People who have followed my blog for a long time may have concluded I am not a fan of beaches. I have to admit that this conclusion is correct. I have a hard time relaxing at a beach when I know there’s so much around me to see and do. The last time I can remember properly chilling at a beach is… when a friend came to visit me in Abu Dhabi in 2013. I have a”beach life” section on my page (don’t ask me why) and the latest posts are about my trip to Costa Rica & Panama in 2010. Needless to say, this day trip to Cayo Jutías is slightly different from what I would normally do when travelling.
The word “cayo” did not ring a bell for me. I found out that that’s not surprising since there is apparently no Dutch word for this. I also didn’t link the word cayo to the more well-known keys and cayes. As in Key West and Caye Caulker. A long story short, cayos are a very common sight in Cuba; all along the coast you’ll find these small, sandy islands on the surface of coral reefs.
This will not be your guide to choosing a cayo in Cuba. I didn’t experience any of the other ones. I didn’t even have a say in picking Cayo Jutías over the others, because this was an optional part of the group tour. We stayed in Pinar de Río, which is around a 3-hour drive from Jutías, but I felt a visit to the beach was an important part of the trip to Cuba. Not to mention the fact that it feels good to drink a Cuba Libre on the beach.
As I said, it was a three hour drive, which does not include the hour we spent driving the wrong way due to the fact our tour guide was so passionately telling stories he forget to guide the bus driver. No harm, no foul though because of all days, the weather started to act out and mess with our beach day. The moment we arrived on the beach the rain ceased, so we should not have arrived a minute earlier.
Cayo Jutías has a 3km stretch of sandy beach with mangroves. It’s been named after its inhabitants – rats – but we weren’t “lucky”enough to find these. We did find other critters running along the beach.
It’s a great beach to chill on (for a small fee you can rent a bed), but it’s also nice to walk along the shoreline towards the mangrove area. You’ll find oldtimers chilling near the trees where owners are preparing barbecues. I’m not generally a fan of traipsing along beaches by myself or with a friend, but however secluded this beach gets further along the coast I never felt unsafe.
I wouldn’t want to lie down in the area where there are no other people though.
The area where our group was sitting was near a bar. The good thing about this beach is that there are changing rooms, which means you don’t have to get into your car or bus in a bathing suit. The food is also quite good here, this was my first time trying rice with seafood.
The fact that I don’t go to beaches often, doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it every once in a while. I found Cayo Jutías to be a great beach, whether you are travelling solo or in a group. I did enjoy the group element, because instead of actually relaxing we were playing ball sports in the water. Visiting a cayo is a great way to relax from all the hustle and bustle in the Cuban cities.
My next post will bring us right back to the busyness of Cuba and I will tell you all about the things there are to do near Viñales.