History of Jardines del Rey Cuba

Jardines del Rey Cuba

The Jardines del Rey dream began on the 26 of July 1980 when the then president of Cuba, Fidel Castro, addressed the city of Ciego de Avila during the commemorations on this national holiday in Cuba.

During this visit to Ciego de Avila, Fidel Castro and a group of about 20 engineers visited the remote islands of Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo. The president promised that these very islands would one day become Cuba’s most sought after tourist destination. The planning began when Fidel returned to Havana and, hastily, the same group of engineers proposed several plans to build a causeway from Ciego de Avila to Cayo Coco, an initial length of about 30km.

Pedraplen Fidel Castro Cuba

After much discussion and amendments to the plan, the construction of the pedraplen (Spanish word for causeway) from the mainland finally commenced in 1988. The revised causeway measured 27kms (16 miles) and ended up connecting Cayo Coco to the mainland of Cuba in just 3 years. The time having been reduced, due to the use of a small key called Isla de Turiguano, as the foundation for a long stretch of road which had previously been planned to traverse over the sea. In 1992 another section of seven kilometers was built to connect Cayo Coco with Cayo Guillermo and, with it began the meteoric expansion of hotels and resorts on the Jardines del Rey Islands of Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo. The man responsible for the road is called Evelio Capote Castillo, he was both the principal engineer and architect of the plan. He also oversaw every meter of its construction. A special thanks goes out to the family of Evelio Capote Castillo.

Pedraplen Causeway Jardine del Rey Cuba

Based upon the success of the Pedraplen Causeway to Cayo Coco, on December 15th 1989 work began on a second causeway between Caibarien and Cayo Santa Maria. Considered an engineering marvel, the causeway incorporates:

  • 46 Bridges over the sea
  • Total length of bridges 2298 Meters (7539 feet)
  • Longest single stretch of bridge 350 meters (1148 feet)
  • Highest bridge 7.67 meters (25 feet)

The causeway connects to Cayo Las Brujas first at 41km (25 miles) from Caibarien. Then Cayo Encenachos at 48km (29 miles) and finally, Cayo Santa Maria at 51km (32 miles).

The first hotel built in Jardines del Rey Archipelago was on Cayo Guillermo in 1992, with the opening of the Hotel Gran Caribe Club Villa Cojimar, followed by the first resort called Guitart Cayo Coco (now the Hotel Colonial), opened in 1993 on the neighboring island Cayo Coco. Since then the expansion has been incredible with (2014); 14 Hotels on Cayo Coco, 10 Hotels on Cayo Santa Maria, 4 Hotels on Cayo Guillermo, 1 Hotel each on Cayo Ensenachos and Cayo Las Brujas. Jardines del Rey now offers over 10,000 rooms in total.

In 2005 the Jardines del Rey International Airport opened to accommodate direct flights from around the world. Then in 2008 the ex-military airport on Cayo Las Brujas was upgraded to take larger planes and domestic flights. Despite the existence of the airports, the causeway remains a key route for supplies to the hotels and also vacationers visiting the Cuban cities on the mainland.

Cuba Jardines del Rey Beach

It’s quite feasible to incorporate a visit to the Jardines del Rey Islands into a broader tour of Cuba. The distances between main cities are shown below:

  • HavanaCayo Santa Maria 386 km (240 miles)
  • Varadero – Cayo Santa Maria 292 km (181 miles)
  • Havana – Cayo Coco 508 km (315 miles)
  • Varadero – Cayo Coco 414 km (257 miles)
  • Trinidad – Cayo Santa Maria 198 km (123 miles)
  • Trinidad – Cayo Coco 247 km (153 miles)

Click to Chat with us about creating a unique vacation package to tour Cuba, including a stopover on the idyllic Jardines del Rey Islands and visits to other cities in the region.

