Isle of Youth
- Exploring the Presidio Modelo prison - Fidel Castro’s former "residence" - ….spooky!
- Scuba diving - hitting the depths of ocean, surrounded by the wrecks, walls and coral gardens in Punta Francés
- Chilling out and enjoying the soft white sands and warm cozy waters on Cayo Largo
The island of youth (Isla de la Juventud), also known as “treasure island”, is famous for prisons, scuba diving and pirates. It’s about as off the beaten track as you’re likely to get in Cuba. This is a paradise island - a beautiful natural setting with a very peaceful way of life…
Isla de la Juventud is the second largest Cuban island and is located directly below Havana and Pinar del Rio. It’s considered a special municipality - not part of any individual province. Rafael Cabrera Mustelier Airport is located just five kilometers south of Nueva Gerona. There are daily flights here from Havana with Cubana Airlines.
Nueva Gerona, the island’s capital, is located between the Sierra de los Cabas and the Sierra de Caballos. It’s about three kilometers up the River Casas on the left hand side. It’s an incredibly friendly place and a lot cheaper than Havana - a good place to chill out for a while and save money. Some of the sights worth checking out include: the Museo Municipal, Museo de la Lucha Clandestina and Museo Finca el Abra. If that sounds too boring, there’s also some excellent hiking and paragliding to be done here.
Sights in Isla de la Juventud
Scuba diving on the Isla de la Juventud
In the front of the southwest coast of the Island of Youth you gave the chance to explore one of the most beautiful and known diving places in all Cuba anbd the Caribbean.
If you focuse your vacation on diving, the best is to stay in the 'Hotel Colony' just in the front of the spot. But if you just want to try it, it's better to book a casa particular in Nueva Gerona and make a day trip. The Colony Hotel is located a little abroad and in a lodging in the capital you keep in touch with Cubans and other attractions in the surroundings.
Prison 'Presidio Modelo' - Isla de la Juventud
The Prison, where Fidel Castro was imprisoned after he had attacked in 1953, together with other revolutionaries, Moncada - the military base in Santiago de Cuba. If you go alone throgh these empty buildings , you can imagine easily the life of these men. Fidel Castro was in an extra building behind the others. Today you can see a small exhibition about the life of the "Máximo Leader" in this time. Impressive!
Prehistoric cave paintings on the Isla de la Juventud
In the south of the island you can explore prehistoric caves qith paintings from the first habitants - Siboneis. Experts thing, that the painted circles and crosses in the cave represent a solar calendar. To get there you need a guide and a 4x4, which you can book in Nueva Gerona.
Cayo Largo del Sur
Cayo Largo del Sur (Cayo Largo) is a tropical paradise located 120kms east of Isla de la Juventud. It’s a popular tourist resort, famous for its dazzling white sandy beaches and bright turquoise waters that stay balmy all year round.
If you’re after an easy “fun in the sun” holiday with amazing scuba diving, truly spectacular beaches and reefs along with all the crearture comforts of home, this is for you. Hotels in Cayo Largo del Sur are top class. Casas particulares however, will be very hard to find.
Beaches Isla de la Juventud
There’s plenty to choose from here, including: Playa Bibijagua, Playa El Frances, Playa Larga, Playa Los Cocos, Playa Paraiso, Playa Tortuga, Playa Blanca beach, Playa Lindamar beach
Beaches Isla de la Juventud - Playa Bibijagua
Just six kilometers from Nueva Gerona, Bibijagua is a spectacular black sandy beach, close to the Presidio Modelo (Model Prision) museum - where Fidel Castro was imprisoned. The residents here are a mixture of Cayman Islanders and Japanese.
Beaches Isla de la Juventud - Playa Blanca
This magnificent beach stretches for seven kilometers making it the largest on the island. The waters here are crystal clear.
Beaches Isla de la Juventud - Playa Los Cocos y Playa Tortuga
Both beaches are an extension of Playa Blanca. Los Cocos is home to many tiny coves and huge coconut trees. Playa Tortugas is where hundreds of sea turtles (Tortugas) lay their eggs on the warm sands. Expect to see endless new arrivals between the months of May and October.
Apart from being a paradise island surrounded by stunning tropical waters, La Isla de la Juventud is one of the most friendly and welcoming places in Cuba.
Stay in one of La Isla de la Juventud’s casas particulares - the hosts are genuinely warm generous people that will open their homes and their hearts to you. They’ll do everything possible to make sure you enjoy your stay.
- Playa Gerona
- Playa Colombo
- Playa Bibijagua
- Playa Larga
- Playa Roja ("Hotel Colony")
- Playa Buenavista
- Nueva Gerona
- Nueva Gerona
- Nueva Gerona
- Nueva Gerona: pedestrian zone in the center (bulevar)