A few years ago I was lucky enough to go to Cayo Coco, Cuba on an all inclusive vacation with my two best friends. For seven days we relaxed in the sun and sand, and swam in crystal clear water. We traveled on May 6th with Sunwing Vacations and stayed at the Memories Caribe resort.
Landing in Cuba, I first noticed the humidity (my hair immediately frizzed like a poodle) and the lush vegetation amidst the tiny airport. We hustled through immigration and boarded a bus towards our respective resorts and spent 7 blissful days in a tropical paradise.
I had a blast in Cuba! Aside from the first night when I drank a little too much tequila with my friend. My reasoning being that tequila does not have all the added sugar like cocktails, so we would be able to sleep.
Boy was I wrong. See at the all inclusive resorts they tend to a) give you the cheapest alcohol and b) avoid using measuring cups. So what you think is 6 shots (yes I know, 6 is also way too much) might end up being like 10.
10 shots of the grossest tequila ever translates into a night of first asking my friend to do planks with me (I have no idea why) and then throwing up all over the room, convinced I was dying and begging for a doctor.
Nonethless Cayo Coco is beautiful island that you must visit (just take it easy on the alcohol). I have compiled a short travel guide to help you plan your next trip.
P.S. For the rest of the trip I did not touch a single drop of alcohol. And the mere thought of tequila makes me want to throw up! Viva la Cuba am I right?
Brief Guide to Cayo Coco
My trip to Cayo Coco was an all inclusive trip that I booked through Sunwing Vacations. The total cost of the package is around$1300. This included cancellation insurance (which I recommend just in case ) and a catamaran snorkelling excursion (which I booked on the flight as it is cheaper than booking at the hotel).
Our stay was from May 6th to May 13th. The flight itself was pleasant. The trip from Calgary to Cayo Coco is 6 hours in total. On the flight we recieved a glass of champagne (yay!) and a tasty breakfast wrap.
Upon landing, I was hit with a wave of heat and humidity as we walked across the tarmac towards the custom and immigration officials. Other points of interest includ some very good looking Cuban men and a flock of excited Canadians.
From the airport you take a tour bus to your designated resort. If you want you can purchase some beer for $5 CAD on the bus to start your trip off right!
We stayed at Memories Caribe Resort, which has a 4 star rating on Trip Advisor.
The resort is complied of several villa complexes spread across the site and is interspersed with different dining areas, a pool and finally access to the beach. The best part about the hotel is the beach.
The rooms are clean and comfortable but I won’t lie the pillows are absolutely horrendous. I have heard many people say that on subsequent visits they ended up bringing their own pillows.
Depending on where your room is located you may have access to a beach view. In my opinion it isn’t that necessary. I got to look at a lovely bog / marsh and to be fair I did have the best view of the thunderstorm which was a bonus.
This might not be major for some people but it is for me – the bathrooms are clean and the toilets function properly. If you have traveled around before you know functioning toilets are important!
This has probably been said a thousand times before but the food on the resorts are far from a culinary wonder. In the Cayos it is a bit hard to access ingredients because they have to be driven in from the main island and that obviously poses problems.
While you have the option for a la carte dining at the resort’s restaurants, many people opt to eat at the buffet. For the entirety of the trip I ate : an omelette with cafe con leche for breakfast, cheese pizza from the pizza bar by the beach for lunch and spaghetti for dinner. A far cry from traditional Cuban cuisine but sadly the buffet did not have those options!
What I noticed is that the resort really wanted to cater to a North American taste palette and lots of the guests enjoy it but I really wanted to try Cuban cuisine. Luckily on my catamaran trip and when I visited the town I got to indulge in la comida Cubana.
As for drinks – I personally would not recommend the alcohol (for good reason LOL) but I enjoyed the coffee and water, and they did make a pretty mean mojito!
One word. Breathtaking!
The water is warm and crystal clear. The sea is also very calm which means you can swim without having to worry about the waves (this is great for families with small kids). If you’re lucky you can even see tiny little fish swimming at the bottom. And I totally did not scream and freak out and try and swim away from the fish.
You are in the middle of the Caribbean and near the equator. Despite being May, it is still pretty hot and very humid. I handle the heat quite easily but like my fellow Canadians sometimes the heat can be too much. If you go to Cuba near the end of May till August it will get hotter. On average the temperature during May is around 27 -30 degrees Celsius.
Here is a separate post that goes more in depth about things to do in Cayo Coco. Overall the island is the best place to relax by the beach and sip on some water or a margarita. Because Cayo Coco is away from the main island there is not much to do in terms of activities. There are excursions you can partake in (for an extra cost) like the catamaran trip.
The resort hosted nightly entertainment segments of dancing and singing which proved to be fun!
Be sure to purchase some Cuban cigars from the gentleman who hand rolls them on the spot at the resort. He was also very kind!
I absolutely loved the time I spent here in Cuba. The locals are so friendly, the beach is beautiful, the weather is hot (but bearable) and the resort itself is comfortable. Cayo Coco evoked the the beautiful espitiru Cubano within me.
The Cayos are soon expanding their urban development, making way for new resorts. In some ways that is great! In others ways it’s sad that a lot of pristine beaches will be scooped up by new resorts. I am sure a lot has changed in 2 years. However I would recommend checking out Cayo Coco for their beautiful beaches before it is too late!