Visiting Jardines del Rey is an amazing experience. No matter which island you choose the experience is sublime. The beaches are simply outstanding and the natural beauty simply irreproachable. To think that these islands were uninhabited 3 decades ago, to what they have become today, is a marvel in itself.

Millions of people from all around the world have visited Jardines del Rey, now it’s your turn!

Jardines del Rey Guide

Cayo Las Brujas Hotels Jardines del Rey Islands

Cayo Las Brujas Jardines del Rey

This is an easy one. The Jardines Del Rey island of Cayo Las Brujas has just one hotel so, not much choice here! The Cayo Las Brujas Key is simply stunning in all respects and because this hotel is one of the cheapest in the whole Jardines del Rey Archipelago you better act quick! Click below to see; reviews, photos, latest information and check rates and availability for your Hotel in Cayo Las Brujas.

Looking for a perfect island hideaway? Hotel Villa Las Brujas could well be it! Located on the north coast of Cayo Las Brujas in the UNESCO biosphere reserve of Jardines del Rey. The accommodations are nicely spaced individual villas, connected via natural gardens and suspended bridge wooden walkways. Each Cabaña is configured into a two level duplex design offering utmost privacy for guests. With just 24 rooms, this could be considered one of the most exclusive hotels in Cuba, having the whole island of 6.7 km² to itself. The property has been built on a natural coastal cliff overlooking the turquoise waters below. 19 of the 24 rooms guarantee unhindered views of the coastline and sea. Villa Las Brujas is probably the bargain of the century. If your desire is to relax on its virgin beaches and wander around this idyllic island, the Hotel Villa Las Brujas ticks every conceivable box.

As a 3 star property the accommodations are basic but functional, including tea and coffee maker, hairdryer and satellite international TV. However, the basic fixtures are easily forgiven when you consider that your room measures 35 m² (367 ft²). This tiny resort has a 24 hour reception desk and the room rate includes breakfast. There is also a good onsite restaurant if you want to stay close to base one evening. The hotel is also part of a small yacht marina which typically has one or two international seafarers spending time there and can be great for exchanging stories and socializing.

Nevertheless, if you enjoy exploring, there’s ample opportunity to visit the immediate area. Cayo Ensenachos is just 8km away and Cayo Santa Maria only 18km. Both are easily accessible either by shuttle bus or, you can rent scooters and bicycles at the hotel. On Cayo Santa Maria you’ll find the large shopping, entertainment and food courts of Pueblo La Estrella and Pueblo Las Dunas where you can do (and eat) almost anything. From, taking a Spa treatment to 10 pin bowling, these centers are simply amazing considering their remote location.

Overall the Hotel Villa Las Brujas remains quiet due to its exquisite Jardines del Rey location and the fact that it is not sold in most countries, major operators from Canada and Europe preferring to sell the hotels of 4 and 5 star in Cayo Santa Maria or the ultra 5 star of Cayo Ensenachos. This is of course a blessing, because Hotel Villa Las Brujas is exquisite and you can still book it here.

Once you’ve compared the rates, finalizing the booking at the Jardines del Rey Villa Las Brujas Hotel takes just seconds and an immediate confirmation is provided in real-time. But wait! Why not check our other Jardines del Rey Hotels before making your decision?

Hotel Reviews – Rate Comparison – Availability Check

Jardines del Rey hotel Reservations

Cayo Santa Maria Hotels Jardines del Rey Islands

Jardines del Rey Hotels Cayo Santa Maria Cuba

Finding it difficult to choose which heavenly Jardines Del Rey island to visit? To make your decision simpler, we are listing every hotel in Jardines del Rey. Yes, on this page you will find every hotel in Cayo Santa Maria. Click the link to each hotel to see reviews, photos, latest information and check rates and availability for your Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria.

This list of Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria only includes those hotels which are on the island however; hotels in the near vicinity are also shown when you visit the link to each hotel.

