Day Tripping - Viñales to Cayo Juitas beach

Sabbatical - October 26th

After a sumptuous breakfast at our Casa, and meeting our new German neighbours we set off for Cayo Juitas. What a drive. It was spectacularly beautiful and the roads were almost entirely mostly empty, but in typical Cuban style, it was back-breakingly difficult.

Around 20 minutes or so into the drive the road started to become increasingly potholed, but this was just the beginning. As the palm tree covered landscape gave way to towering pine trees, the road became utterly treacherous. We were barely able to go faster than 20 miles an hour, and after carefully observing the local driving style realised it was much easier to actually drive off-road alongside the road.

Eventually the landscape (but sadly not the road) flattened out and we drove out onto a long key surrounded on both sides by water. Right at the end of the key, and after what seemed like a half day expedition we finally reached the beach!

joe-opening-a-coconut

It was an expanse of blue sea, white sand and palm trees, with the first hundred meters or so littered with sun loungers and parasols. We purchased some coconuts from the beach bar and then walked to the end of the beach in order to see if there was anywhere more appealing to set up camp. Sun sun loungers aren't really our thing.

We weren't dissapoitned.

The beach gradually gives way to a mangrove forest. We followed a sandy path for 20 minutes or so and finally found a little slither of paradise in which to set up camp. We had our stretch of beach completely to ourselves, and spent the afternoon swimming in the warm, refreshing water and chilling in the hazy sun.

Later on we continued exploring. If you navigate far enough through the mangrove forrest you'll reach a much larger expanse of sandy beach.

It ended up turning into a pretty perfect beach day, but I do feel really sorry for the next owner of our rental car.