Discover Cayo Paredon!
Cayo Paredón Grande is a tiny island of 8.7 km2, located in the archipelago of King’s gardens (Jardines del Rey in Spanish). This little paradise is located north of the largest island of the archipelago, Cayo Romano, in the province of Camagüey in Cuba. In fact Cayo Romano is not one island but a group a many small islands.
Playa Los Pinos or Playa del Norte is the name of the beautiful beach (five kilometers continuous) of fine white sand in turquoise waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The beach faces east for beautiful sunrise. The south and west sector is composed of mangroves and lagoons. The kingdom of mosquitoes!
Faro Paredon is the name of the lighthouse located in the north sector of the island. It also has been named Faro Diego Velázquez, the first to explorer these islands off Cuba's north coast in 1514. At a height of 40 meters (130 feet), its construction began in 1857 and ended in 1859, the year of the inauguration. Exactly 100 years before the victory of the modern Cuban revolution. This lighthouse is still in use.
We were fortunate to visit it in spring 2014 and the local guide, William, explained to us its history and its operation. We also have a YouTube video of Faro Paredon and few photos of this island. The view on the top floor is just beautiful. Do not forget your mosquito repellent, because they are very greedy in the trail from parking lot to the lighthouse..
Cayo Paredón is well known for fly fishing. This area is protected from commercial fishing since many years. This island is recognized as one of the finest fishing in Cuba. The most popular fish are bonefish, tarpon and permit. It is not rare to find specimens of seven to eight kilograms. The record is 160 lbs in 2011. There is a small fishing center « centro de pesca Paredon » with a few motor boats (flat) for fishing in shallow water.
To get to Cayo Paredon, there is only one road from the neighboring island of Cayo Coco. You must first take a bridge that divides provinces Ciego de Avila and Camagüey, then two more bridges to finally arrive in Cayo Paredon, about 25 km away from Cayo Coco (CCC) International Airport.
Note that the catamaran day trip tour organized by the Canadian Tour Operator Sunwing makes a stop at Cayo Paredon for the lobster lunch, in the north sector, near the lighthouse. An opportunity to discover the island. Other tour operators will rather go the Playa Pilar for lunch.
The tourism development in this archipelago of Cuba is expanding since many years. The « Jardines del Rey » project includes the construction of several hotels and services totaling more than 32,000 rooms. Currently, the archipelago is home to about 40% of that number, so there are several hotels and / or new destinations to come!.
There will be six (6) hotels totaling 3,300 rooms in Cayo Paredon and a small village « Pueblo » like the Pueblo La Estrella in Cayo Santa Maria. A nice place to relax with many services like restaurants, bars, bowling, disco, etc.
This new destination will be like a second Cayo Guillermo, given the proximity of the airport on the neighboring island of Cayo Coco. In fact, the transfer time by bus for the future hotels in Cayo Paredon will be shorter than for Cayo Guillermo.
Normand & Lily