We’ve made it simple, you can check rates on all Jardines del Rey hotels, on this page its Cayo Santa Maria. Yes, for the first time you can compare rates across all suppliers in almost any currency.

All Jardines del Rey – Cayo Santa Maria hotel Reservations are 100% guaranteed as confirmed with the hotel and a confirmed booking code is issued directly from the hotel. Below is a list of every hotel exclusively in Cayo Santa Maria.

You are guaranteed the lowest rate on your Cayo Santa Maria Hotel stay along with payment in 32 currencies including USD, Euro, CAD, Yen, and much more.

Hotel Melia Buenavista *****

Hotel Melia Cayo Santa Maria *****

Hotel Melia Las Dunas *****

Hotel Sol Cayo Santa Maria ****

Hotel Husa Cayo Santa Maria Beach *****

Hotel Memories Azul Beach Resort *****

Hotel Eurostars Cayo Santa Maria *****

Hotel Royalton Cayo Santa Maria *****

Hotel Memories Paraiso *****

Hotel Playa Cayo Santa María *****

But hold up! Why not check hotels in other Jardines del Rey Islands before making your mind up?

Cayo Ensenachos Hotels Jardines del Rey Islands

Hotels Cayo Ensenachos Jardines del Rey

Choosing a Hotel on the Jardines Del Rey island of Cayo Ensenachos is easy. Why? Because there is only one! Click the “Reserve” button to see reviews, latest information and check rates and availability for your Hotel in Cayo Ensenachos.

Iberostar Cayo Ensenachos in Jardines del Rey has the whole Ensenachos island to itself thus, taking the name for the Hotel! Separated by the Ensenachos Beach, the two divisions of the hotel are split by a slither of land which incorporates not much more than the road and the aforementioned beach. Hotel Iberostar Cayo Ensenachos has 506 rooms, divided into 270 accommodations in the Park section (for families), 190 rooms in the SPA section (adults only) along with 46 luxury duplex villas. These two bedroom villas offer 1 King bedroom and one 2 bedroom with double beds. All villas boast private terrace with a decked Jacuzzi.

Iberostar Cayo Ensenachos Jardines del Rey Spa

The Ensenachos Spa & Wellness Center features state-of-the-art technology throughout, offering a complete range of luxury Spa treatments, including; a lap pool, professional-level fitness gym, multi-person sauna, Jacuzzis, and beauty salon.

Iberostar Cayo Ensenachos Jardines del Rey Restaurants

Iberostar Ensenachos proposes an epic 6 restaurants to its visitors! First, there’s the Azia Japanese restaurant featuring a sushi bar and spectacular Teppanyaki live cooking show. Try the Maki sushi, Soba Soup, Nigiri-sushi, Ikura Sashimi and more Japanese delicacies. Next up, another firm guest favorite is the Palazzo Italian Restaurant with its mouth-watering pasta Puttanesca, fresh ricotta meatballs, Spaghetti Carbonara, home-made pizzas followed by maybe a fresh Tiramisu or Ricotta Almond Cake? Italian wines are also available with a mesmerizing assortment of Pinot grigio, Vermentino, Arneis, Moscato and many more whites. The reds include top favorites like Tuscan Sangiovese, Sagrantino from Umbria or the delectable Dolcetto from Piedmont.

If you’re looking to eat quickly, the quality of Ventanas Buffet is beyond reproach. Serving a delicious range of various dishes during lunch (12:30 PM – 02:30 PM) and dinners (06:30 PM – 10:00 PM). The Ventanas also caters to breakfast, from (7 to 10am).

For a meal with some true Mediterranean flair then try the La Punta del Pirata Restaurant where you can savor broiled freshly caught Caribbean fish, shellfish, crustaceans and delicious fresh salads. For guests lucky enough to be staying at the Grand Village there’s the El Colonial Gourmet Restaurant offering a delicious a-la-carte menu with amazing variety and 5 star table service.

