As I sit here reminiscing about my trip to Isla Santa Maria, Cuba, I can’t help but share my personal travel guide with you. The first thing to consider is when to visit this beautiful destination. The best time to experience the charms of Cayo Santa Maria is during the dry season, usually from November to April. During this period, you can enjoy pleasant weather with warmth and little rain. But remember, this is also high tourist season, so expect bigger crowds and higher prices. If you prefer a quieter vibe, consider visiting during the low season, May-June or September-October, when the weather is still pleasant and the influx of tourists is less intense.
Where to live:
Cayo Santa Maria offers a variety of accommodations, but if you want a truly authentic experience, I recommend staying at one of the many all-inclusive resorts that dot the island’s coastline. Not only do these resorts provide comfortable accommodations, but they also offer a variety of amenities and activities to ensure a memorable stay. From luxurious beach houses to family-friendly resorts with multiple pools and entertainment options, there is something for every type of traveler. I booked the hotel in advance on Booking.com. Some popular resorts include Meliá Cayo Santa Maria, Royalton Cayo Santa Maria and Valentin Perla Blanca.
What to eat:
When it comes to food, Cayo Santa Maria doesn’t disappoint. As an island destination, it offers an abundance of fresh seafood that is a must-try during your visit. Indulge in dishes like grilled lobster, ceviche or a traditional Cuban fish stew. Meat lovers should not miss the juicy roast pork, known as lechon. Also, be sure to sample local delicacies such as tostones (fried plantains), moros y cristianos (rice and beans) and yuca con mojo (cassava with garlic sauce). Pair your meal with a refreshing Mojito or Cuba Liberty cocktail for the perfect culinary experience.
Things to do in Cayo Santa Maria Travel Guide:
- Playa Las Gaviotas:
One of the highlights of Cayo Santa Maria is the stunning Playa Las Gaviotas. With miles of turquoise waters and powdery white sand, this pristine beach provides the perfect setting for relaxing and sunbathing. Soak up the sun on a leisurely stroll along the coastline, or relax in a hammock and enjoy the gentle ocean breeze.
- Beach time:
Besides Playa Las Gaviotas, Cayo Santa Maria is home to several other breathtaking beaches. Discover Playa Santa Maria, Playa Perla Blanca or Playa Ensenachos, each with its own unique charm. Whether you’re looking for a secluded spot or a lively beach for water sports, you’ll find the perfect beach to suit your preferences.
- Watch the birth of a tornado:
A fascinating natural phenomenon that occurs on Santa Maria Island is the birth of a tornado, known as a “waterspout”. These waterspouts form on the surface of the ocean and can be observed from shore. Keep an eye out for the swirling columns of water rising from the ocean, forming a mesmerizing natural wonder.
- International Diving Center Gaviota:
For underwater lovers, a visit to the international diving center Gaviota is a must. Whether you are an experienced diver or a beginner, the center offers a variety of dive packages and courses to discover the vibrant marine life and stunning coral reefs that surround Santa Maria Island. Dive into the crystal clear waters and discover hidden treasures just below the surface.
Cuba’s Isla Santa Maria is a destination that combines natural beauty, pristine beaches and authentic experiences. Follow this personal travel guide, complete with tips on when to visit, where to stay, what to eat and most importantly, and you’ll be well-prepared for an unforgettable journey to this stunning island. So grab your swimsuit, grab your camera, and get ready to create unforgettable memories in true Isla Santa Maria paradise.