| 4 min read
On a day trip from Viñales, we visited Cayo Jutías, a peninsula with a long beautiful beach. Although it is very popular with tourists, the 10-kilometer long beach is large enough to accommodate everyone. You can always walk away from the crowds and find a peaceful spot for yourself. An important warning: you’ll face nightmarish armies of mosquitoes while crossing the patches of pine forest that dot the coastline. You'll have to get through this ordeal in order to reach the more distant (and more beautiful) beaches. Bring insect repellent.
The ride to get there
The ride from Viñales to Cayo Jutías takes about an hour and a half, but it feels much longer. The first part of the ride is quite okay, but somewhere halfway the road gets extremely bumpy. The asfalt has withered away to a point where there are more potholes than road. If you’re on a budget, you’ll likely be crammed in a taxi colectivo with eight other passengers, which doesn’t improve the ride comfort-wise.
Tip: Have a seat next to the driver if you can. You’ll get the best views and slightly more leg-space.
Upon arrival, our driver indicated the best lunch spot on the beach. Out of fear for tourist traps, we had brought our own lunch, but actually the prices were very reasonable. There are three or four cabins that sell food and drinks, and the cheapest one offered a full meal for about 6 CUC.
Following our driver’s advice, we started walking northeast towards presumably the most quiet and beautiful beaches. Putting aside the many mosquitoes hiding in the pine-covered mangroves, it was really nice and peaceful over there, so we installed on the white sand, had a swim in the turquoise water and enjoyed our lazy time.
The beaches are inhabited by a large number of tiny crabs, which are fun to observe.
One part of the beach was used as a parking lot for old American cars. Although the scene looked like an old holiday photo, it wasn’t exactly our idea of tropical beaches, so this was the cue for us to move and explore the rest of the beach.
We walked in southwest direction, crossed some rough stretches with entanglements of dead mangroves (and even more mosquitoes) to eventually reach other quiet and small beaches. I actually liked this side better than the one we came from. There were no bars, but few guys sold cocktails on the beach. And they had cocoloco too!
It is possible to spot starfish on this side of the beach. A Cuban guy offered to walk me to a spot where several had gathered, but I had run out of time, so I had to refuse, unfortunately.
- Bring solid amounts of insect repellent if you don’t want to be eaten alive.
- A taxi colectivo from Viñales to Cayo Jutías and back costs about 15 CUC per person. Given that there are no buses or other means of public transportation, this is the cheapest way to get there.
- The ride takes about an hour over bumpy roads.
- Generally, the taxi colectivo will pick you up between 8 and 9 AM and bring you back around 6 PM.
Do you have questions? Did you experience something similar? Did you notice a mistake? Please share!