Nestled within the shimmering embrace of the Caribbean Sea, the diminutive island of Cayo Largo del Sur emerges as a veritable oasis of tranquility. Fringed by pristine white sand beaches that seamlessly blend into the crystalline waters, this idyllic destination stands apart as one of Cuba’s most coveted jewels for discerning travelers seeking an unparalleled beach escapade.

Despite its remote location, far removed from the bustling mainland, Cayo Largo del Sur’s allure is undeniable. As locals who have explored the sun-drenched shores of Cuba extensively, we can confidently assert that this tiny cay boasts some of the nation’s most breathtaking beaches, making the journey an absolute necessity for those yearning for a truly paradisiacal experience.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll unveil the secrets that make Cayo Largo del Sur a must-visit destination, sharing insider tips on where to stay, what to do, and how to savor every moment of this island paradise to the fullest.

Geographical Positioning: A Strategic Seclusion

Situated off Cuba’s southern coast, within the enchanting Canarreos Archipelago, Cayo Largo del Sur finds itself in closer proximity to the nation’s second-largest island, Isla de la Juventud, than to the mainland itself. This strategic positioning not only contributes to the island’s seclusion but also amplifies its allure, offering visitors a true sense of escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

What to Know about Cayo Largo del SurDespite its remote location, accessing Cayo Largo del Sur has become increasingly convenient, thanks to the island’s Vilo Acuña International Airport. This modern gateway receives regular flights from various Cuban cities, including Havana and Varadero, facilitating seamless integration into broader travel itineraries. Moreover, the airport’s expanding international connections are making it easier than ever for global travelers to reach this Caribbean paradise directly.

A Metamorphosis from Untouched Sands to Coveted Destination

Prior to the 1980s, Cayo Largo del Sur existed as a mere speck of untouched white sand, devoid of permanent inhabitants and seldom visited. However, as Cuba’s tourism industry recognized the island’s immense potential, fueled by its natural beauty, a transformative journey began to unfold.

With the construction of hotels along the beachfront and the establishment of an airport, this once-secluded cay rapidly evolved into one of Cuba’s most sought-after travel destinations. Today, Cayo Largo del Sur remains a beloved haven for travelers seeking pristine beaches, white sand shores, and an escape from the ordinary.

The recent acquisition of the island’s tourist infrastructure by Blue Diamond Resorts has ushered in a renewed wave of interest and investment. With the reopening of the first few renovated properties in late 2022, Blue Diamond Resorts’ leadership has already catalyzed a remarkable renaissance in Cayo Largo del Sur’s tourism landscape.

Is Cayo Largo del Sur Truly Worth the Journey?

Unequivocally, Cayo Largo del Sur is an experience that transcends mere travel; it’s a journey worth embarking upon. While reaching this remote cay may require a bit more planning and preparation, the natural splendor, exceptional resorts, affordable excursions, and extraordinary activities on offer make the endeavor an unparalleled adventure.

This tiny island boasts some of the Caribbean’s most awe-inspiring beaches, and with its burgeoning popularity and ever-increasing accessibility from Cuba and beyond, the time to plan your visit is now. Embrace the opportunity to immerse yourself in a world of unspoiled beauty, where the stresses of daily life melt away, and the only concern is savoring each moment in paradise.

Cayo Largo del Sur’s Beachfront Marvels

Cayo Largo del Sur has rightfully earned its reputation as one of the Caribbean’s premier beach destinations, and it’s no surprise that it ranks among the best places to experience Cuba’s coastal splendor. Despite its diminutive size, this cay boasts a remarkable collection of breathtaking beaches, each offering its unique charm and allure.

Playa Paraiso: Living Up to Its Heavenly Moniker

Aptly named Playa Paraiso, or “Paradise Beach,” this stunning stretch of shoreline truly embodies its celestial title. Boasting powdery white sand that caresses the soles and perfectly calm, azure waters that beckon swimmers and sun-seekers alike, this beach is undoubtedly the crown jewel of Cayo Largo del Sur.

