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Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba

Imagine a small island with no permanent residents, almost adrift in the Caribbean ocean. Then imagine this lone beach that comes equipped with fabulous resorts, providing a holiday like no other. Imagination is actually not needed; the dream really does exist in the form of Cayo Santa Maria in the sun-haven of Cuba.

Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba

At a mere 13 kilometers long by two kilometers wide, the island does not have enough room to sustain a local population, which makes it all the more magical as a getaway, allowing visitors to be alone with just nature and the beach. Eleven of those 13 kilometers are all beachside with powdery, pale sands and more shades of blue than can be counted comprising the waterscape of this magnificent paradise. UNESCO has verified this islet as a biosphere reserve and counts 10 endemic species among its varied and thriving wildlife.

Cayo Santa Maria, CubaAn abundant population of birds congregate here, including anhingas, seagulls, flamingoes, woodpeckers, hawks and Cuba's own national bird, the tocororo. Not just birds make their home on Cayo Santa Maria, but flightless creatures, too. Iguanas, amphibian mollusks, hatias and deer all claim a place among the rich flora of the island. Those who love history will also enjoy exploring the caves near the beach where Pre-Columbian inhabitants, now long gone, left their mark.
The beaches are surrounded by warm waters of blue and green, clear and calm. Divers and snorklers will be entranced by the magnificent seascapes and coral reefs found at Cayo Santa Maria. Many hours can be spent just exploring the ocean bottom and the life darting above it, for many tropical fish of all varieties swim these seas.
Day trips are simple and can be taken by renting a jeep or a motorbike. A full decade of careful work has enabled a causeway, running 48 kilometers long, to link the small islands of Cayo Santa Maria, Majá, Fragoso, Cobos, Las Brujas, Ensenachos, Español de Adentro, Francés, and Las Picúas (among others). This allows for easy day trips, such as island hopping to Cayo Frances to visit the wreck of the San Pascual, a boat from San Francisco that ran aground in 1920, considered a rarity because it was made of reinforced concrete.
Tourism is flourishing here, bringing hotels and conveniences with it, but Santa Maria remains open and uncrowded. Indeed, there is the mini-border of El Pedraplén that prevents any Cuban nationals who are not employed at the resorts from visiting. While this might seem as if it does not present the traveler an opportunity to experience authentic Cuban living, it also means a vacation is truly just that and no touting or high-pressure sales follow you around. It is, truly, the traveler and the beach. Plus, there is always the option to take the causeway onto the mainland, and a more glorious drive cannot be had.
If the beach and all its adventure is what you crave, then Cayo Santa Maria is where all of your dreams of diving, snorkeling, catamaran riding, windsurfing and swimming can come true. Come and relax, revitalize and re-energize on the unforgettable sands of Cayo Santa Maria, a genuine sun and sand lover's paradise.

Other beaches of Cuba


Varadero beach

Puerto Escondido

Playa Pilar

Playa Esmeralda

Varadero beach

Puerto Escondido beach

Pilar beach

Esmeralda beach

Cayo Santa Maria

Cayo Largo

Cayo Guillermo

Cayo Coco beach

Cayo Santa Maria

Cayo Largo beach

Cayo Guillermo beach

Cayo Coco beach


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