Fancy a steak? Then the adults-only Atizador Steakhouse serves some of the best; sirloin, filet mignon, tenderloin or T-Bones you have ever tasted. The accompanying jacket potatoes are to die for…

Iberostar Cayo Ensenachos Jardines del Rey Entertainment

The startling amphitheater nighttime shows are simply out of this world. Cabarets, Live bands, Theatre and Broadway type shows compel you to spend the night glued to your chair. For the kids it’s a magical time at the Iberostar Ensenachos with fun packed games, live shows, dancing lessons and much more. From dawn till dusk your children will be in heaven. Everyday there’s a new adventure. For the youngest guests there’s the Mini-Club and a childcare facility featuring painting, supervised pool time, games, Ping-Pong and much, much more.

Iberostar Cayo Ensenachos Jardines del Rey Beaches

If you want to revel very own paradise then the virgin beaches of Playa Ensenachos, located between the two areas of the resort, or the smaller Playa Megano near the Spa Center are simply outstanding. These beaches are simply incomparable with any we’ve ever seen or may ever see. Fine almost powder-like brilliant white sand, natural palms leaning towards the beach surrounded by lush exotic vegetation. One word? – Idyllic.

Overall the Iberostar Cayo Ensenachos (previously the Royal Hideaway Ensenachos) is an outstanding venue for a relaxing vacation. You can sense that great care has been taken to ensure that the resort not only makes use of, but also takes full advantage of these untouched natural surroundings. The wildlife is beyond belief; you won’t have any problem discovering; flamingos, herons, cormorants and many others just stood within yards of you, blissfully aware but unperturbed by your presence. If you take into account the crystal clear waters, swimming, snorkeling, diving and water sports, allied to the world’s second largest barrier reef, starting just a few meters from the soft white sandy shores and teaming with marine life and natural corals, this is one truly unique vacation heaven.

Our booking process is unique because it shows the best rate from all of these for Iberostar hotel in Cayo Ensenachos and the types of rooms available. Our Iberostar Cayo Ensenachos rate comparison is an industry first for Cuban Hotels.

Once you’ve compared the rates, finalizing the booking at Iberostar Hotel takes just seconds and an immediate confirmation is provided in real-time. But wait! Why not check out all the other Jardines del Rey Hotels before deciding?

Hotel Reviews – Rate Comparison – More Photos

Jardines del Rey hotel Reservations

Cayo Guillermo Hotels Jardines del Rey Islands

Cayo Guillermo Hotels Jardines del Rey

Finding it hard to choose which idyllic Jardines Del Rey island to visit? To make your decision easier, we are listing every hotel in Jardines del Rey. Yes, on this page you will find every hotel in Cayo Guillermo. Click the link to each hotel to see reviews, latest information and check rates and availability for your Hotel in Cayo Guillermo.

Cayo Guillermo hotel Reservations are 100% guaranteed as confirmed with the hotel and a confirmed booking code is issued directly from the hotel.

You are assured the best deal on your Jardines del Rey Cayo Guillermo Hotel stay, allied to payment in 32 currencies including USD, Euro, CAD, Yen, and more.

The list of Cayo Guillermo Hotels below is a complete list of every Hotel in Cayo Guillermo. Immediate confirmation of all Hotels is assured if available during your chosen dates..

Hotel Melia Cayo Guillermo *****

Hotel Iberostar Daiquiri ****

Hotel Sol Cayo Guillermo ****

Hotel Allegro Club (Villa Cojimar) ***

Remember, the decision is hard so check out our other Jardines del Rey Islands before deciding!

Cayo Coco Hotels Jardines del Rey Islands

Cayo Coco Jardines del Rey Hotels

Probably the hardest decision when visiting Jardines Del Rey is which island to visit. To make this easier we are listing every hotel in Jardines del Rey and on this page you will find every hotel in Cayo Coco. Click each hotel to see reviews, latest information and check rates and availability for your Hotel in Cayo Coco.

