotel have been approved! Cabins for construction workers will be built between August and November 2011. Then the construction of the hotel will start over a period of approximately 18 months.

    » Design is made by South Africans
    » The construction will be made by Brazil-Canada
    » The hotel will be managed by the Germans
    » Finally, Qatar will ultimately pay the bill!

    There is no question Cuba will discriminate employees working in this hotel or the hotel would be reserved only for people of Qatar.


    Will Cayo Largo stay like it is now for long? Do the hurricanes will discourage investors to build new hotels? Many questions and unfortunately few answers.
    However, only one conclusion... enjoy now, do not wait!



    History of www.cayolargo.net

    The original version (2000 @ 2002)

    On December 2000, we put online our first bulletin board.

    The adventure began!

    The second version (2002 @ 2006)

    It is the time of the great disaster caused by Hurricane Michelle in November 2001.

    The Villa Caprichio and Iguana are gone!

    The third version (2006 @ 2008)

    We decided to create an external photo albums to make it easier to update and in the same time keep the old photos.

    The fouth version (2008 @ )

    After all these years, it was to change the original format for a new design more attractive and also added new webpages.

    A modern look!


    Souvenirs of Cayo Largo

    Photos in 1982

    Thanks to « Daniela » (Daniel Payette), the first representative of Champagne Tours at Cayo Largo. Thanks Danielle for your photos and info!

    Photos in 2001

    An amazing course of Iguana 101 made by Denis and Francine (El Nino in the forum) - in French.

    Photos in 2001

    A classic from the « old » Cayo Largo... the party in the « trumpos » the buses uses in the island. People will easily remember Pedro, Enrique and other bus drivers!

    Photos in 2002

    Cayo Largo celebrated its 20th anniversary in February 2003. Unfortunately, we were not there for this occasion.

    Photos in 2003

    In June 29th 2003, Cuba celebrated its one million visitors in the year. We were at Villa Lindamar and were invited to cut the cake.

    Photos in 2003

    People from province of Quebec celebrated the St-Jean-Baptiste on June 24th, 2003 at the Gran Caribe Villa Lindamar.


    Tragic event in May 2006

    For people who had the chance to meet Raydanel, a waiter at the ranchón of the Sol Pelicano will be sorry to hear he died in a car accident which unfortunately happened too often at Cuba in May 2006. Recently, Raydanel was the father of a lovely little girl.

    The history of Cayo Largo dated back in the 80's. It started in February 1982 with the construction of the first hotel on this island.

    Isla del Sur...


    Isla del Sur in 1982 and 2004

    The first Tour Operator ...

    Champagne Tours was the first Tour operator to offer Cayo Largo to Canadian customers, started in December 1984. Mr. Tolly Reviv the owner of Champagne Tours, who was a Cayo Largo lover, saw the tourist potential of the island. According to his wishes, his ashes have been dispersed in the turquoise sea of Cayo Largo in 1998.

    Here are few links...

  • Tolly Reviv' homage
  • Tolly Reviv in the Granma
  • Letter to his customers
  • Casa Museo, Cayo Largo
  • In memory of Tolly (2003)
  • Sadly, the wife of Tolly (Helene) died. Like for her husband, her ashes were dispersed at the same place (near Playa Sirena).

    Two important persons for Cayo Largo. They have contributed to the development of this island. Next time you visit Cayo Largo, have a thought for the Reviv couple!

    Promotional materials

    Click HERE to view a PowerPoint presentation of Cayo Largo, conducted by the team of cayolargodelsur.cu

    A quick guide.


    A quick guide.


    Friends of cayolargo.net ...

    Lily organized few groups in Cayo Largo. Most of the people who took part of these adventures were friends of our discussion forum on the web.

    The organization of such events with more than hundred participants is a huge task and sometimes very difficult. We decided the April 2007 was our last group of Cayo Largo.

    The nostalgic will be pleased to read that the photos of the first group in November 2003 are still online. Click HERE to see our photos! We had over 140 participants of this unique event in Cayo Largo.


    The official website!

    Useful links:

    Our Discussion Forum
    Our Photo Album
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    Hurricanes Cuba
    History of cayolargo.net
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    About the authors ... We are Lily and Normand, globetrotters and Cuba lovers. Our travels took us to many wonderful countries around the world, but Cuba will always have a special place in our heart. We have been there more than fifty times. We like to call it our "segunda casa". We are Canadians and we need to escape our harsh and long winters once and a while! Traveling and building personal websites are our greatest passions. The information which is ensued there is simply from our experience and appreciation as travelers. Our sites are non-officials and opened to general public. In spite of we did our best to share the most exact informations, we cannot be held responsible for changes, errors or omissions. No part of this website may be reproduced, modified, distributed, published, broadcast, retransmitted or circulated in any form without our prior consent.