Caribbean Vacationing: All-Inclusive in Cayo Guillermo Cuba. @caribbeandiving
24 Aug 2018
We decided to return to a Quay called Cayo Guillermo in Cuba. It was not the best holiday we ever had, so why are we returning? It was not the best vacation, but it was very good, and had good value.
We stayed on an all-inclusive basis, and the first visit was to a hotel called the Meliá Cayo Guillermo. When going all-inclusive as opposed to regular Cuba travel, all drinks and food are included. This helps to control the spend. The food was perfectly fine for the week, but the drinks were somewhat disappointing. When considering what we got for what we paid, we felt it was a decent deal. The room was also well conditioned, and comfortable enough. The pool had a swim up bar, and had a weird vinyl kind of floor and covering. Once you got used to it it – it was fine.
The rooms were simple wit comfortable beds. We didn’t spend much time in them, as we wanted to explore the rest of the resort and all that it had to offer.
The beach lacked a bit of shade, but it is excellent. Having said that, the water is divine. You are far away from any real town. The staff get bused to the general area to work each day, from 60km away on the mainland. There is very little that man can do outside of the resorts to destroy the ecosystem. Crocs, birds, and fish are abundant, and flamingos are everywhere. And yes, I said crocs. Apparently, they don’t bother people. The security staff at the Sol resort had one crocodile near their hut at the resort gate, but it was ever was an issue for vacationers. You will be happy to hear that crocs do not come anywhere near the beaches.
A Resort for Fishermen
The beach and pier for this hotel are really great. Meliá Cayo Guillermo serves many fishermen who come to this part of the world for a variety of fish species, such as barracuda, and amber jacks. There are some videos of fish being caught on the pier. Sadly, the pier got destroyed during Hurricane Irma in 2017, and because it is such a draw, I think they had it reconstructed. We are excited to return and walk out onto the water again. It can create special moments to be out across the water, even going there for a spot of yoga during sunrise. Piers are such wonderful things. It’s like saying thank you for this wonderful spot in the world… let me walk out across the water. You hear the water lapping against the wood, and it’s a very special moment. Those moments got us back. I am glad they had the means to rebuild the pier.
There are many things to do in Cayo Guillermo, from dolphin encounters, to an evening of dancing in a cave with bats. There is also snorkelling on the reef (via catamaran) and mangrove, and fishing. In between, there is the most spectacular Pilar Beach, which I think is a must do! There is also a Scuba Diving Centre. Transport is by tourist bus. You pay 5 CUC (Cuban convertible pesos), which is roughly $5 US Dollars, for the day use of the bus. The bus is labelled as a sightseeing bus, but it pretty much only goes around the resorts, and a few of other stops for attractions like the dolphin encounters, Playa Pilar, or the rather small market. If you visit the market once, then it’s enough.
We thought we would go to visit a Marina and enquire about sea fishing straight from the horse’s mouth, and it was a 10 minute walk away from one of the stops. We got in past a barrier and there was the thickest invasion of mosquitos you ever saw! There was nothing around… no cafe bar.. nothing. It wasn’t designed as anything more than a place to tie up boats, so no wonder why it was not an advertised place. But, no one dissuaded us from going aside from a crazed look – I now know why! I will never forget how quickly we got the insect spray out, and thank goodness we had some. Our best excursions were the evening dance and club in the cave. It is a fun time, but expect to get your shoes soiled by bat poop! They really are right there. Even with the music and lights, they don’t leave. It’s a cool thing to do. If you are not a fan of bats, I would avoid this excursion.
You can hire a guy with a catamaran to take you out snorkelling to the reef. The fish life was much better than by the pier, and it was a pretty safe place to do it. No nasty currents, and not busy with too many other tourists. You can see many species of fish, and some good sized Barracuda. You can even see some turtles if you are lucky.
A big draw for tourists, Pilar Beach has some of the finest sand, although the beaches are typically fine at your resort. You can reserve a bed on the beach to relax on after enjoying the water. There is a restaurant nearby, and an island you can get a catamaran or kayak to. It’s a very picturesque spot, and we recommend this as something to do for one of your days.
If you are staying for only a week, then you will have a super time. I recommend Meliá Cayo Guillermo for families. The nearest town is quite far from his resort, so make sure you pack everything your family requires of your vacation.
Hope you get landed soon!