Cayo Coco, situated amidst the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, is one of the most popular beach resorts in Cuba.
If you’re wondering whether it’s worth visiting, what to do and see there, how to get there, and where to stay on the island, Captain Ulysses has got you covered!
💡 Planning Your Trip to Cuba 💡
🇨🇺 Visa: Before you depart, be sure to apply for your tourist card (which is your visa for Cuba). You can easily order your tourist card online through CubaVisa.
🛏️ Accommodations: To book your accommodations in Cuba, the Captain recommends Expedia.
📸 Activities: To book your activities, the Captain highly recommends Civitatis.
Cayo Coco in a Nutshell
To give you a brief overview, Cayo Coco is the fourth largest island in Cuba, located in the Jardines del Rey Archipelago in the province of Ciego de Ávila. It’s a highly touristic spot, and much like the other cayos around it, is uninhabited by Cubans.
Tourist complexes dominate the island, and only hotel staff and guests have access to it. The hotels are mostly concentrated in the north, while the rest of the island (about 85%) is covered in mangroves, making it challenging to explore.
The mangroves are home to around 130 to 150 species of birds, including cormorants, pelicans, and flamingos. The island is named after the white ibis known as “coco” by the locals.
Weather in Cayo Coco
The weather in Cayo Coco, much like the rest of Cuba, can be divided into two major seasons: the dry season (late November – late April) and the rainy season (May – November). Here’s a breakdown of the temperatures and precipitation for each month:
|Month 📅||Temperatures 🌡️||Precipitation ☔|
|January||20 to 26 °C | 68 to 79 °F||43 mm | 1.7 in|
|February||21 to 27 °C | 70 to 81 °F||38 mm | 1.5 in|
|March||21 to 28 °C | 70 to 82 °F||34 mm | 1.3 in|
|April||22 to 29 °C | 72 to 84 °F||64 mm | 2.5 in|
|May||23 to 30 °C | 73 to 86 °F||112 mm | 4.4 in|
|June||25 to 31 °C | 77 to 88 °F||96 mm | 3.8 in|
|July||25 to 32 °C | 77 to 90 °F||79 mm | 3.1 in|
|August||25 to 32 °C | 77 to 90 °F||122 mm | 4.8 in|
|September||25 to 31 °C | 77 to 88 °F||174 mm | 6.9 in|
|October||24 to 30 °C | 75 to 86 °F||173 mm | 6.8 in|
|November||22 to 28 °C | 72 to 82 °F||84 mm | 3.3 in|
|December||21 to 27 °C | 70 to 81 °F||46 mm | 1.8 in|
During the dry season, temperatures in Cayo Coco are mild, but they get higher during the rainy season. The dry season is generally less rainy, while short-lived showers are common during the rainy season.
Getting to Cayo Coco
To get to Cayo Coco, you can take the 27-kilometer/17-mile causeway that connects the island to the main island of Cuba. Unfortunately, there is currently no bus service available. However, you can reach the island by car if you have one or by taxi. The journey from Moron costs around 40 CUC, while it’s approximately 60 CUC from Ciego de Avila.
Alternatively, many tourists opt to fly directly to the Cayo Coco airport. Cubana airline offers domestic flights that connect the island to Havana, while Air Canada operates air links (with a stopover) between Montreal and Cayo Coco.
Getting around Cayo Coco
Once you’re on the island, you can use a Transtur minibus to get around. They provide a daily shuttle service between the various hotels and points of interest on the island, costing 5 CUC per person per day.
Things to Do in Cayo Coco
Looking for things to do in Cayo Coco? The island offers plenty of opportunities for relaxation, water sports, and diving.
Cayo Coco has two diving centers: Blue Coco Diving (located in the Pullman Cayo Coco Hotel) and Dive Center Marina Gaviota Cayo Coco. Both centers offer excursions to dive spots around Cayo Coco, and you can expect to pay around 40 CUC per dive (plus 10 CUC for equipment). Dive Center Marina Gaviota Cayo Coco also offers catamaran cruises, sea fishing excursions, and boat rentals.
Cayo Coco has several areas designated for kitesurfing, with a fee of 25 CUC to access them. Kitesurfing schools on the island include Kitesurf Cuba Travel – Horizon 5 and Coco-Kite, while three other schools are available on neighboring Cayo Guillermo. Rental and training prices range from 110 CUC for one hour of training to 830 CUC for 12 hours.
Horseback and Carriage Rides
Like many places in Cuba, you can explore Cayo Coco on horseback, with rides taking visitors to beaches and hiking trails. Carriage drivers also wait outside hotels, offering island tours at a cost of 5 to 30 CUC per person, depending on the ride’s duration and type.
Cayo Coco has two spas for travelers looking to unwind: Acuavida Spa Talaso and Heiwa Spa (Plaza Los Flamencos). Both spas feature a pool, a Jacuzzi, a sauna, and massage rooms.
The island has two shopping centers to satisfy the shopping urge: Centro Comercial La Gaviota (featuring a craft market and shops selling cigars, souvenirs, jewelry, and beach gear) and Plaza Los Flamencos (with a craft market, nightclub, spa, beauty salon, bowling, restaurant, jewelry and cigar store).
Cueva del Jabali
Cueva del Jabali is a cave converted into a cabaret and nightclub, offering a unique partying experience. Just watch out for the low ceiling!
Ocio Club Game Center
The Ocio Club Game Center offers a mini-golf course, billiard tables, arcade games, and a bar.
Cayo Guillermo, near Cayo Coco
If you’re looking to explore nearby areas, Cayo Guillermo is a 13-km2/3,000-acre islet connected to Cayo Coco by road. While similar to Cayo Coco, it’s a little more private and famous for its paradise-like Playa Pilar. So, sunbathing and water sports are on the program!
Hotels in Cayo Coco
Hotels in Cayo Coco are mostly located in the island’s northern part. Here are two recommended hotels that promise an unforgettable stay:
Melia Cayo Coco
Overlooking a private beach, the hotel offers overwater bungalow-style rooms and a wide range of amenities such as a tennis court, hair salon, souvenir shop, car and bicycle rental, gym, nightclub, and wellness area. The pool is also incredibly beautiful. However, note that the hotel is for adults only.
Pullman Cayo Coco
This modern hotel is located on the waterfront and offers all the facilities you need for a successful all-inclusive stay, including a pool, tennis court, gym, wellness area, restaurant, and diving center. Plus, children are welcome and have access to a dedicated play area.
Final Word on Cayo Coco
When it comes to recommending or discouraging Cayo Coco, it’s a bit like Varadero – it depends on how you want to travel in Cuba, your expectations, and your priorities.
If you’re looking for a relaxing vacation with an emphasis on wellness and want an all-inclusive stay, then Cayo Coco is perfect for you. However, if you’re interested in cultural visits and discoveries, then it’s not the ideal choice.
It’s worth noting that Cayo Coco is isolated from the main Cuban tourist sites. If you want to stay in a beach resort but also explore the island’s cultural heritage, we recommend choosing Varadero instead. This way, you can easily take day trips to explore other parts of the island such as Trinidad or the Bay of Pigs.
To learn more about Varadero and explore it in-depth, check out the Captain’s detailed article.