When you think you have seen everything in Cuba, you discover Cayo Saetía. This small island of 42 km is connected to the province of Holguín by a controlled bridge, since it is a hunting reserve. Cayo Saetía mixes plains and forests with swamps, where great variety of plants grows, including wild orchids. Horses, zebras, water buffalo, wild boar and different species of antelope and deer roam freely giving this destination a unique character. You can even get closer to camels and ostriches, including Maria, the friendliest ostrich.
The only accommodation option is Villa Cayo Saetía, with only 12 rooms with basic facilities but very spacious and comfortable. Upon arrival you will be surprised by large iguanas and turkeys that roam freely around the place. Cayo Saetía is not the ideal place to sleep the morning, the turkeys (or guanajos as we also know them in Cuba) can wake up you very early in the morning with their funny squawk.
The key has a total of 12 beaches, many surrounded by cliffs. You can reach them using the available transportation: jeep or trucks. But back-horse riding is also a possibility to get there. A guide will be with you all the way from hotel to the beach. The journey is a bit long and mosquitoes can bother you. But from your saddle you will be able to appreciate incredible wooded landscapes that unveil a strip of beach that promises to be the paradise … and it is.
When you get to the beach, the landscape is spectacular. A strip of fine sand precedes turquoise waters interrupted in some sections by large rocks that protrude like islands. An option for lunch is ranchón “La Iguana”, a rustic restaurant overlooking the bay and the beach. It serves a buffet menu, where you may taste buffalo meat or some other animal abundant in the area. Animals are always obtained by controlled hunting.
The main attraction here is the Jeep Safari. It will allow you to get away from the usual paths to get into less accessible areas where you will get closer to the animals in their natural habitat. Do not forget the camera to portray yourself with a giraffe.
How to get to Cayo Saetía
It is located 120 km (75 miles) southeast of Holguin, between Nipe Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.
The distance from Havana is almost 900 kilometers, too much to do in a direct trip. One option is to follow the National Highway that connects Havana with Mayarí, making stops to visit important cities such as Santa Clara or Camagüey. Once in Mayarí, only 20 km remain on a narrow and uncomfortable road, but the anxiety to arrive diminishes the importance of that detail.
A second option is to fly to Holguín International Airport “Frank País”. This airport receives both national and international flights. Cayo Saetía is situated 120 km from this airport.
From hotels in Guardalavaca you can book a catamaran excursion to Cayo Saetía. This full day trip will include a lunch at the ranchón “La Iguana”.