Despite its fame as the island’s most renowned beach, Playa Paraiso never feels overcrowded, even during the peak travel season. This tranquil oasis offers a beach bar for refreshments and light fare, as well as easy access to umbrellas and beach chairs, ensuring visitors can effortlessly claim their slice of paradise for the day.

While the sandy bottom beneath the waves may not reveal an abundance of vibrant coral formations, snorkelers can still delight in the occasional sighting of tropical fish and starfish, adding a touch of marine magic to their beachside bliss.

Playa Sirena: A Postcard-Perfect Dreamscape

Just a short 20-minute journey from Playa Paraiso lies another of Cayo Largo’s most celebrated beaches: Playa Sirena. This stunning expanse of pristine white sand and turquoise waters, stretching as far as the eye can see, is a true masterpiece that seems plucked straight from a postcard.

Playa Sirena’s allure extends beyond its visual splendor, offering visitors a wealth of amenities to enhance their beach experience. From beach chair and umbrella rentals to on-site restaurants and bars, this beach caters to every need. Additionally, vendors offering water sports equipment and snorkeling gear ensure that those seeking an active adventure can indulge their desires.

Even if your accommodations are located on the opposite side of the island, a visit to Playa Sirena is an absolute must. Its unparalleled beauty and array of offerings make it a destination that simply cannot be missed.

What to Know about Cayo Largo del Sur

Essential Travel Companion: A Reliable VPN

When exploring the wonders of Cayo Largo del Sur, one crucial travel essential cannot be overlooked: a trustworthy Virtual Private Network (VPN). In an era where online security and privacy are paramount, a VPN serves as an invaluable tool, safeguarding your personal information from potential hackers and trackers.

Unveiling the Extraordinary Experiences of Cayo Largo del Sur

While Cayo Largo del Sur’s pristine beaches are undoubtedly the main attraction, this island paradise offers a wealth of extraordinary experiences that elevate your stay to new heights of adventure and discovery.

1. Diving into the Depths: Marina Marlin Cayo Largo

Beneath the tranquil turquoise waters that surround Cayo Largo del Sur lies an unexpected abundance of marine life, making the island a premier destination for scuba diving enthusiasts. The island’s proximity to incredible reefs and shipwrecks has earned it a reputation as one of the best places to explore Cuba’s underwater wonders.

Most hotels on the island collaborate with the esteemed dive center at Marina Marlin Cayo Largo, ensuring visitors have access to experienced instructors and knowledgeable guides. Whether you’re a seasoned diver seeking memorable dive sites or a novice eager to obtain certification, Marina Marlin Cayo Largo offers a diverse array of options to suit every skill level and preference.

2. Connecting with Nature: The Sea Turtle Hatchery

One of the most captivating experiences in Cayo Largo del Sur is a visit to the island’s sea turtle hatchery. Located just a stone’s throw from the marina, this must-visit destination offers an intimate and educational encounter with these gentle creatures.

Guided by knowledgeable staff, you’ll embark on a journey that unveils the intricate process of raising sea turtles, from the moment they hatch until their release into the wild. Witness the awe-inspiring sight of tiny hatchlings and observe the growth of larger turtles, depending on the season. For those seeking a truly immersive experience, you may even have the opportunity to handle these magnificent creatures gently.

3. Encountering the Wild: El Torreon Nursery and its Crocodile Residents

What to Know about Cayo Largo del SurIf the idea of getting up close and personal with slightly more formidable wildlife piques your interest, consider dedicating a portion of your itinerary to visiting El Torreon Nursery, also known as “Vivero Torre.” While primarily renowned for its resident crocodiles, this attraction offers a fascinating glimpse into the island’s diverse flora and fauna.

Embark on a guided tour through the mangroves, where you’ll have the opportunity to spot crocodiles in their natural habitat. Along the way, keep your eyes peeled for other captivating creatures, such as iguanas and turtles, that call this nursery home. Additionally, you’ll have the chance to learn about the island’s unique plant life, including the opportunity to sample fresh aloe vera straight from the property.

Travel Insurance: A Prerequisite for Cuban Adventures

Before embarking on your journey to Cayo Largo del Sur, it’s essential to secure comprehensive travel insurance, as mandated by Cuban regulations. All visitors to the island must provide proof of coverage to gain entry into the country.

