With its pristine white sandy beach, lush mangroves, and vibrant coral reef, Cayo Jutías paints a picture-perfect scene in the Gulf of Mexico, just off the west coast of Cuba. Don’t forget your sunscreen!
💡 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. In Viñales, the Captain especially recommends 3 casas particulares/B&Bs with very good value for money (Casa Leyani y Osvedy, Villa Panchon (very affordable) & Casa Herenia y Pedro) and one casa with a small pool (Chef’s Cabins – Obel & Yoly).
📸 Activities: Horseback-riding, hiking, day trips to the beach… there’s plenty to do in Vinales. To book your activities, the Captain highly recommends Civitatis.
Cayo Jutías in a nutshell:
Situated off the coast of Pinar del Rio province, Cayo Jutías is one of the small islands that form the Colorados Archipelago. Spanning only 4 square kilometers / 1,000 acres, Cayo Jutías remains uninhabited, and that’s part of its allure!
Unlike the sprawling tourist resorts that dominate places like Varadero, the Jardines del Rey Archipelago, and the province of Holguin, Cayo Jutías has retained its untouched beauty. You’ll find only a restaurant open from 10 am to 5:30 pm and a diving center.
However, unlike Cayo Levisa, Cayo Jutías is connected to the main island by a pedraplén, a road that stretches above the sea. This makes Cayo Jutías more easily accessible, but be warned, its beaches can get crowded during the summer!
Getting to Cayo Jutías:
Cayo Jutías is approximately 55 km / 35 miles northwest of Viñales. If you’ve rented a car, you can drive directly to the island via the pedraplén. Before your trip to Cuba, ensure that you download offline maps of the region on your phone or have a reliable road map with you. You can find a great road map for your Cuban adventure here: Cuba road map.
Please note that Waze is not available within Cuban territory.
If you don’t have your own transportation, inquire at the Cubanacan agency in Viñales. They offer full-day excursions to Cayo Jutías for 22 CUC per person. Alternatively, you can your transfer here: Transfer to Cayo Jutias.
What to do in Cayo Jutías?
Snorkeling, Diving & Water Activities:
The coral reef stretches about a hundred meters / 300 ft from the beach, and there are seven diving sites around Cayo Jutías! It’s a paradise for diving and snorkeling enthusiasts.
On-site, a diving center offers equipment rental and arranges boat trips (10-25 CUC), as well as snorkeling excursions (12 CUC) and diving trips (starting from 37 CUC).
Single and double kayaks, as well as pedal boats, are also available for rent (1 CUC per hour).
Exploring the Mangroves:
80% of Cayo Jutías’ surface is covered in mangroves and crisscrossed by natural channels. It’s the perfect spot to seek refuge from the scorching sun during the hottest hours of the day and take a leisurely walk after lunch! Keep your eyes peeled, as the island is home to some crocodiles!
Playa de las Estrellas (Starfish Beach):
Playa de las Estrellas is truly unique: it hosts a colony of vibrant orange starfish! Grab your masks and snorkels and don’t miss out on this extraordinary experience!
The Cayo Jutías Lighthouse (Faro de Cayo Jutías):
Constructed by the Americans in 1902 after the Spanish-American War, the Cayo Jutías Lighthouse stands as a 41-meter-tall/135-foot-tall metal structure.
Where to stay in Cayo Jutías: Hotels & Accommodation:
Cayo Jutías is uninhabited, so you won’t find hotels on-site. However, for the more adventurous, you can book a tent and camping equipment at the water sports center to spend the night on the beach. Rest assured, crocodiles do not venture there! Just remember to bring your own dinner as the on-site restaurant closes at 5:30 pm.
If camping isn’t your preference, Captain Ulysses recommends staying in Viñales. The Captain’s recommendations include:
- 3 casas particulares/B&Bs with very good value for money: Casa Leyani y Osvedy, Villa Panchon (very affordable) & Casa Herenia y Pedro
- one casa with a small pool: Chef’s Cabins – Obel & Yoly.
Cayo Jutías or Cayo Levisa?
Cayo Jutías is a fantastic choice for travelers seeking an affordable getaway amidst the shade of coconut trees. If you have a bit more flexibility in your budget and prefer to avoid the summer holiday crowds of tourists (both Westerners and Cubans), we suggest considering an excursion to Cayo Levisa.
For more information: Cayo Levisa
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