Cayo Cruz is a small island of the eastern part of the "Jardines del Rey" (King's Gardens) archipelago located off the northern coast of Cuba (Atlantic side), in the province of Camaguey. This archipelago contains a few other islands best known for tourism, such as: Cayo Coco, Cayo Guillermo, and further west: Cayo Santa Maria, Cayo Ensenachos and Cayo Las Brujas.
Cayo Cruz is about 32 sq.km (12.3 sq.mi), roughly the same size as Cayo Largo, (another popular resort island south of Cuba), It’s connected to the west with its neighbor, Cayo Romano, by a new 40-km road (including 12 km of causeways across water); and it’s also connected to the south with the main island of Cuba (near the village of Brasil). Cayo Cruz is known from quite some time by fly fishermen. Several companies offer fishing packages in Cayo Cruz like Avalon.
The beaches of Cayo Cruz stretch mostly along the north-eastern coast of the cay, while the western coast is mainly covered with mangroves. There's also a long stretch of beach along its south-eastern coast, this one is most likely to remain virgin because this part of the cay seems rather narrow to build hotels. As we can see on this May 2016 Microsoft Bing Maps, the first hotel is located near the access point (4-km bridge to Cayo Romano).
The current tourism project include the construction of six hotels, here are the construction name of these new resorts:
• Hotel Quebrada 17 (550 rooms), scheduled to open in late 2017.
• Hotel Quebrada 21 (700 rooms), scheduled to open between 2018 and 2020.
• Hotel Punta Cocina Parcela 32 (895 rooms), scheduled to open between 2018 and 2020.
• Hotel Quebrada 24 (680 rooms), scheduled to open between 2018 and 2020.
• Hotel Punta Cocina Parcela 30 (1,145 rooms), scheduled to open between 2018 and 2020.
• Hotel ???, we don’t know yet the construction name of the sixth hotel.
The construction of these hotels is underway, but we don’t know yet what will be their commercial names and which hotel chains are going to manage them. See here some pictures of the construction site of the first hotel (Quebrada 17).
Several roads and causeways were recently built to connect the island of Cayo Coco with Cayo Cruz, so the latter could be served by the Jardines del Rey Airport located on Cayo Coco. Cement factories and service buildings have been built on Cayo Romano (the neighbor island), and freshwater pipes are being installed to supply Cayo Cruz from the main island of Cuba (near the village of Brasil). The transfer time by bus from Cayo Coco International airport (CCC) will be around one hour, fifteen minutes more than the hotels of Cayo Guillermo.
We are monitoring closely the development of this little paradise to come!
Note that since the spring 2014, Cuban Immigration systematically stamps all passports when entering and leaving the country. And also: Since May 1st, 2015, the Cuban Departure Tax is no longer paid at destination. It should now be included in the price of your trip when buying a flight-only or vacation-package to Cuba.
In October 2013 the Cuban Government announced its intention to eliminate their dual currency system (CUC and CUP). To the best of our knowledge, it seems like no schedule has been officially announced yet for this plan to eliminate the CUC and revalue the CUP; and so far (2016) there's no indication yet about when the CUC will be put out of circulation.
Visit our website that chronicles the announcements and events related to the Cuban Thaw (warming of USA-Cuba relations) which started in late 2014.
Lily & Normand