Saturday, April 18, 2015

Cuba Diary - Cayo Coco, Island Life at its finest

Hello there adventurers, it's Saturday and since I want you to enjoy the weekend I'll attack you with some dreamy pics today. This is for sure one of my favorite Cuba posts!
As I told you in my last post we eventually found PARADISE. After traveling for one and a half weeks, seeing four different cities and only one beach, we were looking for a relaxing place. Right at the beginning of our vacation a Spanish tourist recommended us Cayo Coco, a beautiful, deserted island exclusively available for tourists.

Since we were not traveling as typical tourists we had a hard time finding a place to stay on the island and buying food. Cayo Coco is an incredible spot, but unless you're staying in one of the numerous five star resorts, you have to plan ahead since there are no Cuban houses or shops, not even cafés or any food stands.

Since we arrived and checked in at 7am, we had an entire day that we could spend at the beach. One thing we didn't expect was that the hotel we stayed in was a little "off the beaten path", pretty far from the other resorts and beautiful beaches. So we asked for the way to the next hotel to take a bus from there that would bring us to the beach. Then we started walking, and walked, and walked, and walked... We walked more than 5 kilometers that morning, only to take the tourist bus for another two hours to finally get to the beach.  Haha, what a nightmare! After walking for more than an hour in the heat, not seeing anything but the road and bushes, I was done! Where's the service on Cuba? Now that I'm writing this article from home I laugh about that morning we walked through the desert to the bus, an unforgettable adventure with my bofriend. After reaching one of the big hotels we finally took the open top bus that picked up all the tourists at the other resorts.
Once we reached our destination we were wowed by the tropical palm trees, an endless white beach and incredibly clear water. Our long trip was totally worth spending a few hours at this beach called Playa Pilar! The Caribbean just how I imagined it!

Luckily the taxi driver we stayed with the night before and who took us to the island, could book us a room in Villa Azul, which is a low cost hotel where mostly backpackers and Cuban workers sleep. The room was ok, we had two huge beds and our own bathroom, plus TV. Unfortunately the service was not the best. The first day we had to wait for breakfast for about half an hour even though there were no other guests eating. The breakfast itself was fine, a ham and cheese sandwich, some more bread and a coffee with milk, which was actually made of milk powder and therefore not so yummy. At least we had a little something to eat because during the day we couldn't buy any fruit or snacks, there were just no shops on the entire island except for some souvenir stores! So Villa Azul is a good option for backpackers and adventurers like us, it's only 32€ per night, breakfast included and pretty clean. Don't expect too much luxury or comfort, but for two or three nights the place is totally fine.

On our way to the beaches I was totally amazed by the beautiful landscape that you can see here in the first photos. Huge ponds of crystal clear, turquoise water, all kinds of plants, flamingos and we even spotted a hummingbird (my personal highlight)! You can tell that Cayo Coco is an untouched island!

Since we booked two hotel nights, we promised ourselves to discover more beautiful beaches on the island. Thus you'll get to see two more posts of the marvelous Cayo Coco - a beach lover's dream!

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