Cayo Largo is the Mecca of naturism in Cuba!
Cayo Largo is a little Cuban island located at the eastern end of the Canarreos archipelago, about 80 km (50 mi.) off the southern coast of the main island of Cuba, in the Caribbean Sea. This small limestone island, 28 km (17.4 mi) long by 3 km (1.9 mi.) wide, boast stunning powdery white beaches stretching for almost 20 km (12.4 mi) along the south coast of the island, while the north side is mainly made up of mangroves and salt marshes.
Cayo Largo has no permanent inhabitants, other than birds and iguanas of course! The Cubans go there to work in the hotels for 20 consecutive days and then return to their homes and families on the big island of Cuba or to "Isla de la Juventud" for 10 days, and so on. Although we visit Cayo Largo only since 1999, we know that naturism on its beaches is a reality of this destination since the early 80s, since the very beginning of its tourism development.
There are no naturists resorts in Cayo Largo. Nudism is limited to the beach only!
Naturist beach areas were always created spontaneously at the ends of the hotel’s beaches and they are clearly identified today. There’s a peaceful coexistence between naturists and non-naturists (textiles). There are also in Cayo Largo several kilometers of virgin and deserted beaches for those who prefer to experience naturism in private. These long beaches are the delight of those who like taking long walks naked under the sun.
If you plan to venture far away from the hotel zone to explore the virgin beaches, it’s important to bring along a good supply of water, sunscreen, sandals or water shoes, hat or cap and a sarong to cover yourself, because under a blazing sun the risk of sunburn is great especially on areas that are not used to being exposed! Be careful that your vacation doesn’t turn into a nightmare!
Sol Cayo Largo
This hotel is the last one on the west side of the hotel zone, and its nude beach is at the WEST end of the hotel (to the right when facing the sea). From this clothing optional area one can walk naked all the way to Playa Paraiso on more than 4 km of virgin beaches. Recently, the autorities have installed a sign indicates the start of the naturist area. It’s not recommended to circulate naked on the rest (center and east) of the hotel’s beach. Naturists should dress to go to the beach bar and ranchon (beach restaurant). The Sol Cayo Largo is considered the best hotel of the destination.
The original Villa Iguana was the second hotel to open in Cayo Largo during the 80s. It was severely damaged by Hurricane Michelle in November 2001 forcing its permanent closure. Since then, it has been completely renovated (2012-2016) and 60 new cabañas (2-storey) were built for the official inauguration in November 2016 (15 years after Michelle!). This is the only adult hotel in Cayo Largo. This is a 3-star hotel with 196 rooms with 3 restaurants and 2 bars. Unlike the other hotels, There is no specific area for naturism at the Villa Iguana. People settle wherever they want as they represent about 75% of the people on the beach. It is at Villa Iguana that we find the most important proportion of naturists of all the hotels of Cayo Largo. For the nostalgic of Villa Capricho!
Hotel Pelicano (formerly Sol Pelicano)
The naturist section of this hotel is located at the eastern end of its beach (to the left when facing sea). Hotel Pelicano is located between hotels Villa Lindamar and Sol Cayo Largo. The length of the clothing optional section stretches for about 250 meters. It’s starts from the last footbridge (east side) up to the neighbor hotel Villa Lindamar. This beach area is the most stable (in width) of the whole resort. Naturists should dress to go to the beach bar (ranchon). A sign indicates the beginning of the naturist area. Hotel Pelicano is considered to be the best ratio quality versus price.
Iberostar Playa Blanca (formerly Olé Playa Blanca / Barcelo Cayo Largo)
At Hotel Iberostar Playa Blanca, the situation is different and a little more ambiguous. Because the beach of this hotel is not as stable, there’s no fixed nude beach area. Two scenarios can occur for naturists:
1. When the beach is wide along its entire length, then the naturist section is located at the eastern end of the beach, from the last footbridge on the left when facing the sea. In this scenario, naturists can then have a direct access to several miles of virgin beaches at the east of the island (Playa Blanca, Los Cocos and Tortuga). To take long walks Au Naturel it is best however to wear sandals or water shoes because sometimes you have to climb some rocky parts to reach the next sandy section.
2. When there’s little or no beach in front of the hotel and/or the east side (this may occur during high tide, strong surf or after a storm) then all the guests use the same sector, the western side (in front of small wooden villas currently under construction). Although the coexistence of naturists and textiles are usually quite peaceful, the mix sometimes creates tensions. Naturists usually like to gather at the west end of this area, where the former hotel Villa Capricho was located (destroyed by a hurricane in 2001); while the non-naturists use the palapas closer to the hotel. With the opening of the new "Villa" section, there will probably be more tensions to come.
The naturists have to dress to go to the beach bar. The hotel temporarily installs a beach bar on the western part of its beach during the periods when there’s no beach directly in front of the hotel. There is no official sign indicating the naturist areas of the hotel…A major gap!
Cayo Largo is the perfect place for a first naturist experience. The remote, secure and natural environment of this island provides a unique sense of freedom which is very appreciate by all naturists: couples, families, singles and newbies.
Loungers and palapas are unfortunately very limited, so during the high season, it’s best to bring a sun umbrella in case there would not be enough palapas for everyone. And for the same reason, it’s more courteous for non-naturists to leave the designated areas to naturists.
There’s currently no clothing optional beach area at the other hotels in Cayo Largo, which are: Hotel Isla del Sur, Villa Coral, Villa Soledad, Villa Lindamar and the Marinera annex of the Iberostar Playa Blanca located in the village, near the marina. There used to be a nude beach at hotels Villa Coral & Soledad, but not since the Italian group Alpitour took a management contract at these hotels.
The Villa Lindamar also used to cater to naturists but not since the Veratour Italian group manages the hotel. It’s very sad to see that every hotel that is managed by Italian companies don’t tolerate having a little naturist section on their beach, especially in a destination as naturist-friendly as Cayo Largo! We think that they are missing on a great opportunity to increase their ratio of repeat guests, given the only few beaches in the world where naturism is possible. Naturists are loyal customers!
IMPORTANT! Read about the Naturism Etiquette in Cuba.
To learn more about hotels, beaches, excursions and activities, visit our general website dedicated to Cayo Largo, online since 2000 : http://www.cayolargo.net/
Lily & Normand