Canarreos Archipelago and Island of Youth
Cienfuegos - Cayo Largo del Sur Morning: Shopping for provisioning, visit of historical city center, tobacco factory and Punta Gorda residential area (optional) Embark yacht at 1800 hrs and briefing with yacht skipper Evening: Depart yacht berth for night cruise through the Caribbean tropical waters to Cayo Largo
Cayo Largo del Sur Arrive at Cayo Largo Marina morning to noon. Full Service Marina and Diving Center with excellent beaches. On the way, as far as time permits, snorkelling is possible at the two big coral reefs off Cayo Ingles or –close to Cayo Largo – near Cayo Hijo de los Ballenatos. Visit to ‘Finca de Tortugas’, a sea turtle farm and breeding station with turtles. A tour guide gives explanations about the animals’ life and habitat - 10.00 a.m. to 4 p.m., entrance fee 1 USD (optional) Afternoon: Anchoring off and dinghy excursion to fine white beaches with natural pools, snorkelling and diving spots on and near Cayo Largo. Evening: Nightlife of international Cayo Largo tourism resort (optional)
Cayo Largo - Canal del Rosario Morning: Anchoring in narrow mangrove canal and dinghy excursion to Cayo Iguana (ca. 2 nm from Cayo Largo). Feeding and petting of free-living iguanas. Early morning hours recommended before tourism groups form Cayo Largo hotels arrive. Cruising west with a stopover at the excellent beach of Playa Rosario with cocos palms, pine trees and a nearby coral reef for snorkelling. Night: Anchoring near Canal del Rosario, which offers protection against all prevailing winds.
Canal del Rosario - Cayo Campos ou Cayo Matías Morning: Visit to Cayo Cantiles biological reserve centre with monkeys and other wildlife, managed by CITMA - Ciencia, Tecnología y Medio Ambiente (optional). Sailing via Cayo Avalos (small beach and lighthouse, anchorage), Cayo Campos (Natural reserve with lush vegetation, observation of animal life, beach, snorkeling/diving) to Cayo Matías (lobster and fishing center with dock), in good weather diving opportunity at a shipwreck near Cabezo del Sambo.
Cayo Matías à Punta Francés (île de Youth) Leaving early to sail along the scenic south coast of Isle of Youth. In the centre of this forested and mountainous stretch with interesting geological formations is the highest lighthouse of Cuba, Carapachibei. This island - earlier Pine Island or ‘Isla de Pinos’ and originally named ‘La Evangelista’ by Columbus upon it’s 1494 discovery - was a hiding place for pirates of the 16th to 18th centuries. Celebrities like Anne Bonney, Sir Henry Morgan and Sir Francis Drake, who possibly died here, are connected to the island, which is supposed to be the model for R.L.Stevenson’s ‘Treasure Island’. Night anchoring near the Punta Francés diving centre, which also has a dock, restaurant and rustic ‘Ranchon’ bar near the beach. Coral reef for snorkelling. One of the world’s most significant diving areas with 56 designated diving zones. Co-ordination of diving activities for the next morning (optional). Nearby is a nice beach with a lot of vegetation, and guided explorations on a hiking trail in the area declared a National Park. Watching birds and other animals (optional).
Punta Francés - Ensenada de los Barcos If interested in diving, in the morning explore various spots of the Punta Francés diving area with a diving instructor, who can be booked at the site (optional). Continue to Ensenada de los Barcos, a large bay with excellent protection on the way to Nueva Gerona.
Ensenada de los Barcos - port de Nueva Gerona Sailing along the west and north coasts of Youth Island leads to the island’s capital, Nueva Gerona. A typical, unspoiled small Cuban city with restaurants and other facilities. Excellent starting point to explore the island’s sights, museums and National Parks, guided tours by Rumbos and Transtur travel organizations (optional). Night docking in the commercial port of Nueva Gerona (no marina services and facilities). Shopping for provisioning is possible in the city, diesel available at a Cupet gas station.
Isla de la Juventud Guided tour of the Island (Presidio Modelo, Finca El Abra, La Fé, Punta del Este with prehistoric cave paintings), late afternoon relaxing at black marble beach of Playa Bibijagua.
Nueva Gerona - phare de Diego Pérez Sailing on shallow turquoise waters of Golfo de Batabanó, on the way visit of lobster and fishing centres of Cayo Traviesa or Cayo Flamenco. Occasionally flamingos can be seen in the Cayo Flamenco - Diego Pérez area.
phare de Diego Pérez Anchoring near Diego Pérez Lighthouse and discovering matural treasure around
phare de Diego Pérez - Cayos Sal ou Guano del Este Morning: Visit to nearby Cayo Ernesto Thaelmann and the memorial of the 1930s German communist leader Ernst Thaelmann who was murdered in a nazi concentration camp, untouched beaches and natural beauties of this uninhabited island. Here you can find a beautiful beach with a lot of pine trees around, also some free-living iguanas and birds that have their habitat there. Sailing on to Cayos de Dios, Sal or Guano del Este. Snorkelling/diving at coral reef with wide variety of fish and shellfish. Breeding area of „Bobo“ and other birds. Anchoring for the night near Guano del Este lighthouse. Formerly, the lighthouse could be visited; we expect such permission again in the near future.
Cayos Sal ou Guano del Este In the northwest of Cayo Guano there is a small beach and coral reef for snorkelling. Anchorage protected to the east. Cayo Sal anchorage is protected to the southeast and east, if necessary go to the other side of the island, which is safe in northerly winds. Off a small beach are two „cabezos“, or coral heads, for underwater exploration.
Cayo Guano del Este - Guajimico Weighing anchor in early morning hours, sailing east across excellent fishing waters near Jagua Reef to Guajimico, a narrow cove with a small hotel village of about 50 cabins in wonderful mountainous setting. Restaurant, swimming pool, diving.
Guajimico - Cienfuegos Morning: Walking excursion on natural path to caves (optional). Sailing back to Cienfuegos, arriving in late morning hours. Disembark yacht. Excursion by bus or taxi to the Delphinarium, dolphin and sea lion show, swimming with dolphin’s possible (optional). Evening: Dinner in stylish historical ‘Club Cienfuegos’ within walking distance of marina (optional).