Cayo Guillermo is a tiny island of about 13 km2 (5 sq. mi). It’s part of an archipelago (and popular tourist destination) called "Jardines del Rey" (King's Gardens), located off the northern coast of Cuba. On its neighbor, Cayo Coco, you’ll find the Jardines del Rey International Airport (aka Cayo Coco Airport), inaugurated in December 2002. Hotels on Cayo Guillermo are about a 45 minutes' ride from this airport. A 300-meter-long bridge connects the two cayos, and the archipelago is itself connected to the main island of Cuba by a 27km-long causeway that crosses the Bahia de Perros (Bay of Dogs).
Cayo Guillermo is known for its pristine white powdery sand beaches and its crystal-clear turquoise-colored waters. The sea is always very calm and its shoreline is shallow, making Cayo Guillermo a great pick for families traveling with young children. One of the most spectacular beaches in Cuba, Playa Pilar, is found at the western end of Cayo Guillermo. It was named after Ernest Hemingway’s yacht, the Pilar; the famous writer was a regular visitor of the Jardines del Rey where he enjoyed fishing the waters of this archipelago.
Cayo Guillermo is also a world-renowned Kitesurfing destination due to its sustained winds and large shallow waters areas that give kitesurfers lots of room to ride. Courses are available, and conditions are good for any rider ability, from beginners to experts.
Cayo Guillermo is surrounded by several other islets. The nearest, Cayo Media Luna located across from Playa Pilar, is a great snorkeling spot reachable by a short boat ride. There’s another one south of Cayo Guillermo, called Cayo Mortero.
There are currently 5 hotels on Cayo Guillermo, and 3 new ones are currently being built near Playa Pilar and in the Punta Rasa area. A Dolphinarium was recently built near the marina. We learned about a project to build an area for Cable Skiing, a way to waterski (or wakeboard) by being pulled by an electrically-driven cable instead of a boat.
To learn more about this destination, visit our www.cayoguillermocuba.net website, online since 2006. You will find in it everything you need to know to better prepare your first (or next) trip to Cayo Guillermo, including information on hotels (current and future), services, beaches, activities, excursions and much more.
Lily & Normand