The history of this small island is closely related to Cayo Largo, located south of the main island of Cuba. On November 4th, 2001, a terrible hurricane of level 4, Michelle, hit directly Cayo Largo, and forces all accustomed tourists of this small paradise to find another sun destination (at least for the period of recovery which last several weeks to months depending of the hotels). However, where do we go?
Eureka! A new destination had just opened in Cuba, the first in the province of Villa Clara, Cayo Santa Maria, a small island of about thirteen kilometers located north of Cuba in the king’s gardens or « Jardines del Rey » in spanish. The long beach, facing north, is divided into few sections as the longest one is the hotel zone. We went there the first time, for a two week stay, from January 2002. The first hotel opened its doors for Christmas 2001, but the destination was, in fact, ready many months ago, but they do not want to rush it and rather wait to be truly ready. When there is only one hotel, you only have one chance!
Since our first visit, we went back on many occasions. At its beginnings, this destination was really unique. Imagine! A small hotel of 300 rooms on kilometers of virgin beaches, the paradise! Those who did not return since that time will find the destination had changed, there are now four hotels, which occupy all the continuous section of the beach, which is about six kilometers long.
The origin of this website is a happy coincidence. Our friend Rigo (and his wife Tania) whom we had met on several occasions at Cayo Largo, works now as director of the reception of this new hotel Sol Cayo Santa Maria, the first on the island, administered by the Spanish hotel chain Melia Hotels International. Rigo knows very well the popularity of our site cayolargo.net and then asks us nicely if it would be possible for us to create a website for this new destination to be known and we glady said… yes!
Many repeating and lovers of Cayo Largo decided to go to visit Cayo Santa Maria, this new intriguing destination of paradise beaches, considered affectionately as « the little sister of Cayo Largo » surely at its debut. Many people fell in love with this island and adopt this destination for their next trips or simply like alternative to Cayo Largo. Many Cayo Largo’s repeating guests are naturists so it became clearly Cayo Santa Maria would be a nice place to relax on the « Au Natural » beach.
The only clothing optional beach on the island is located at the western sector of the Sol Cayo Santa Maria hotel. To access the section, you take the last footbridge on the left (facing sea) near the restaurant-bar Los Flamencos which used to be called « La cabane a sucre » of Elie. Many people will remember this very animated period. Elie is no longer working at Cayo Santa Maria. In fact, he is now living in Canada. At the time we took many photos of the staff to build an album of Cuban friends.
The first version was online on February 2002. In April 2007, the site has been completely redesigned for its five-year anniversary!
People who have known the first version of cayosantamaria.info will recognized the original colors of the site in the thumbnail of left.
Online from 2002 @ 2007
in 2012 cayosantamaria.info in celebrate its 10 years of existence. To celebrate this event, what better way to browse through the very first version of the site? Such wonderful memories of that time! Do you remember the Eli's Sugar Shack: o)