The beaches of Cayo Santa Maria are located North of the island. When you are facing the sea, the sun is positioned behind you. Cayo Santa Maria has five sections of fine white-sand beaches for a total of approximately thirteen kilometers out of the sixteen kilometers of the North area of the island. These sections of beach are fragmented by ancient coral reefs, now emerged. It is recommended that you bring, in your luggage, water shoes or sandals if you want to walk between these sectors of beach.
The section of the longest beach (approx. 6.2 km) is home to (actually) all hotels in Cayo Santa Maria. Regarding the quality of sand for walking, Melia Las Dunas, HUSA Cayo Santa Maria and the Blue Diamonds hotels are best positioned followed by the Melia Cayo Santa Maria and the Sol Cayo Santa Maria. Cayo Santa Maria is known for its long beaches and very popular with walkers. Pack a good supply of water and sunscreen for your walks in the sun, especially in summer. There is no obstacle between the Melia Buenavista and the Memories Azul Beach Resort.
All beaches of Cayo Santa Maria are public. Therefore, the accesses are unrestricted. The landscape has changed since the opening of the first hotel (December 2001). At that time, we could walk miles and miles of unspoiled beach. The beach is always the same, but much more crowded now. Click HERE to learn more about the history of Cayo Santa Maria. Your all-inclusive package includes non-motorized watersports. The hotels have their own nautical centers located on the beach.
The slope to enter the water is slow. There is no need to swim hundreds of feet before to get water at the shoulders level. Please note that the sea is sometimes rough (yellow or red flag) with strong winds but without undertow. It is rare to see a calm sea without wind in Cayo Santa Maria, but it was much appreciated this wind, especially during hot days in the Caribbean! Those looking for a calm sea and shallow water, should consider going to Cayo Guillermo or Cayo Coco instead. These are neighboring islands of the Jardines del Rey.
Unfortunately there are only few places you may snorkel from the beach. However, there is a tiny coral island located in the west near the Melia Buenavista. It is important to bring your fins, because it is located about 200 meters from the beach. You may want to book a catamaran excursion if you wish to do beautiful snorkeling. There are few corals where you can venture directly from the beach, West of the hotel Sol Cayo Sanata Maria.
IMPORTANT! For your protection, avoid wearing your watch, rings, necklaces or any other jewelry that sparkles in the sun. These objects can attract the attention of the barracudas.
To minimize the environmental impact on the mangroves, all hotels have footbridges to access the beach. Some of them have a height over 2 meters as is the case for the HUSA Cayo Santa Maria. The dunes and mangroves are natural defenses against hurricanes.
The western part of the island is divided into beaches: Playa Canyon (400 m), Ensenada Punta Madruguilla (200 m) and Ensenada Punta Matamoros (300 m). The section of beach north-east connects with the beach that leads to the Sol Cayo Santa Maria. Further East, there is Piedra Movida (the beach that lead to the red-roof house). It is about 1.4 km from the Memories Azul Beach Resort to that house BUT only 0.6 km of sandy beach. Bring your water shoes or sandals if you want to venture in this sector. There is a hotel under construction in this area.
Please note that access to Playa Perla Blanca is now forbidden. A hotel is being built in this area of Cayo Santa Maria. The sandy trail to get to Perla Blanca will eventually be paved to facilitate access to the hotel(s). A new road was built north of the island.