Last Updated on June 22, 2020 by Amanda Stancati
Cayo Largo del Sur is a place of natural beauty – with shimmering white sand beaches, vibrant coral reefs, and swaying palms enticing sun-seekers. It’s a quiet island paradise compared to other, busier Cuban tourist spots. The small resort island, just 25km long and 3km wide, is lined almost entirely with soft sand beaches, some of which are au natural. Cayo Largo, largely frequented by Canadian and Italian travellers, is an incredible spot for scuba diving and wildlife spotting. With over 50 dive sites and several caves, grottos, drop offs, and the stunning black coral reefs, Cayo Largo vacations appeal to both divers and their non-diving partners. Want to learn more about Cayo Largo vacations? Read on: our Cayo Largo travel guide can help you plan your next sunny getaway.
Who should go?
Cayo Largo is a good spot for couples and divers and popular with repeat visitors. It is quiet, secluded and unblemished, great for eco-tourists who want to explore nature both above and below the sea. Beach lovers will appreciate the soft white sands and peaceful atmosphere, while those seeking a relaxing vacation or travellers on a budget will enjoy the destination too. For divers, Cayo Largo offers good diving for beginners or those wishing to try scuba diving at a reduced cost.
Cayo Largo Attractions
Cayo Largo is a diver’s paradise, with warm, gentle waters, some of the best coral reefs in the world, steep walls, and interesting wrecks and caves. Dive sites are within 5-10 miles from the shore, about 15-30 minutes by boat, and diving is reasonable priced. Excursions can be booked at your hotel. The International Scuba Diving Center is located at the Marina, but is not PADI certified. (Note that dive shops are not yet PADI certified due to the U.S. Embargo.) Among favourite dive sites is the El Acuario (Aquarium) 15 metres below the surface, leading to views of coral fish, sting rays, bull rays, turtles and cat sharks. October and November are good months to spot whale sharks. Divers will get picked up by a shuttle bus at their hotel and drive 10 minutes to the marina. Snorkeling is also available for non-divers.
Take a boat trip to Cayo Iguana, home to hundreds of iguanas, or swim with dolphins at Cayo Blanco. La Granga de la Tortugas is a sea turtle hatchery where you can visit the farm and see young turtles in their protected nests. Aside from iguanas, turtles, and diverse birdlife, the gorgeous beaches of Playa Sirena and Playa Paraiso are definite Cayo Largo highlights, both on the Western end of the island. Catamaran trips (including nude ones) and snorkeling excursions are also available. There are no gambling or golfing opportunities in Cayo Largo. Bars, restaurants, water sports, nightlife, and sightseeing is limited to the hotels.
Cayo Largo Hotels
This small island off the coast of Cuba has limited hotel options. They are unpretentious and budget-friendly – and provide basic accommodation and amenities. We recommend choosing a 3+ star hotel.
Bravo Villa Coral (3 star)
Ole Playa Blanca (3.5 star)
Ole Villa Marinera (2.5 star)
Sol Cayo Largo (3.5 star)
Sol Pelicano (3.5 star)
When to go and for how long?
Visits to Cayo Largo are typically a week long. Cayo Largo is hot year round with temperatures ranging from 28-32C, with winter nights cooling down to 18C. Dry season takes place from November to April and humid season from May to October.
Visitors explore Cayo Largo on an all-inclusive vacation package. All-inclusive vacations mean that all food, drinks, activities, and entertainment are included in the price of your package. They provide a worry-free and wallet-friendly vacation while you’re there and allow you to experience all the amenities of the resort.
Cayo Largo vacation packages are available from Toronto, Vancouver, Quebec City, Ottawa, Montreal, Edmonton, and Calgary during the winter months, when most visitors want to escape to warmer climates. Visitors arrive at the small, international Vilo Acuna Airport with just one terminal, making it very easy to navigate. The airport is located 5-7km from the hotel zone and just 2.5 km from the Cayo Largo Marina. Most visitors arriving to Cayo Largo already have a shuttle bus waiting for them to bring them to their hotel, prearranged by the tour operator. Taxis are also available in from of the Arrivals section. Cab rides take approximately 10 minutes and cost 5-6 CUC one way.
Most visitors have no need to get around Cayo Largo during their sun-filled vacation on the resort. However, if you do want to explore other areas, there are some transportation options to consider. Oftentimes, organized tours or excursions include pick up and drop off at your hotel. Otherwise, taxis are available outside of resorts and tourist areas at somewhat higher prices. Make sure to agree on the fare first. Small trains travel form the resorts to Playa Sirena and Playa Paraiso. Bicycles and scooter rentals are also available.
Price: $1000-$3000 vacation package; approximately $40 per dive, $155 for 5-dive package
Language: Spanish, though English is widely spoken
Currency: CUC Cuban Convertible Peso.
Electricity: 110V or 220V