Cayo Largo del Sur, also known simply as Cayo Largo, is the best jewel in the Los Canarreos Archipelago, off the southern coast of the Cuban mainland. The archipelago also includes 300 other cays (with a total of 38 miles, or 62 km, of virgin beaches) and the Isle of Youth (the second largest island in the Cuban archipelago).
Cayo Largo, 177 kilometers south of Havana and 120 kilometers east of Isla de la Juventud, is a three-kilometer-wide, 25-kilometer-long, boomerang-shaped sliver of land fringed by an unbroken stretch of beaches (Blanca, Lindamar, Los Cocos, Tortuga)with sand as blindingly white as Cuban sugar. If what you want from an all-inclusive vacations in Cuba is to laze in the sun, this is the place to be.
Cayo Largo has 27 kilometers of serene beaches, which run the entire length of the seaward side. The leeward side is composed of mangroves and salty lagoons.
The sand's ultra-fine texture and unique crystalline structure prevent it from getting too hot in the midday sun.
The beaches merge gently into waters that run from lightest green through turquoise and jade to deep cobalt far out.
The calm shallow waters make it terrific for children.
Playa Sirena, the westernmost beach, is the most spectacular and the best swimming beach, with white sand that always remains cool to the feet. Playa Paraiso is so secluded that it has become the only nude beach in Cuba. And Playa Tortuga, at the eastern end of the island, is home to a seasonal colony of sea turtles.
The English privateer Henry Morgan careened his ship here for repairs three centuries ago. Other pirates used Cayo Largo as well, and there are several galleons on the seabed.
There are more than 200 sunken ships dating from the 16th to 18th centuries and some say Sir Henry Morgan’s treasure is still buried in the area.
The seabed in the area has 32 scuba-diving sites, fascinating coral formations, tunnels, steep walls covered with gorgonians and a wealth of multicolored marine life. The water is extremely clear.
If you are looking for a party like ambiance, a hectic nightlife, shopping malls or big restaurants, you will be very disappointed!
But, if you are looking for tranquility, a relaxed atmosphere, an unpretentious comfort, the opportunity to practice naturism, and endless gorgeous virgin beaches... then Cayo Largo might be for you!