How to reach Cayo Levisa
How to reach Cayo Levisa. Here I am with the story of the second part of my trip to Cuba with Air France! Cuba is an immense island and there are really many things to do and see, for which it would not be enough a month! Having to focus all in one week and having heard many friends about the difficulties and the length of transport, I preferred to concentrate the trip in Havana and make a stop on a not too distant Caribbean beach. After some research I found a small natural paradise: the islet of Cayo Levisa! Here’s how to reach it and what to expect once you’ve arrived there!
How to reach Cayo Levisa, one of the best beaches in Cuba
Cayo Levisa is located 140 km from Havana and is located in the northwestern part of Cuba Island, in the Pinar del Río region. However, getting there is not so easy: you have to go by car to the port of Palma Rubia, where you can board on a ferry that reaches the small marina of Cayo Levisa, adjacent to the entrance of the only eco-resort on it. Returning to the car, know that everything can happen in Cuba. I organized the ride just arrived in Havana, with the help of the owner of the first casa particular I’ve stayed in (HERE you find the blog post with all the details on my experience in Havana). First of all, I recommend you to deal with the price because Cubans usually ask for high figures. For the car you can consider the alternative between a private taxi or a collective taxi, but be careful about the type of car in question. We met a couple of Italians who reported to have traveled on a car without a seat, leaning on a wooden shaft. We were lucky because we traveled on a Chevrolet Blue (1951) taxi with soft leather mats!
There are no buses that reach the port of Palma Rubia. There are only 2 ferries per day: at 10am and 6pm, and an hour before each departure from Cayo Levisa.
To make the most of the time I have chosen to depart with the 10am ferry but, if I go back, I do not know if I would make the same choice. This led to departure from Havana at 6am in the morning (that became 6.40 am due to the delay of Esteban, the taxi driver). If you are planning to stop a couple of nights at Cayo Levisa you can also consider the other time, if you want to plan a day trip then this is the only possible way. Esteban has headed for the most convenient road, but also the longest, almost entirely on the highway. We also drove through the wonderful Viñales, where we could see the colorful houses and huge tobacco plantations. Total of the route: over 3 hours by car, arriving at 10 o’clock at Palma Rubia.
On the way back, Esteban remembered that there is a shorter road, but we have discovered together that it is almost completely dirt and filled with holes. Few kilometers to go but speaking about timing, we saved a handful of minutes. At some point he did not know how to get back on the freeway and we gave him directions with the app that we downloaded (that worked thanks to the GPS position): what an unbelievable story to tell!
When I got to Cayo Levisa I was literally shocked. 4 km of almost desert Caribbean beach. Very few tourists besides us. No internet, obviously. Only nature: mangroves, palm trees, white sandy beach populated only by crabs and gourds, crystalline sea with lots of colorful fish. The island is close to the coral reef: it is possible to arrange a diving experience to admire its wonderful underwater fauna, including manatee (which, however, seems to be very difficult to spot). Among the other Cayo Levisa animals there are also nutria walking on the beach (one evening we swapped it for giant mice)!
We stayed a couple of nights at Cayo Levisa’s resort, which is also the only building on the cayo. 40 bungalows made of local wood along the beach, connected to a bar-restaurant area by a footbridge, in wood as well. The room was nice and clean enough. The facilities however were very poor (even here no water at night).
On our arrival we immediately headed to the beach and took coconut water: we thought it was refreshing, but it was really hot!
The next day I took advantage of doing some gymnastics and pilates on the beach, thanks to the presence of comfortable mattresses shaded by palm trees!
I then went to discover the island, strolling along the coast until the mangrove forest stop the walk. I was really enchanted by the wild beauty of this Cayo.
When I posted the picture of this swimsuit on Instagram I received so many beautiful comments! I found it on Zalando! I was immediately in love with it: unique color, shaded by blue to pink. Even the hat with the colorful pom poms I wore is from Zalando!
For lunch we found out that the resort menu did not differ much from that of the previous evening: white rice, beans, fresh grilled fish at the moment by the chef, fruit and little else. All the meals at Cayo Levisa were accompanied by two musicians who enjoyed the atmosphere with Cuban music and hungry blackbirds, ready to catch every bit of food that fell to the ground (and not only, because they came up to the table without any problems! ).
The last day at Cayo Levisa was a bit uncertain: we did the last swimming in the early morning, because then the rain surprised us before lunch (and not in the evening like the other days).
I was a bit worried because I did not know if, in case of raining, the boat would have carried us to Palma Rubia at 17, so I asked the reception girl for confirmation. She assured me that it was a “big boat” and we would not have any problems!
Here is the great boat she was talking about… More like a raft I would say. Nevertheless it was on time but, due to the swirling sea, it only put us a little longer than expected to reach the other end. Luckily Esteban was there to wait, ready on his blue taxi to bring us back to Havana!
I thank again Air France – KLM team for allowing me to realize this wonderful experience in Cuba and for having accomplished one of my big dreams!
Good Wednesday at all!