All Cayo Coco hotel Reservations are 100% guaranteed as confirmed with the hotel and a confirmed booking code is issued directly from the hotel. Below is a list of every hotel exclusively in Cayo Coco.

You are guaranteed the lowest rate on Cayo Coco Hotels in Jardines del Rey, along with payment options in 32 currencies including USD, Euro, CAD, Yen, and others..

The list of Cayo Coco Hotels below is a complete list of every Hotel on this beautiful island in the Jardines del Rey archipelago.

Tryp Cayo Coco **** Jardines Del Rey, Moron, Cayo Coco

Memories Caribe Beach Resort **** Jardines Del Rey, Cayo Coco

Hotel Colonial Cayo Coco ***** Jardines Del Rey, Cayo Coco

Melia Cayo Coco ***** Jardines Del Rey, Cayo Coco

Sol Cayo Coco **** Jardines Del Rey, Cayo Coco

Hotel Playa Coco **** Jardines Del Rey, Cayo Coco

Iberostar Cayo Coco **** Avenida de los Hoteles, Cayo Coco

Emperador Laguna Villas and Resort **** Avenida de los Hoteles, Cayo Coco

Hotel Iberostar Daiquiri **** Avenida de los Hoteles, Cayo Coco

Hotel Memories Flamenco ***** Avenida de los Hoteles, Cayo Coco

Pestana Cayo Coco Beach Resort **** Avenida de los Hoteles, Cayo Coco

Gran Caribe Club Villa Cojimar *** Avenida de los Hoteles, Cayo Coco

Iberostar Mojito Hotel **** Ave. Los Hoteles Cayo Coco, Cayo Coco

Oasis Playa Coco Hotel Cayo Coco **** Carretera Cayo Guillermo, Cayo Coco

We offer every hotel on every island! Don’t forget to check out our other hotel offers in Jardines del Rey!

Moron Gateway City to Jardines del Rey

Moron Near Jardines del Rey

Visitors to the Jardines Del Rey islands of Cayo Coco, Cayo Guillermo and Cayo Romano often spend a day in Moron, its blend of Authentic Cuban Culture and small town simplicity; make it a big hit with those looking for an insight into Cuba’s colonial past and history. The numerous Casa Particulars in Moron also makes a trip to Jardines del Rey a favorite amongst visitors staying in Moron.

A visit to the town Moron while staying on the aforementioned islands in Jardines del Rey is simple, just 62 KM from the main keys the main stretch of road covered is the smooth causeway pedraplen. Don’t miss a visit to the municipal museum and the sugar cane museum in Moron. Of course, for many a wander around the colonial buildings and central railway station will be a prerequisite. Moron’s first settlement was founded +470 years ago, in 1543, by families from Sancti Spiritus and seamen who sailed along the province’s northern coast in search of land and fortune. The Moron is thought to be derived from an aboriginal term for “mound”. The town of Moron itself dates back to the year 1750 when it was nothing more than a few buildings but was no longer considered a settlement.

Museums Moron Near Jardines del Rey

Moron began to grow exponentially in 1915 when the Trocha rail line was bought by Colonel Jose M. Tarafa as he began to assemble the Ferrocarriles del Norte railway line. Moron was chosen as the line’s headquarters. The railway’s maintenance shops and a large central station still stand today, along with steam trains, all as a reminder of the booming sugar trade which was the economic base for this city. In the 1960s a road was built through the marshland to the coast, and in the 1990s this was extended on a man-made causeway to Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo. Many of the hotel workers you meet while in Cayo Coco live in the city of Moron also. The City museum of Moron is a particularly interesting place with plenty of things to see.

Particularly interesting is the Sugar Cane Mill Museum in Moron which not only displays a large group of tools, machinery and artifacts from the Sugar trade but, also offers a real life re-enactment of the grinding process. The city of Moron also holds two accolades, the first is it was was the city of the publication of the first newspaper, “El Faro de Moron” from the editorial offices of Francisco Fernández in 1855. The second is that Moron was also the first city to have horse-drawn carriages running on the city’s streets in 1855.

