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Where to go? Cayo Coco or Santa Maria

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Where to go? Cayo Coco or Santa Maria

If everyone had a choice between Iberostar Daquiri in Cayo Coco and Melia Las Dunas in Cayo Santa Maria. Which one would you go to and why?

We like lots of activities, lots of things to do like (kayaking, sailing, cycling, etc.) good food and nice beaches.

Which place is nicer in terms of scenery? and which place is better for excursions to the mainland?

Thank you to everyone that reply, and happy travels.

Dorset, United...
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1. Re: Where to go? Cayo Coco or Santa Maria

Umm ... Daiquiri's in Guillermo, next island along from Coco.

Not been to Sta Maria but as I understand it it's quieter and even more remote than Guillermo, with a deeper shelf to the beach. Daiquiri beach is shallow at low tide, but restricted at high water. It's a good medium-class family hotel, one or two blips with food and entertainment in the past few months, but generally well-regarded. The Melia, however, will probably have better food, ameneties and rooms as it's rated half a star higher in the UK.

Most of the hotels' entertainment is resort-based as there's little infrastructure on their respective islands and virtually nothing off resort (Guillermo has a bowling alley, a bank, a couple of seafood beach shacks - and that's it). No shops either other than the hotel boutiques.

Guillermo is a low, limestone key with clean sandy beaches on the Atlantic side and extensive mangroves leeward. It's got a glorious beach (Playa Pilar) a mile to the north of the hotel strip. Plenty of wildlife to view, especially for ornithologists, and good snorkelling around the offshore islands too.

Nearest town to CG is Moron, an unlovely industrial sprawl about an hour and a half away on the mainland; for CSM it's Cabarien, a fishing port about an hour away. What excursions to the mainland are available depends on your tour operator, but typically from the Iberostar these include excursions to Havana, Trinidad and Camaguey, and more local visits to see the Cuban way of life around Moron; and of course, catamaran cruises, snorkelling cruises, fishing charters and jet-boats exploring the mangroves.

In terms of value for money, it's hard to beat the Daiquiri which is why I go back every year. That and the fishing! I think that whichever you choose, you'll be happy ... they seem to be broadly similar, peaceful resorts on scenic, quiet islands.

Halifax, NS
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2. Re: Where to go? Cayo Coco or Santa Maria

If you like a lot of activities and excursions Varadero would probably suit you. Closer to town and to Havana.

The most 'scenic' part of the country is Holguin. (my favouite) Very mountainous but choose your beach carefully. Playa Esmeralda is the best in Holguin.

We like the Daiquiri because of its isolation. Great for just relaxing and chillin' on the beach. Beach is very shallow, you can walk out forever and still be only waist deep.

Bromont, Canada
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3. Re: Where to go? Cayo Coco or Santa Maria

We have just stayed at Cato Coco, but got a chance to visit Cayo Guillmero and the hotels there.

I have to say, I prefer the beach at Cayo Coco.... but then I think the activities are similar at both. There were lots of kite surfers at Guillmero.

My sister was in Cayo Santa Maria last Jan and the scenery and beaches looked spectacular, but if you are looking for outside attactions there aren't any as you are futher away. 1 1/2 hours from the airport.

Best to decide what you are really looking for and decide from there.

Manchester, United...
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4. Re: Where to go? Cayo Coco or Santa Maria

Stayed at the Sol Cayo Santa Maria last year and met people that didn't enjoy the Melia.

However, the beach there is to die for and it seemed very nice to me.

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5. Re: Where to go? Cayo Coco or Santa Maria

We just returned from Iberostar Daquiri. Although it was a wonderful resort and the food was good I would not return to Cayo Coco. It is all swampland and the mosquitos are terrible. Even though we put repellent on my husband came home with numerous bites. There is nothing to do there. Holguin is alot nice in my opinion.

quebec city
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6. Re: Where to go? Cayo Coco or Santa Maria

Hi Uremol. We have been to both resorts and had a great time at both. Big difference is size. The Daiquiri is by far a much smaller resort. Close to everything no matter where your room is. Food good and service better than average (IMHO). The Las Dunas is a very large resort and much newer. Service and food are average.I personally prefer the beach at the Las Dunas, however beaches are always shifting depending on weather. The ride from the airport to Las Dunas is much longer but a real eye-opener to those who have never experienced Cuba. Either resort will provide a wonderful holiday experience. Have a great holiday!!!

Bracebridge, Ontario
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7. Re: Where to go? Cayo Coco or Santa Maria

We have stayed at the Daquiri twice (once for our wedding) and in CSM but at the Melia CSM not the Dunas.

Both are fabulous, Cayo Santa Maria is slightly quieter and a little more 'high end'. If you want nicer amenities and food go to CSM. If you are looking for a LITTLE bit more activity then try the Daquiri.

8. Re: Where to go? Cayo Coco or Santa Maria

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