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icon hurricaneHurricane IRMA information center – CAYO COCO

You'll find here information about the damage caused by Irma, as well as the efforts and work undertaken to restore the infrastructure and reopen the hotels impacted by the hurricane. -. Please note that the information below relates specifically to the "Jardines del Rey" tourist hub including Cayo Coco, Cayo Guillermo, Cayo Paredon Grande, et Cayo Cruz. This information comes from various sources that we consider to be the most reliable possible, however we cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions.

September 6, 2017 – Alert phase
The Cuban Civil Defense headquarters declare the Alert Phase in the provinces of Guantanamo, Santiago de Cuba, Granma, Holguin, Las Tunas, Camagüey, Ciego de Avila and Villa Clara. The hurricane is expected within the next 48 to 72 hours. This "warning phase" triggers the evacuation of the most threatened population to relatives or shelters provided by the authorities, as well as the evacuation of tourists. The latter have either been moved to other regions of Cuba (mostly Varadero) or repatriated to their country by their tour operator.

The six dolphins of the Cayo Guillermo Dolphinarium were also evacuated by helicopter and transported to the aquarium in Cienfugos, in the south of the country.

September 7, 2017 – Alarm phase
The Cuban Civil Defense has raised the level of alert to the Alarm Phase prompting a total ban of traffic and the preventive cut off the electricity grids. State agencies have been instructed to increase security measures to limit the movement of people and vehicles and other potentially life-threatening activities.

September 8 to 10, 2017 – Irma hits Cuba
Irma swept the north coast of Cuba with the force of a major hurricane September 8 to 10. The island-resort of Cayo Coco (and its neighbors Cayo Guillermo, Cayo Paredon and Cayo Cruz) was hit the hardest between the evening of September 8 until late morning on September 9. The eye of the hurricane passed just a little to the south of these islets on September 9 in the wee hours of the morning (between 2 and 5 am approximately). Click here to view the hurricane path through the Jardines del Rey archipelago.

September 9 to 11, 2017 – Early damage assessments
The Jardines del Rey Airport (a.k.a. Cayo Coco Airport) has been heavily damaged, it will be closed for several weeks.

Hurricane Irma caused severe damage to the infrastructure and hotels of the "Jardines del Rey" archipelago. All hotels are closed until further notice, official reports of damage are expected in the coming days, but according to some unofficial sources (Facebook, TripAdvisor forums, Youtube videos), it seems that every hotel has suffered significant damage, including in some cases major structural damage.

The causeway which connects Cayo Coco with the main island of Cuba has been damaged in many areas, the cayos are temporarily inaccessible by road.

Almost 80% of the foliage in Jardines del Rey was swept away by the strong winds associated with Irma (source: Agencia Cubana de Noticias)

The majority of tour operators and airlines have suspended travel to this destination until October 31, 2017 (for now), to be followed ...


AFTER IRMA - Repairs, Rebuilding, Reopening

Week of September 10-17, 2017
Works to repair the causeway (Pedraplen) linking Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo with the main island of Cuba are underway. Authorities visit the island to make a more detailed assessment of the damage and plan the recovery efforts.

September 13, 2017 - Causeway reopened
The causeway (Pedraplen) has been repaired enough to allow the vehicles to reach the cayos and to bring in workers, supplies and materials. It can now be crossed "with extreme precautions as long as work continues in the affected areas," explained engineer Rubén Galván Hernández in the Granma newspaper.

Week of September 17-24, 2017
The Cuba Tourist Board says that the Cayo Coco (including Cayo Guillermo) and Cayo Santa Maria (including also Cayo Ensenachos and Cayo Las Brujas) should be operational by or before November 1st, thanks to strong cooperation between the Cuban government, travel authorities and volunteers that’s expediting the process of repairing damaged properties and clearing debris post-Irma.

September 23, 2017 - Update on hotels, airport, and beaches
In a presentation where many tour operators, agencies, and members of the press gathered, Cuba's Minister of Tourism, Manuel Marrero Cruz, said "By November 15 all will be recovered". He stated that by November 1st, 14 of the 18 hotels on Cayo Coco/Guillermo will be open and providing services, as will the Cayo Coco airport. Top Mintur leader said that "the hurricane left us better beaches, much more sand and better dunes."

September 25, 2017 - Electricity, water, communications
Electricity, water and communications were restored in 100% of the tourist centers, including Cayo Santa María, Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo.

September 27, 2017 - Expected reopening date for Pestana Cayo Coco
In the official Facebook page of the Pestana Cayo Coco, they announce a reopening for November 1st.

October 2, 2017 - Expected reopening date for Melia Cayo Coco
We received an email from the Sales Manager of hotel Melia Cayo Coco saying that so far all their bookings are cancelled until November 30th, 2017.

October 2, 2017 - Air Transat flights
The Canadian airline Air Transat (www.airtransat.com) announces that they will resume its flights and operations to Santa Clara (SNU) on November 11, and to Cayo Coco on November 15.

October 3, 2017 - Expected reopening date for Melia Jardines del Rey
We received an email from the Sales Manager at hotel Melia Jardines del Rey saying they are supposed to reopen in November (without specifying a date for now).

