Vaya Con Dios

Just a few days ago I was nestled down in sun and sand to enjoy a week of Cayo Largo.

This small island to the south of Cuba is only 28 km long and 3-4 km wide and hosts all natural beaches and warm Caribbean surf.  A thousand years ago the island was inhabited by a nomadic tribe, the Guayabo Blanco, who lived on wild root vegetables and fruits, as well as fishing and hunting.  Christopher Columbus visited the island on his second trip to Cuba.  Hmm now that is something he and I have in common as this was my second trip.  who knew?  Chris Columbus, Chris King….sort of has a nice ring doesn’t it?

The island was also a popular destination of pirates and privateers and included John Hawkins, Sir Francis Drake (although he was not a Sir at the time), and Henry Morgan who apparently buried all his treasure somewhere in the key in 1666.

The island is inhabited by many large and small birds including parakeets and parrots and gulls cranes and pelicans, none of which I came across.  However there was one not so wee critter I crossed paths with that quite took me by surprise because of his camouflage which blended him right into the rocks I decided to lean against.  He didn’t seem to mind and stirred not a muscle but you can be sure I did and quickly.

The iguana is indigenous to the island and come in all sizes.  This fellow from nose to tail tip was about 3 feet.

Palm trees, palapas and warm Caribbean waters are all kept in as natural state as possible.  There are no permanent residents of this Cayo (Island).  The staff reside in temporary quarters for 20 days at a stretch and then are flown or boated home for a 10 day leave.  All employees work very long hours during their work term being on site in the wee hours of the morning and present til the late evening hours.  They do get a mid afternoon break but their time on the island is work and sleep.  There is an international airport on the island and it was quite pleasant to have only a ten minute commute from the airport to the hotel.

This is not a wild ‘let’s party hardy’ island and travel agents make it quite clear that if you are looking for night life and lots of varied activity you should look at another place.  There are some local trips to the marina and catamaran tours, swimming with the dolphins and turtles and huge starfish, but by and large the destination is designed for peace and quiet, something that meets my requirements.  It is interesting that the age groups ranged from small children to young adults to the uh more mature set.

When I travel I love those little airports where you embark and disembark from the ground itself.  Somehow it feels so adventurous.

Our destination on the island was Playa Blanco meaning white beach and it was the whitest sand I think I have encountered to date.

The Cuban people are amazing hosts and they consistently provide a safe hospitable environment.  Vacationers cannot purchase their currency prior to arriving in the country.  The CUC is a tourist peso which currently reflects the US dollar I think.  For one hundred dollars Canadian I got almost ninety-four pesos which isn’t too bad a deal.

It was a delightful week and it was with fond memories that I bade the island adios and Vaya Con Dios until next time.

24 thoughts on “Vaya Con Dios”

  1. Pingback: My Homepage
  2. Another destination to put on my list for when I win the lottery. I’m glad you had such a good time Chris and that the return to winter in Canada was not too bad.

  3. I love to stop here and visit and see what you post, and today’s vacation spot and the wonderful peace I feel as I view your photo’s. You deserve rest and relaxation.

  4. I love your photos! That water is so blue. I don’t even think the ocean around Hawaii was that blue, absolutely beautiful. I would have been as giddy as a schoolgirl if I had gotten to see an iguana out in the open like that, lol.

  5. Oh Chris, it looks and sound just perfect, and you gave such a good write-up on they – they should employ you for their advertising!
    Peace and quiet, the bird life there, the white sand and blue ocean – what more could you ask for?
    Glad you enjoyed it so much, and thanks for sharing.
    btw the iguana is very well camouflaged – I had to enlarge the photo to see him properly!

    1. It was dreamy. Mind you when the tide went out Tracy I thought hmm is this what it was like before the Tsunami that hit Thailand? Then I wondered what it would have been like to be ship wrecked and a cast away on a little island like that..then I thought..nice to visit but glad to go back home LOL

  6. Oh Chris, this looks like my kind of place. I visited Cuba – Varadaro and Havana – and it was a fabulous time. One of the most relaxing vacations I’ve experienced in all my travels. However, the four of us searched outside of our grand hotel for eateries with menus that offered a bit better quality than the all-inclusive. Poor Cuba has so little $ to import even good food for the raising of their food sources. How were the meals on Cayo Largo?

    BTW – there has been photos of an ancient city found underwater south of Cuba. It is believed to be Atlantis… Maybe you went home, Chris!

    1. The meals weren’t too bad just a little different fruits and things. Funny thing is I found myself thinking about the Cubans who looked after us and wondered if they ever resent the over eating tourists who could be very wasteful. But if they were it never showed. I always thought of Atlantis as being further north in the Atlantic off the Mediterranean Sea. You never know! I did check out some of the sites re the sunken city. Could you imagine? How small minded some humans can be when they won’t consider an intelligent advanced life long ago!

      1. David Wilcock was the one who has the data I read about Atlantis being by Cuba. I think most believed it to be somewhere in the Mediterranean…

        Small minded for sure, Chris.

  7. Chris, this sounds lovely. I especially liked the part about the travel agents ensuring travelers know this is not a nightlife/party destination. The peace, quiet, sand and water sounds wonderful. I’d love to see parrots and parakeets in their natural environment. How amazing it must be to see such color take to the air. Thanks for sharing your vacation with us.

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