If you are staying in Jardines del Rey then you simply cannot afford to skip a visit to Moron. Likewise, if you are staying at a casa particular in Moron, Jardines del Rey is a great day out at the beach.

Remedios Gateway City to Jardines del Rey

Remedios gateway to Jardines del Rey

Visitors to the Jardines Del Rey islands of Cayo Las Brujas, Cayo Ensenachos and Cayo Santa Maria often spend a day in Remedios, especially during the Christmas period. The city is famous for many things but primarily it’s the festivities around the December holidays. The abundance of Casa Particulars in Remedios also make Jardines del Rey a popular day out for tourists staying on the mainland.

Remedios is just 52km from the aforementioned Islands in Jardines del Rey, most of the distance being covered on the perfectly paved causeway, Remedios is an ideal place to visit to get a feel for the “Real Cuba” and Cubans. By visiting either Caibarien or Remedios, you’ll finally feel you’ve got the gist a morsel of Cuban Culture, even if it’s only for a day out. Remedios is also known as San Juan de los Remedios and is both a city and municipality, located just 3 miles (4.8 km) from the coast. Like Cayo Las Brujas, Remedios is part of the province of Villa Clara. Isabella II of Spain declared Remedios a City when Cuba was still a Spanish colony.

Remedios is world-famous for its Parrandas or carnivals, considered one of the Caribbean’s leading traditional festivities. The carnival is held each year around Christmas time with the streets starting to become “carnivalized” by mid December and the festivities continuing on into the New Year. It’s really something special, and worth your time if you’re in Cuba. To get to Remedios from Cayo Las Brujas, Cayo Santa Maria or Cayo Ensenachos it will take less than an hour by car and the roads are beyond reproach, especially the pedraplen causeway, on which 90% of your journey will take place.

Remedios Railway Cuba

Remedios is a historically rich city with lots of heritage, the eighth oldest city in the Republic of Cuba and despite its small size of just 47,000 inhabitants, its a very attractive city. Cuban historians have estimated the foundation date of Remedios as being sometime between 1513 and 1524. It is assumed to have been founded by a Spanish nobleman named Vasco Porcallo de Figueroa on 13th of April 1514, however exact documentation supporting this has been obscured by time. Some documents that do exist, place this settlement as having been only preceded by Baracoa (1511) and Bayamo in 1512, so yes, this is a very old city indeed, for the Caribbean and the Americas as a whole. Many unofficial sources claim Remedios was founded before Trinidad (1514). Remedios has actually had a few different names over the past 500 or so years. The first was Santa Cruz de la Sabana then Santa Cruz de Vasco Porcallo and the penultimate, Santa Cruz de la Sabana del Cayo and, finally in 1578, San Juan de los Remedios de la Sabana del Cayo.

Remedios was declared National Historic Monument in 1980 by the Cuban Government, mainly because of its long and historic history. The city center is particularly attractive with its 17th century Spanish colonial architecture and beautifully ornate buildings. The main things to see in Remedios are the; Plaza Isabel II is the “Iglesia Mayor” of San Juan Bautista, which displays 13 marvelously decorated gold altars. This Parish Church is composed of the main church, Parroquial Mayor de San Juan Bautista, and a chapel known as Ermita del Buenviaje. The two religious structures are exemplary examples of Spanish colonial architecture in the Caribbean and must be seen to be appreciated. The bell towers of both the church and the chapel define the landscape of this historic Cuban city. Due to its proximity to the coast, Remedios was under regular siege by pirates and corsairs, François l’Olonnais being the most renowned of the bandits. During these decades, the gold altars were hidden under white paint. Another impressive church can be found on the north side of the square called the Iglesia del Buen Viaje or Church of the Good Journey. Remedios hold the odd accolade as being the only city in Cuba with two churches on its main square. The elegant Central Plaza or “Plaza Mayor” was renovated in the 1970s and is encircled by amazing colonial buildings, picturesque monuments, large trees, Cuban palms and a gazebo similar to those found in many cities in Cuba.

