The future of Jardines del Rey – Cayo Cruz

Cayo Cruz Cuba Cruises

Without doubt, Cayo Cruz is going to be the next island gem to benefit from tourism development. Not just because Pulitzer Prize winner Ernest Hemingway featured the island in the novels “Islands in the Stream” and “The Great Blue River” but, because the island has better attributes than those previously developed. It seems leaving “the best till last” is a phrase ideally coined here.

Cayo Cruz Cuba Map

Cayo Cruz Beaches

Cayo Cruz has considerable expanses of white sand beaches covering 86% of the island. These beaches being a natural result of its predominantly prehistoric origins, remnants of skeletal fragments of foraminifera, calcareous algae, mollusks, and crustaceans which have eroded over time to create the most delicate white sands. These beaches covering 22.5km (14 miles) are called Playa Cara, Playa Onda, Playa Sigua and Playa Dorada. The aforementioned beaches on Cayo Cruz measure from the low 5 meters, up to 20 meters in width.

Cayo Cruz Cuba Beach

Cruise Ships & Yachts

Just about every cruise ship traverses the sea along Cuba’s northern coast through Old Bahama Channel. Ships emanating from the Miami Cruise port can be seen sailing just off Cayo Cruz on a daily basis. Cayo Cruz and its longish lateral extension make it an ideal docking point for these cruise ships, as such, making Cayo Cruz a natural cruise destination for the future. Furthermore, the islands geographic position lends itself to deeper waters. Within 300 meters of the coast, depth is easily adequate for modern cruise vessels, unlike Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo. Another advantage is the islands pedraplen causeway, linking it to Playa Jiguey on Cuba’s mainland, making Cayo Cruz an ideal Cuba Cruise destination, due to the extensive possibilities for port excursions into Camaguey and numerous surrounding towns. As a future cruise destination, Cayo Cruz simply cannot be overlooked.

Connection to the Cayo’s of Coco, Guillermo & Romano

Another major advantage with Cayo Cruz is its existing unpaved interisland roads which traverse Cayo Romano, then leading to paved roads on Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo and the secondary access to the mainland via the Ciego de Ávila Causeway, which links Cayo Coco to the mainland. In fact, Cayo Cruz will be the only island with two excellent and, centrally located, mainland road networks.

Current development plans for Cayo Cruz

3 luxury hotels have already been “quietly” approved by Cuba’s tourism authorities and foreign investment council. Environmental studies, previously carried out, allow for 13,800 bathers on its beaches, without untoward environmental effects. Yet, internal documents limit the amount of rooms on Cayo Cruz to just 3000. This leads us to think that Cayo Cruz will not only have a sparse number of ultra 5 star all-inclusive hotels but, will also utilize its northern facing coastline for yacht marinas to accommodate live-aboard visitors to the key. The limit set by the Cuban authorities for buildings on Cayo Cruz is a minimum of 120 meters from the beach to the south and 150 meters to the north. All buildings will face the Atlantic side due to the extensive mangroves on the southern coasts.

Ernest Hemingway Cuba

So, while Ernest Hemingways alter ego Thomas Hudson describes the island of Cayo Cruz well on page 357 of Islands in the stream, there is no doubt that there will be a lot more to say about the island over the next few years.