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Cayo Coco, Cuba Travel Guide

Updated: Sep 23, 2022

Sunrise on the Cayo Coco, Cuba beach with pink and blue skies reflected in the ocean surface and palm trees and huts lining the white sand. ©AlonzoWright
Sunrise streaked with pink highlights across the beaches of Cayo Coco, Cuba. ©AlonzoWright

Welcome to the land of wild flamingos. You’ll see hundreds of them, if not thousands, walking through the lagoons that lead out to Cayo Coco. Cuba is well-known for its cayos (cays), strings of some of the most picturesque archipelagos in the world. Surprisingly, there are about 4,000 of them dotting the coastline. Cayo Coco, Cayo Guillermo, Cayo Santa Maria are just a few that lure travelers with their powdery sand and cerulean seas. They range from completely uninhabited to fully built out with all-inclusive resorts that cater to thousands of tourists each year. The coral reefs in Cuba are so well preserved because the island hasn’t experienced the over-tourism that many other tropical nations have, making this a snorkeling and scuba diving paradise.


There's so much more to explore in our Cuba Travel Guide.


How to get to Cayo Coco

Jardines de Rey Airport is the closest international airport, and if you fly in, it’ll only take you 20 minutes or so to get to your hotel. Most resorts have shuttles that are included in your all-inclusive package, but if not, it’ll cost you about 20 CUC to take a taxi. If you’re driving from Havana, get comfy because it’s going to take you six to seven hours depending on how many times you stop. The Autopista will take you the majority of the way, to Sancti Spiritus, where you will hop on the Carretera Central heading towards Moron and out to the cays.

If you’re traveling from Camaguey by car, it’s much closer at just under three hours. You’ll head northwest on Carretera Central to Ciego de Avila, a drive that’ll take you about an hour and a half. When you get to Ciego de Avila, you’ll head east on Avenida Antonio Guiteras to Morón. You’ll know you’re almost there when you see the long stretch of highway that goes virtually into the ocean. There’s only one road that goes in and out of Cayo Coco and it is insanely beautiful to drive it. The lagoons are full of brightly colored, wild flamingos and you can see them for miles around.

A long stretch of highway lined with sand and cutting through a turquoise ocean in the Jardines del Reyes in Cayo Coco, Cuba with blue skies and white clouds. ©AlonzoWright
The long stretch of highway carves through the cays and are often dotted with wildlife. ©AlonzoWright

Why you should visit Cayo Coco

It’s hard to imagine beaches more beautiful than in the Jardines del Rey region of Cuba. They are so quintessential paradise it almost seems as if they aren’t real. There are few places we have been that have actually taken your breath away (Positano, Italy was one of them) and Cayo Coco was another. If Heaven had a beach, it would look like these cayos. White, sugary sand lines the shoreline and you can wade into the warm turquoise water all the way up to your chest without being battered by the waves. This is where the sky meets the sea and you often can’t tell where one begins and the other ends. The sunsets and sunrises are soft sorbets of pinks, oranges and yellows. Many people don't know beauty like this really exists outside of Photoshop. If all you planned to do on vacation was count your footprints in the powdery sand, that is reason enough to visit Cayo Coco. But don’t worry, there are plenty of things to do in Cayo Coco besides sitting in a beach chair and drinking in the surroundings, you’ll find them below.