LATEST NEWS (new hotels and services, changes, etc.)
- (Fall 2017) The Colonial Cayo Coco hotel will be managed by the Spanish hotel group Iberostar and becomes the Colonial by Iberostar. It was previously managed by the Cuban group Cubanacan.
- The construction project called "Pilar I", located at the western tip of Cayo Guillermo, will become the Centara Grand Beach Resort Cayo Guillermo 5* (~ 250 rooms), managed by the Thailand hotel group Centara Hotels & Resorts. It will mirror the Centara Grand in the Maldives by proposing over water villas. Opening is scheduled for late 2017. Here's an aerial photo of the construction site taken on December 9, 2016.
- Major beach enlargement works started in September 2016 and will continue through early 2017, making the beaches of Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo more than twice as wide as before! Checkout this photo we took from the plane on December 16th, 2016. This sand replenishment work is particularly evident on Playa Flamenco (the beach of hotels Memories Flamenco, Pestana and Melia Jardines del Rey), because this beach used to have a rocky entrance into the water, now it's 100% sand and the beach is super wide.
- A large dolphinarium is currently under construction in Cayo Coco, near the Marina Gaviota Aguas Tranquilas. Its construction name is "Delfinario Bautista", it should be similar to the one in Cayo Santa Maria with pools for swimming and stage stands for shows. Opening is scheduled for the fall 2017. Here's an aerial photo taken on December 16, 2016.
- Two new hotels are being built in the Punta Rasa sector in Cayo Guillermo, west of hotel Sol Cayo Guillermo. They will be the Grand Muthu Hotel Cayo Guillermo and the Catalonia Cayo Guillermo (temporary construction names: Punta Rasa I and II). They are scheduled to open in 2017. A new commercial plaza is also being built in this sector. Here's an aerial photo of the construction site taken on December 9, 2016.
- A Cable Water Skiing center is under construction right next to the Delfinario Cayo Guillermo. It's a type of water ski (or wakeboard) where the rope of the skier is pulled by a system of overhead electric cables rather than a boat.
- Two other little islands of the Jardines del Rey archipelago are currently under touristic development, they are: Cayo Paredon Grande (aka Cayo Paredon) located East of Cayo Coco and 30 minutes from the Cayo Coco airport, in the neighboring province of Camaguey; and Cayo Cruz located further East. New roads and bridges are currently being built to connect Cayo Cruz to Cayo Coco.
- Since November 1st, 2016, the hotel Memories Caribe Beach Resort is now adult-only (16+).
- The new hotel Iberostar Playa Pilar opened its doors at the end of December 2015.
- The new hotel Pullman Cayo Coco opened its doors in December 2015, in a "soft opening" mode, some services and sections of rooms were opened later in 2016.
- Opening of a commercial and entertainment center called Plaza Los Flamencos, next to hotel Melia Jardines del Rey, in the Playa Flamenco sector in Cayo Coco.
- The new hotel Melia Jardines del Rey opened its doors in December 2014
- The new hotel Pestana Cayo Coco opened its doors in August 2013.
- The new hotel Memories Flamenco Beach Resort opened its doors in February 2012
- A dolphinairum opened in 2012, it's located in Cayo Guillermo, only a few hundred meters after the bridge connecting Cayo Coco with Cayo Guillermo.
- The hotel Gran Caribe Club Cayo Guillermo has become the Sercotel Club Cayo Guillermo, and is now managed by the Spanish group Sercotel Hotels.
- The hotel Allegro Club Cayo Guillermo (Occidental hotels) has become the Gran Caribe Club Cayo Guillermo (Cuban management, Grupo Gran Caribe).
- The hotel Blue Bay Cayo Coco has become the Memories Caribe Beach Resort, it's now managed by Blue Diamond Hotels, part of the Canadian Sunwing Group.
- The hotel Sirenis Cayo Coco has become the Hotel Playa Coco, and is now managed by the Cuban group Gaviota.
- The hotel Blau Colonial has become the Hotel Colonial Cayo Coco, and is now managed by the Cuban group Cubanacan.
- The Emperador sector of the former NH Krystal Hotel has become the Iberostar Cayo Coco, it's now managed by the Spanish group Iberostar Hotels & Resorts.
- The Laguna sector of the former NH Krystal Hotel has become the Iberostar Mojito, it's now managed by the Spanish group Iberostar Hotels & Resorts.
- The hotel Be Live Villa Coco has become the Villa Coco, it's now managed by the Cuban group Gaviota.
Note that since the spring 2014, Cuban Immigration systematically stamps all passports when entering and leaving the country. And also: Since May 1st, 2015, the Cuban Departure Tax is no longer paid at destination. It should now be included in the price of your trip when buying a flight-only or vacation-package to Cuba.
In October 2013 the Cuban Government announced its intention to eliminate their dual currency system (CUC and CUP). To the best of our knowledge, it seems like no schedule has been officially announced yet for this plan to eliminate the CUC and revalue the CUP; and so far (2016) there's no indication yet about when the CUC will be put out of circulation.
Visit our website that chronicles the announcements and events related to the Cuban Thaw (warming of USA-Cuba relations) which started in late 2014.
Lily & Normand