Welcome to Cayo Guillermo
Ah, Cayo Guillermo: haunt of pink flamingos, agreeably blond beaches and Cuba's second-most famous Ernesto after Mr Guevara – Señor Hemingway. It was Hemingway who initiated Guillermo's early publicity drive, describing it radiantly in his posthumously published Cuban novel Islands in the Stream (1970). Development of the northern cayos took off here in 1993 when the first of six all-inclusive resorts, Villa Cojímar, received its formative guests. Long a prized deep-sea fishing spot, 13-sq-km Guillermo has recently morphed into Cuba's most prized kiteboarding spot thanks to its stiff north-coast winds. The mangroves off the south coast remain home to pink flamingos and pelicans, and there's a tremendous diversity of tropical fish and crustaceans on the Atlantic reef.
Would Hemingway like it today? Probably not. Notwithstanding, a statue of the laconic writer, who once revered Guillermo for its solitude and fishing, guards the entry bridge.