October 4, 2017 - Expected reopening date for Tryp Cayo Coco
We received an email from the Sales Department of hotel Tryp Cayo Coco saying they hope to be reopened by December 15th, 2017

October 4, 2017 - Expected reopening date for Iberostar Daiquiri
We received an email from the Sales Department of hotel Iberostar Daiquiri saying they are scheduled to reopen on November 15th, 2017

October 4, 2017 - Expected reopening date for Melia Cayo Guillermo
We received an email from the Sales Manager at hotel Melia Cayo Guillermo saying they are planing for now to reopen November 1st, 2017

October 4, 2017 - Cubana flights
The Canadian tour operator Caribe Sol/Hola Sun is planning to resume flights to Cayo Coco and Santa Clara (Cayo Santa Maria) on November 3, 2017. This is a weekly flight with Cubana for each destination.

October 4, 2017 - Sunwing flights
The Canadian airline Sunwing is planning to resume flights to Cayo Coco and Santa Clara (Cayo Santa Maria) on November 1st, 2017.

October 5, 2017 - Expected reopening date for Iberostar Mojito
We received an email from the Sales Manager at hotel Iberostar Mojito saying they don't expect to reopen until November 15, 2017.

October 5, 2017 - Expected reopening date for Iberostar Playa Pilar
We received an email from the Sales Manager at hotel Iberostar Playa Pilar saying they will reopen on November 16, 2017.

October 5, 2017 - Expected reopening date for Sercotel Club Cayo Guillermo
We received an email from the Sales Manager at hotel Sercotel Club Cayo Guillermo (aka Cojimar) saying they hope to reopen on November 1st, 2017.

October 5, 2017 - Expected reopening date for Hotel Playa Coco
We received an email from the Sales Manager at hotel Playa Coco saying they will be fully operational by November 15, 2017.

October 5, 2017 - Expected reopening date for Memories Caribe Beach Resort
We received an email from the Sales Manager at hotel Memories Caribe saying they supposed to reopen by November 1st, 2017.

October 6, 2017 - Expected reopening date for Sol Cayo Coco
We received an email from the Sales Manager at hotel Sol Cayo Coco saying they will reopen on November 1st, 2017.

Expected reopening date for the Pullman Cayo Coco
In their official Facebook page, they announce a reopening for November 15, 2017.

October 9, 2017 - Expected reopening date for the Hotel Colonial Cayo Coco
Reopening scheduled for November 1st, 2017 (source: their Sales Manager).

October 11, 2017 - Expected reopening date for Sol Cayo Guillermo
We received an email from the Sales Department at hotel Sol Cayo Guillermo saying they will reopen on November 15, 2017.

October 11, 2017 - Reopening of the Colonial could be postponed
"They have backed off of their previous hopes of opening November 1st." (source: A post on TripAdvisor forum from Lenny (a Cayo Coco regular tourist) after he spoke with Colonial today Oct. 11). A new date is to be announced.

October 11, 2017 - Reopening date revised for the Sol Cayo Coco
In a communiqué posted on their official Facebook page, MELIA HOTELS CUBA announces that hotel Sol Cayo Coco will reopen on October 17, 2017 (the previous scheduled date was November 1st).

October 11, 2017 - Reopening date revised for the Melia Cayo Coco
In a communiqué posted on their official Facebook page, MELIA HOTELS CUBA announces that hotel Melia Cayo Coco will reopen on November 4, 2017 (the previous scheduled date was November 30).

October 11, 2017 - Reopening date revised for the Melia Cayo Guillermo
In a communiqué posted on their official Facebook page, MELIA HOTELS CUBA announces that hotel Melia Cayo Guillermo will reopen on October 20, 2017 (the previous scheduled date was November 1).

October 13, 2017 - Expected reopening date for Memories Flamenco Beach Resort
We received an email from the Sales Manager at hotel Memories Flamenco saying they will reopen on November 15, 2017.

October 16, 2017 - Air Canada resuming flights to Cayo Coco and Santa Clara
Air Canada Vacations has announced that it will resume flights to Cayo Coco (CCC*) and Santa Clara (SNU*) this December. Montreal-Cayo Coco will resume on Dec. 24, while Montreal-Santa Clara starts Dec. 20. From Toronto, Cayo Coco will resume on Dec. 19, and Santa Clara on Dec. 23. (source: www.travelweek.ca).
* CCC airport mainly serves Cayo Coco and Cayo Guilermo. SNU airport mainly serves the "Cayos de Villa Clara" (Cayo Santa Maria, Cayo Ensenachos, Cayo Las Brujas).

October 17, 2017 - Sunwing revises their flight dates to Cayo Coco and Cayo Santa Maria
Extract from the official Facebook page of Sunwing Vacations: “Following a site visit to the region last week, we are pleased to announce that we will be resuming our flight services to Cayo Coco from November 7th. Our flight services to Cayo Santa Maria will also be recommencing from November 10th from Montreal, with flights from Toronto and Quebec City available from November 11th.”

October 17, 2017 - Sunwing visits the northern cayos
A team from the Canadian travel group Sunwing has just returned from a tour of Cayo Santa Maria, Cayo Ensenachos, Cayo Coco, and Cayo Guillermo. The purpose of their visit was to assess the region’s recovery following the impact of Hurricane Irma. Read here a summary of their observations.

TO COME...

- More information on the specific condition of each hotel, beaches, and other tourist infrastructure
- Information on the progress of repairs and rebuilding
- News on the reopening of each hotel, and resumption of travels to this destination

Visit us again for updates!

Lily & Normand
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