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The Caribbean's tropical Eden

Imagine the Caribbean's Garden of Eden: a tropical island with sun-bleached beaches backed by a canopy of verdant foliage. This is Cayo Santa Maria, a paradise island floating like a jewel in the Atlantic Ocean. To the south are mangrove swamps, waves of palm-lined grasslands, creeks, and lagoons. To the north shoals of rainbow-coloured fish live in the crystal-clear waters. Cast yourself adrift in this otherworldly seventh heaven, feeling the silky sand between your toes and the sea spray on your face.

Highlights of Cayo Santa Maria

S.S. San Pasqual

The history of this grounded American ship is rich and varied. It was originally an oil tanker, but then used as a molasses tank. During World War Two it was equipped with guns and cannons, and during the Cuban revolution it served as a prison for soldier's captured by Che Guevara's army. More recently it has been converted to a 10-room hotel with a seafood restaurant, bar, and nightly entertainment.

Acuario-Delfinario de Cayo Santa Maria

This dolphinarium is just off the causeway as you enter Cayo Santa Maria. Visitors can take a catamaran cruise, go snorkelling, watch the dolphin show, and swim with dolphins in the beautiful waters surrounding the island. A bus makes the scenic rounds between the local hotels and the dolphinarium.

Cayo Las Brujas and Cayo Ensenachos

Situated west of Cayo Santa Maria, connected by a causeway to Cuba and the other islands, are Cayo Las Brujas and Cayo Ensenachos. Cayo Las Brujas is a stunning, unspoiled island with spectacular scuba diving. The island has just one hotel but the marina has a diving centre and rents out catamarans, sea scooters, and fishing boats. Head to Playa Salina, a remote stretch of pristine white sand lapped by bath-warm water. Cayo Ensenachos has two beaches, Playa Megano and Playa Ensenachos, as well as a luxury resort. Go snorkelling in the waters near the nautical centre for spectacular vistas of marine life.

Start planning your Cayo Santa Maria holiday here

Map of perfect holiday

Things to do in Cayo Santa Maria