Small terrestrial paradise a few miles from Viñales, Cayo Levisa is the ideal place to jump into the water!
Whether you are an experienced diver or an expert in sunbathing, you will love the heavenly beaches and turquoise waters of Cayo Levisa!
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Cayo Levisa, a small corner of paradise
Cayo Levisa is a small corner of paradise in the archipelago of los Colorados, a group of islands north of the province of Pinar del Río.
Here, no large hotel complexes! Even today, the island is uninhabited and untouched, except for the 40 rooms hotel, which is the only infrastructure on the spot.
The majority of Cayo Levisa is covered with swamp and mangrove.
A 3 km beach runs along the northern coast.
From there, the coral reef is within reach! About twenty diving spots are accessible from the island.
It’s up to you to explore the old wrecks that litter the Caribbean seabed!
How to get to Cayo Levisa
There is only one way to get to Cayo Levisa: by ferry.
The ferry leaves the island twice a day, at 10am and 6pm, from Palma Rubia, in the province of Pinar del Río.
To get back to the island, a ferry also leaves the island every day at 9am and 5pm
Palma Rubia is located at 1 hour and 50 minutes drive from Havana and 45 minutes from Viñales.
If you have your own car, count 10 CUC per person for the round trip crossing, the deck chair and a sandwich at the restaurant.
If you do not have a car, excursions to Cayo Levisa are available from Viñales.
Book at the Cubanacan agency in the main street.
The excursion will cost you 39 CUC per person for the bus transfer to Palma Rubia, the boat crossing, the deck chair and a sandwich at lunch time (for 5 CUC more, you can enjoy the buffet).
Hotels in Cayo Levisa
Cayo Levisa has escaped the great tourist construction plans that have disfigured part of the Cuban coast.
Here you will find only one hotel with 40 individual bungalows.
The rooms are a bit old-fashioned, but the setting is superb.
The Cayo Levisa Hotel has a bar and two restaurants.
A massage service is also available.
The double room costs around 135-150 euros per night, full board (breakfast, lunch and dinner included).
The price also includes the ferry crossing from Palma Rubia.
What to do in Cayo Levisa?
Cayo Levisa is a diver’s paradise! 23 diving spots are accessible from the island.
The diving center on the spot organizes excursions (40 CUC equipment & transport included).
You will be able to observe more than 120 species of neritic fish and 47 of the 59 varieties of rock corals identified in Cuba.
You may even have the chance to see some of the rare species that inhabit the area: black corals, sea turtles, lobsters, mollusks and sponges of all kinds.
Wrecks from the 17th & 18th centuries also litter the seabed around Cayo Levisa! It is also possible to rent equipment at the nautical center of the island: kayak, pedal boat, stand up paddle… Perfect to explore the mangrove! On our side, we tried the kayak tour (8 CUC per hour)… A big storm unfortunately cut short our desires of adventure!
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But where are the Cubans?
Once in Cayo Levisa, you can’t help looking for them, no Cuban in sight! They are indeed forbidden to stay on the island, as in Varadero.
The only locals that you will meet are the employees of the hotel.
Historically, Cayo Levisa was used as a departure point for Cubans seeking to flee the Castro regime and reach the United States.
The local population had then lost access to it.
If today this massive exodus has ended, the island remains inaccessible to Cubans…
Cayo Levisa or Cayo Jutias?
Cayo Levisa is not the only paradise in the Province of Pinar del Rio! The neighboring island of Cayo Jutias is another small paradise in the Archipelago of los Colorados.
Cayo Jutias is also a more economical option.
A pedraplén, a road-dike, connects it to the main island: no need to take a ferry! This is its great advantage, but also its great disadvantage: easier to access, the island is taken by storm by tourists (Westerners and Cubans) in summer!