Remedios is nationally famous its Christmas festival and carnival “Las Parrandas de Remedios”, which officially takes place between the 16th to the 26th of December but celebrations begin before and go-on after these dates. Throughout the “parrandas”, there’s unparalleled rivalry between the neighborhoods of San Salvador, represented by the colors red and blue, and a rooster as a mascot, and El Carmen, represented by the color brown and a globe. The memory of the celebrations can be further investigated at the Museum of Parrandas, located in a 19th-century building since 1980. Here you’ll find photos, documents and hand-made objects; all linked to the carnivals festivities.

Visiting Remedios from the Jardines del Rey Islands mentioned above is not a big deal, pretty easy actually and well worth your time.

Caibarien Gateway to Jardines del Rey

Cuba Caibarien Tour from Jardines Del Rey

Visitors to the Jardines Del Rey islands of Cayo Las Brujas, Cayo Ensenachos and Cayo Santa Maria often wish to visit some authentic Cuban cities. Caibarien is the first city on Cubas mainland after crossing the causeway and at approximately 48km from the islands it’s become a popular daytrip in both directions. Whether it be visitors to Caibarien wishing to visit the Jardines del Rey islands or those staying on the aforementioned islands who are taking a day out to the mainland.

Caibarien is a relatively small town with a population of 38,000 found right at the start of the pedraplen causeway between Cuba’s mainland and the three Jardines del Rey Islands mentioned above. Since the city is just 48km from these Jardines del Rey islands it’s a popular day-trip and excursion destination in both directions.

Predominantly a maritime fishing town it is also the main port for the province of Villa Clara. The town of Caibarien at the gateway to the Jardines del Rey Islands, was founded in 1832 from a map designed by Estratón Bauza. In 1878 the town already had stores, churches, schools and newspapers. Caibarien, despite being a small city it has its own Caibarien Airport (ICAO) and provides for some distinctive 19th century colonial architecture.

Caibarien Near Jardines del Rey

Also known as “La Villa Blanca” (The White Town) Caibarien residents say this nickname is due to the city’s  pure white sands and impressive beaches. Famous for its “Parrandas” Carnival festivities, similar to those which take place in the the neighboring town of Remedios located 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) west of the city.

Most of Caibarien´s buildings have fine wooden porches with a distinctly French influence, and some are pretty grand properties. Life movies slowly in the city with a fair number of horses in town, either with single riders or carts. The sidewalks are ornate affairs made of large stone slabs set in concrete.

Caibarien is a sleepy town almost devoid of tourism, meaning visitors can stroll around without the incessant calls from street hustlers more common in place like Havana. The focal point of the city is the Malecón which is lined with abundant warehouses originally used during the 19th century for storing sugar cane, most of which are being renovated to accommodate a new fishing zone in the east with a new road, coconut palms and several cool bars and cafés where visitors can sit and admire the view. Being the gateway city to the Jardines del Rey Islands has made the city very popular over the past decade.

The Caibarien town center features a large square common in many colonial cities in Cuba, with its church dating back to 1850 and the impressive neoclassical Lyceo built in 1926, where the Museo Municipal de Caibarién María Escobar Laredo, can be found on the second floor. You’ll find permanent and temporary exhibitions, including the furniture previously owned by María Escobar Laredo, who was one of the founders for the city.

The spectacular gazebo in the middle of the main plaza was built in 1915, the largest in Cuba and famous for its excellent acoustics. If you’re in-town you can see some concerts by local bands on Thursday and Sunday nights. Also on the plaza is a store called London City, which was, during the first decade of the 20th century, a custom-made tailor’s store.