For your convenience, we recommend considering the following reputable travel insurance providers for your Cuban adventure:

  • Visitors Coverage: Offering coverage for Cuba travel to citizens of all countries, except for residents of New York and Maryland in the United States.
  • Insubuy: Providing coverage for Cuba travel to citizens of all countries and states within the United States.

By securing travel insurance, you can embark on your Cayo Largo del Sur escapade with the utmost peace of mind, knowing that you’re protected against any unforeseen circumstances that may arise during your island getaway.

Where to Stay: Luxurious Resorts in Cayo Largo del Sur

Cayo Largo del Sur is an exclusively resort-focused destination, offering a total of eleven resorts and hotels to cater to diverse preferences and budgets. From affordable options to luxurious all-inclusive experiences, this island paradise has something to suit every traveler’s needs.

Grand Memories Cayo Largo: Indulge in Five-Star Splendor

Undoubtedly one of the most prestigious all-inclusive resorts on Cayo Largo del Sur, Grand Memories Cayo Largo is a standout choice for guests seeking a truly opulent experience. With its prime beachfront location and recently refurbished rooms, many of which offer breathtaking ocean views from private patios, this resort epitomizes luxury.

Beyond its accommodation offerings, Grand Memories Cayo Largo boasts a wealth of amenities to elevate your stay. Dedicated adults-only and family-friendly swimming pools, a rejuvenating spa, a clubhouse, a kids’ club, and sports courts cater to guests of all ages, making it an ideal destination for multigenerational travel.

Memories Cayo Largo: Newly Renovated Bliss

One of the island’s recently renovated properties to reopen with a fresh, contemporary look in November 2022, Memories Cayo Largo is a standout among Cayo Largo del Sur’s resorts. With 296 newly refurbished rooms and three distinct dining options, this resort offers a perfect blend of comfort and culinary delight.

Despite its popularity, Memories Cayo Largo never feels overcrowded, ensuring a serene and intimate experience for all guests. If you’re seeking even greater privacy or traveling with a larger group, consider the resort’s Memories Villas. These oceanview villas, nestled along the coastline, provide a secluded haven where you can savor the island’s beauty as if it were your own private paradise.

Starfish Cayo Largo: A Family-Friendly Oasis

Another recently renovated gem, Starfish Cayo Largo stands out as the premier family resort on the island. With five diverse dining options, dedicated swimming pools for adults and families, and a dedicated kids’ club, this resort caters to the needs of travelers of all ages.

While Starfish Cayo Largo excels in providing a family-friendly atmosphere, it’s also a haven for couples and solo travelers seeking a serene escape. The resort’s array of amenities and activities ensures that every guest can find their perfect slice of paradise, whether seeking quality time with loved ones or a rejuvenating solo retreat.

Accessing Cayo Largo del Sur: A Journey to Paradise

What to Know about Cayo Largo del SurWhile reaching Cayo Largo del Sur may require a bit more planning than visiting Cuba’s larger cities, the journey is an adventure in itself and one that is undoubtedly worth the effort. The island’s Vilo Acuña International Airport serves as the primary gateway, receiving regular flights from Havana, Varadero, and other Cuban cities, making it seamless to incorporate Cayo Largo del Sur into your broader Cuban itinerary.

Interestingly, the island has also witnessed an influx of international flights, particularly from various Canadian cities, making it a popular direct destination for Canadian travelers seeking a Caribbean escape.

While the vast majority of visitors arrive by air, it is possible to reach Cayo Largo del Sur by boat. However, this mode of transportation is typically reserved for those with access to private vessels or those arranging specialized excursions. For most travelers, flying directly to the island remains the most convenient and accessible option.


As you prepare to embark on your journey to Cayo Largo del Sur, rest assured that this remote island paradise awaits, offering an unparalleled escape from the ordinary and an opportunity to immerse yourself in the ultimate beach vacation experience.

Be sure to tag us in your photos and videos @resortcaribbean, and follow our socials: Instagram, Facebook, YouTube.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here