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Cayo Guillermo is another of the small islands on the Jardines del Rey archipelago situated off the Cuban mainland. The island features four all inclusive resorts and a beach named after Ernest Hemingway's yacht the Pilar. With great beaches, fantastic views and a secluded nature Cayo Guillermo offers a unique piece of Cuban fantasy in the Caribbean Sea.
The first thing you will notice on the island is the beautiful beach Playa Pilar named, as previously mentioned, after Hemingway's yacht. The hotels run numerous beach activities and watersports daily so you will never be stuck with just sunbathing. Hemingway loved visiting the island for fishing so why not follow in his footsteps and explore what the underwater world has to offer. The long dock is an ideal place to enjoy an afternoon's fishing so buy yourself a local fishing rod, bait it up and wait for a snare. Nothing says paradise as much as fishing in the Caribbean.
The main attraction of Cayo Guillermo is the unspoilt 400km long coral reef offshore. You hear so much about Australia's coral reef that it is forgotten that Cuba has the second largest in the world. Green Moray International Dive Centre is on hand to guide you through your underwater adventure. Trips take place twice daily to over six recommended dive sites. Cayo Guillermo is unique in the fact that much of the coral is relatively close to the surface but still teaming with life. This means first time divers will come face to face with a variety of fish such as red snappers, eels, shads and many more. You could even take in one of their sunken ship dives if you are feeling more confident and discover the remains of the real pirates of the Caribbean.
The hotels all host great restaurants and there is a surprising choice of food on offer. The Melia Cayo Guillermo Hotel has two a la carte restaurants, an Italian and an International which both offer superb cuisine. The other hotels offer good options so make sure you explore around. The nightlife on Cayo Guillermo is centred around the four hotels too. The lobby bars don't usually close until 4am so you can stay up late if you wish and many of the resorts are all inclusive. Each hotel hosts a nightclub, sometimes dedicated to traditional Cuban salsa and other times more European based.
Access to the island is straight forward as international flights land at Jardines del Rey Airport. Alternatively you can take the causeway over the marsh land from the mainland to the island. Scooters are available to hire and are a cheap and convenient way to travel around the island. An alternative way to see some of the island is to take a horse ride along the beach, it may be slower than a scooter but it does conjure images of a James Bond novel riding a Caribbean horse down the idyllic beach.
Cayo Guillermo is a fantastic island in the heart of the Caribbean. It offers unspoilt beauty, coral reefs, fantastic hotels with all inclusive entertainment and is only a few hours from the capital Havana. For adults, families and anyone else this is a piece of the Caribbean you will definitely not want to miss.