Naturally, most of the local culture is influenced by slavery and African traditions as Caibarien was a major city in the slavery days. Much like Remedios, Caibarién also has its colorful carnivals called parrandas. Caibarien is the place to be on Christmas Eve when a non-religious celebration is held, first held in 1892 it is said to have begun with the banging of a drum by a 110 year old former slave called Juan de Jimagua. People from the city then followed him plus many other conga players around the town, a tradition still popular today.

Visitors to Caibarien should make a point to visit Cayo Conuco, a small island located 7 kilometers (4 miles) from Caibarien which is joined to the mainland by a stone causeway, the island is a weekend retreat for beach goers from the local community and can be quite fun. Cayo Conuco is biosphere reserve with lots of flora and fauna, and a campsite. Popular buildings to see are the ruins of a former cholera hospital, erected by the slaves in the 19th century to quarantine victims of the devastating disease and the main port garrison. Being at the entrance to the causeway to the Jardines del Rey Islands has given Caibarien some chic and investment in its Malecon boardwalk has really made the town sparkle.

Pueblo Estrella Entertainment Complex Cayo Santa Maria

Jardines del Rey Pueblo la Estrella Mall

Many people think that the Jardines Del Rey islands are simply masses of All-Inclusive Hotels but, two impressive Shopping Arcades and Entertainment Centers have been built to offer visitors somewhere to get the latest fashion accessories, Authentic Cuban Souvenirs and much more. Furthermore, these centers cater to Jardines del Rey daytrip visitors who are visiting the islands for a day out, driving in from the Mainland cities of Caibarien, Remedios and Santa Clara. This particular Mall offers 8 restaurants at its main food court.

The Pueblo La Estrella Mall on Cayo Santa Maria in the Jardines del Rey Archipelago is an all-in-one entertainment complex designed to give visitors something different and a a complete shopping experience similar to malls back home.

Jardines del Rey pueblo la estrella

Jardines del Rey Pueblo La Estrella Restaurants & Eateries

This Mall on the Jardines del Rey Island of Cayo Santa Maria has 8 restaurants; Katzura Japanese, Aurora International, Vesubio Italian, Fruits de Mer Seafood, Steak House, Yangtze Chinese, La Casona Creole Cuban, Trattoria Italian. There is also a Mc Donald’s style hamburger joint with adjacent beer garden. The La Crèmerie ice cream parlor has over 20 varieties if you arrive on a good day. The honey house must not be missed and a Cigar Cellar

Jardines del Rey Pueblo La Estrella Bars and Cafes

There are 2 excellent bars serving cocktails and top shelf booze, plus a Jazz Cafe. The rum house offers over 50 varieties of Cuban Rum.

Jardines del Rey Pueblo La Estrella Entertianment Center

This little village of Pueblo La Estrella has the following services: beauty parlor, gym, bank (better rates than your hotel), photo center, post office, business center, various stores, jeweler, market stalls in the square during the day, a children’s playground, live music from the center square all day. There’s even a replica church tower which you can climb to the top for a fantastic view and take pictures of the village and the coastline. The bowling and billiard center are quire cheap at just 3.50 CUC entrance fee. The 10 pin bowling with electronic score keeping is a lot of fun for the family, you’ll pay 3.50 pesos each to play.

Jardines del Rey Pueblo La Estrella Spa, Gym & Massage

This wellness center and Spa is amazing and allows you to use all the amenities if you take spa time. You could just be visiting Jardines del Rey for the day but can still use this spa. The pool is surrounded by comfortable nice padded lounge chairs. The spa features sauna, hot tub, cool tub, steam room, showers and massage center. The massage therapists are professional and do a fantastic job; as do the staff who give manicures and pedicures. Prices are reasonable at 15 to 60 CUC making the spa an ideal place to visit if you’re simply visiting Jardines del Rey for the day.