An idyllic all-inclusive eco-resort on the beachfront in Cayo Santa María
The ideal place to enjoy unique and authentic natural experiences. Exquisite cuisine and superior-quality service in an extraordinarily comfortable space, ideal for leisure breaks, romantic getaways, family vacations or professional events.
Cayo Santa María
An exclusive natural setting with a pristine beach that extends for over 10 km with a wide strip of sand. It is the largest of the Villa Clara keys, a string of islands that make up the Jardines del Rey archipelago, in the northeast of this central province more than 380 km east of Havana.
An area measuring 13 km 2 declared a Biosphere Reserve due to its ecological value. It is linked to the town of Caibarién by a 48 km long stone causeway over the sea which was awarded the Alcántara Bridge International Prize, the highest ever attained by Cuban civil engineering thanks to its excellent construction. This prize, awarded by the San Benito de Alcántara Foundation since February 1988, recognises the most important public works within the Ibero American world taking into account a combination of various aspects such as technical quality and perfection attained in the implementation of the project.
The causeway crosses, before reaching Cayo Santa María, Las Brujas islets and Ensenachos. The keys are home to a variety of animals including 10 species that are on the country’s list of endemic animals. Exclusive hotels and a privileged environment blend into and enrich into the unique natural setting of Cayo Santa María.
Cayo Las Brujas is the location of an international airport with a runway for small and medium-sized planes. It currently has a daily connection with Havana. And the causeway allows access to the city of Santa Clara, where there is a memorial in tribute to the guerrilla hero Ernesto Che Guevara and his comrades. Che was an Argentine-Cuban freedom fighter, one of the ideologists and commanders of the Cuban revolution which ended in 1965 in the establishment of the Cuban state.
The Ernesto Guevara Sculptural Complex contains a 22 foot bronze statue of Che, a museum with documents, photos and personal objects, plus the remains of the executed Marxist revolutionist and 29 of his fellow combatants killed in 1967 during Guevara’s attempt to spur an armed uprising in Bolivia. He was buried with full military honours on 17 October 1997.
The hotels located in Cayo Santa María have been designed with the unique architectural elements of the former village of San Juan de los Remedios, founded in 1513 and declared a National Monument and famous for its traditional festivities. It is the eighth oldest Spanish settlement in Cuba and there are several examples of 17th century Spanish architecture in good condition.
Considered one of the oldest festivals in Cuba and one of the three national holidays, the Remedios festival dates back to 1820. The two districts of El Carmen and San Salvador, the first represented by a hawk and the second by a rooster, both present majestic floats based on themes of literature, history, politics, social life, sports etc., all accompanied by fireworks and traditional music. The destination also has areas with restaurants, bars, cafes, bowling alleys, nightclubs, tours, marinas, and a Dolphinarium, plus a tourist bus service which makes Cayo Santa Maria a magnificent destination.
FLORA AND FAUNA
Massive colonies of flamingos, gulls and cormorants, plus lizards, iguanas, molluscs and the chestnut-capped Piha. The seais populated by algae and molluscs and a variety of amphibians, reptiles, mammals and birds. You can also see the tocororo, the national bird of Cuba, woodpeckers and hawks, and different species deer and hutia, particularly the large-eared hutia.
The diversity of wildlife on the island is complemented by lush Caribbean flora including 248 different species, of which 91 are medicinal, 72 timber-yielding, 41 honey bearing and 40 ornamental. The territory is almost fully covered by a deep green mangrove plus different species of palm trees, fruit trees and coconut palms.
TYPICAL CUBAN FOOD
Cuban cuisine is influenced by Spanish and African traditions and given that this is also a region where fishing is an important part of the economy, there is a great variety of traditional dishes. Such as, ajiaco criollo, a delicious soup made from vegetables and different types of meat, for example, chicken and pork. Los Moros y Cristianos is made from frijoles and rice cooked together. The area is also famed for its roast pig, either cooked in the oven or on a spit, normally served warm with crispy crackling. The fresh seafood and fish is prepared in many different ways, above all on top of a tomato sauce. Grilled lobster cooked with butter. Another typical dishes include enchilado de macabí made from bonefish and herby tomato sauce, calenticos, fajitas with fried trout, and guava jam with white cheese. For desserts we have mantecados, delicious cakes made from wheat flour, sugar and vegetable lard.
WHAT TO DO IN CAYO SANTA MARÍA?
Pedraplén or the causeway over the sea: Impressive stone causeway linking the town of Caibarién with the keys in the north. Due to its excellent design and construction, the causeway was the winner of the International Puente de Alcántara Prize, the most important prize ever to be awarded to Cuban civil engineering.
de Jardines del Rey barrier reef: The second largest coral reef in the world, with 24 stunning dive sites, ideal for recreational scuba diving and underwater photography.
Biodiversity: Declared a Biosphere Reserve by la UNESCO, there is diverse flora and fauna in Cayo Santa María.
Buque San Pascual: Popularly known as El Pontón this boat, made from reinforced concrete, has been stranded in the vinciniy of Cayo Francés since 1933. Considered another islet, it has an enviable location from which to appreciate the regions’ attractions.
Ciudad San Juan de los Remedios: Eighth settlement founded by the Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century, located some 60 km from Cayo Santa María. It historical centre is typically colonial, and has been declared a National Monument. Remedios is famous for its Parrandas, deeply rooted local festival.
Ciudad de Santa Clara: Capital of the province of Villa Clara, the most central of the Cuban provinces. Its geographical position facilitates quick access to the country’s most important tourist destinations quick. Founded in 1689, it was the scene of the last battles that led to the revolutionary triumph on 1 January 1959.
Marina Gaviota: Located in Cayo Las Brujas, offering activities such as fishing and catamaran and boat excursions to explore the nearby keys: Francés, Cobos, Majá, Fragoso, Las Picúas and Español de Adentro, among others. There is a modern Aquarium– Dolphinarium open throughout the year with a varied programme of activities including sea lion and dolphin shows. It is also possible to enjoy closer contact and even swim with these wonderful animals.
Ernesto Che Guevara Mausoleum: Located in the city of Santa Clara. Here lie the remains of the legendary Cuban-Argentine and some of his fellow fighters killed in the Bolivian uprising.
The tourist villages of La Estrella, Las Dunas and Laguna del Este: harmoniously integrated to their surroundings, they recreate the traditional architecture of small villages from the island’s interior. They extend the range of leisure services on offer in the key such as a la carte restaurants, bowling alley, club, spa, shops, art and crafts, Banks, ice cream parlous, bars, etc.
Sierra del Escambray: Located in the south of the island, this mountain range is ideal for hiking and cycling, horse riding, and other types of outdoor activities.
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