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Cayo Coco

Situated in the Archipiélago de Sabana-Camagüey, or the Jardines del Rey (King’s Gardens) as travel brochures prefer to call it, Cayo Coco is Cuba's fourth-largest island, a 370-sq-km beach-rimmed key that is unashamedly dedicated to tourism. The area north of the Bahía de Perros (Bay of Dogs) was uninhabited before 1992, when the first hotel – the Cojímar – went up on adjoining Cayo Guillermo. The bulldozers haven't stopped buzzing since.

Cayo Coco largely resembles Cayo Santa María to the west (which it predates), although the latter is now larger in terms of hotel capacity and star-rating. Since 1988, the island has been connected to the mainland by a 27km causeway slicing across the Bahía de Perros. There are also causeways from Cayo Coco to Cayo Guillermo in the west and to Cayo Romano in the east, as well as an international airport.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Cayo Coco.