Cayo Coco | Jardines del Rey, Cuba

We took a short trip to Jardines del Rey, a group of tiny islands which lie just above Cuba’s northern coast.  Known as the “Cuban Keys,” they are immortalized in two of Ernest Hemingway’s novels, “Islands in the Stream” and “The Old Man and the Sea.”

Hemingway Statue on causeway between Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo
Hemingway Statue on causeway between Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo

Hemingway spent a great deal of time camping, fishing and boating in the area during World War II and it’s easy to see why.  As my feet sank in the soft sand, and the warm, clear water splashed over my feet, I stared across the Atlantic Ocean and understood why he chose this place to cast his fishing lines.

Beach at Melia Cayo Guillermo
Beach at Melia Cayo Guillermo

Cayo Coco, with its 13 miles of spectacular beaches, is named after the white ibis (coco), and is covered with thickets of mangroves, palms and other lush vegetation. A variety of excellent resorts—from the comfortable to the luxurious—line the coast.  We chose the Melia Cayo Coco, the only 5 star property on the island.

Pool / Melia Cayo Coco
The Pool

Thoughtfully placed between the beach and a natural saltwater lagoon, the adults only resort has a large swimming pool, 4 restaurants, 5 bars, as well as scuba, bike, scooter, and car rental.

Melia Cayo Coco Standard Room
Nuestra casa

The resort offers massage facilities, but we chose to take an excursion to the impressive Acuavida Thalasso Spa which overlooks the sea.

The Acuavida Thalassotherapy Spa
The Acuavida Thalassotherapy Spa

Programs are focused on wellness, relaxation, stress release and beauty, using a combination of high quality products with the natural elements of the marine ecosystem of the Caribbean Sea.  We sipped cocktails at the sun drenched poolside bar and indulged ourselves with a mudbath, full body massage, hydro and aromatherapy.

Poolside Bar
Poolside Bar

Did I mention an afternoon swim with a pair of dolphins???

Flipper
Flipper

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