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Santa Maria Cay an option of sea and nature.
On the north coast of the West of Cuba, exactly in Villa Clara Province, Santa Maria Cay is located: an option of sea and nature for the tourists who visit the island. This small piece of beautiful land has an approximate distance of 16 kilometers in length.
The way to reach it is through a road in the form of a bridge formed by stones that separates this cay from the Caibarien City, located approximately 48 kilometers.
This road that crosses the well-known Buenavista Bay was recognized with the international “Bridge of Alcantara” Award to be designed and built with extreme care to the environment.
The nearest international airport is located in Santa Clara (capital of the province of Villa Clara), and it takes approximately 90 minutes by car to arrive from that air terminal to Santa Maria Cay.
Known also as “the White Rose of the Gardens of the King”, Santa Maria Cay has approximately 10 km of beaches with a transparent water that when looking at it appears a blue color with several shades combined with fine and very white sand. Within the best known beaches of the cay are Perla Blanca, Las Caletas, Cannon, Los Delfines, Las Gaviotas and Cuatro Punta, located in the northern part of the small island.
History of Santa Maria Cay
Thanks to the distance that separates it from mainland Santa Maria Cay was not a site very visited by people who were not fishermen. That is currently because some archaeological findings suggest that there were Aborigines and other more recent human groups, such evidence suggests that this land was used for charcoal and raise cattle to survive.
After it was built the bridge of stones that unites the cay with the big archipelago is that it begins to receive the visit of more people, and it becomes a site of tourist attraction.
Legends of pirates, loves and hidden treasures are also woven on its history.
Flora and fauna of Santa Maria Cay
Santa Maria Cay, for its beautiful vegetation and rich fauna, belongs to the biosphere reserve attached to the Ramsar Convention for the Protection of Wetlands of International Significance, in this case the “Buenavista Bay “.
In this site there are more than 200 plant species and inhabit several mollusks, mammals, reptiles and birds, among them flamencos, seagulls, pelicans, hawks, iguanas, bats and some endemic subspecies (typical of that place), the blue chipojo (caguayo) and the brown lizard of Santa Maria. These natural wonders are inside the Santa Maria Cay Wildlife Refuge to ensure their care and the permanence of the species.
Some Tourist Attractions of Santa Maria Cay
The main option offered by a site like this is the enjoyment of tranquility and direct contact with nature, together with the beautiful beaches that it has.
Relatively near this cay are also Las Brujas Cay and Ensenachos Cay, some visitors decide to know the three sites during their stay in Santa Maria Cay.
There are also other options to know in that area as the Dolphin Aquarium of Cayo Santa Maria and the Las Brujas Marlin which belongs to Gaviota. On the mainland, if you wish to go on excursions you can visit Remedios Town, popular for its parrandas, also Caibarien and Santa Clara.
Another alternative, although a little more distant, are the cities of Trinidad, Cienfuegos and Sancti Spiritus with excellent attractions for foreign visitors.
Accommodation in Santa Maria Cay
Santa Maria Cay is considered one of the most important tourist attractions of sun and beach in Cuba. It has more than 10 hotels to welcome its visitors, these are grouped mainly in three tourist units.
Las Dunas. It has a town by teh same name and 5 hotels administrated by Gaviota and the Spanish Melia hotel chains: Meliá Buenavista (5*), Sol Cayo Santa María (4*), Meliá Cayo Santa María (5*), Meliá Las Dunas (5*) y Playa Cayo Santa María (5*).
La Estrella (The Star). It has a town by the same name and five hotels of Gaviota and the Canadian Blue Diamond hotel chains: Starfish Cayo Santa María (5*), Royalton Cayo Santa María (5*), Memories Paraíso (5*), Grand Memories Santa María (5*) y Cayo Santa María (5*)
Lagunas del Este (East Lagoons). It has a town named “Las Terrazas del Atardecer” (The Sunset Terraces) in Punta Cerquita and four hoteles of four hotel chains : Warwick, H10, Melia and Valentín Hoteles: Warwick Cayo Santa María (5*), Ocean Casa del Mar (5*), Paradisus Cayo Santa María (5*) y Valentin Perla Blanca (5*).
Some of these hotels have won international awards for the quality of their services and their beaches have been ranked among the 25 best in the world.