This archipelago takes up a 495 kilometers long strip toward the central-northern coast of Cuba and it´s the largest among the four ones surrounding the main island.
One of its special characteristics is the imposing coral barrier that protects it, with almost 400 kilometers long, regarded the second longest one worldwide, behind the Australian Great Coral Wall.
It was Diego Velázquez —about 1513 and 1514— who christened the archipelago, located between the island of Cuba and the Old Channel of Bahamas, with this name, in honor of Fernando el Católico, king of Spain that time. Some chronicler asserted that he did such designating as a counterproposal of that of Christopher Columbus when he named the southern archipelago with the name of Jardines de la Reina, in honor of Her Majesty Queen Isabel of Castile. According to certain stories, this stunning group of cays and little islands was chosen as a shelter by corsairs and pirates. Much more recently, It´s said that the notable American writer Ernest Hemingway loved to sale his boat El Pilar through its coasts chasing German submarines. In fact, the heavenly landscape of these places inspired him to write Islands in the Stream.
Today, it is possible to gain access to this Caribbean paradise by air or by causeways crossing the sea. Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo are its main attractions. These islets have magnificent preserved and virgin beaches and a scenery rarely seen. That´s why they are a good reason to come and see this wonderful world, blessed with almost 40 kilometers of transparent water and fine sand.
Here, all modern comforts have been carefully added to a four and five-star hotels net that allows guests to relax and have a good time in a natural environment. The archipelago also boasts natural parks, harbors, nautical bases, long beaches, diving, snorkeling and fishing sites, as well as lagoons and little lakes, and unexplored vegetation reserves.
It also has an international and national airport and cozy and cheap resorts. Its material conditions and human resources —which facilitate the leisure industry— show, year after year, an upward dynamics.
To ensure the guests´ welfare, the hotels offer all-inclusive services, with facilities close to the seaboard. At the cays, visitors can choose their own routes that allow them to move on foot or by car, as well as tours outside the cays in order to visit nearby cities: Ciego de Ávila, Morón and some others.
Likewise, the local flora shows species of high ornamental value and timber-yielding ones. On the other hand, fauna is abundant, especially birds, and there is one of the largest Caribbean pink flamingoes farms in this region.
Jardines del Rey has the resources that are needed to be balanced with the natural environment and it has a huge potential for the specialized tourism. It´s the ideal place for families, due to its peaceful nature and warm shallow waters —which constitute a guarantee of safety—, and for charming landscapes lovers and adventurers who are eager to go hiking, swimming or diving, or just having fun and discovering.
Text and Photos: Publicitur S.A., CubaPLUS