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Cayo Guillermo is a kay of the Jardines del Rey archipelago. It is located on the northern coast of Cuba, between the Bay of Dogs (Bahia de Perros) and the Atlantic Ocean. It is part of the Ciego de Ávila Province, and lies in the Morón municipality.
The island is a popular tourist destination, with four all-inclusive resorts located on the north side of the island: Allegro Club Cayo Guillermo (of the Occidental group; formerly the Gran Caribe Villa Cojimar), Iberostar Daiquiri, Melia Cayo Guillermo and the Sol Cayo Guillermo (the last two hotels are owned by the Sol Melia Group). These 4 hotels offer a total of 1161 rooms on the island. The Iberostar group will be opening a second hotel on Cayo Guillermo, the Iberostar Playa Pilar (482 rooms) west of Playa Pilar. Just east of the resorts by the causeway to Cayo Coco is a marina used by yachts, sport fishing and tour boats. One of the country's best beaches, the Playa Pilar (Pilar Beach) is located at the western end of Cayo Guillermo. This beach is named after Ernest Hemingway's yacht, the cabin cruiser Pilar. The island provides the setting for the climax of Hemingway's last novel Islands in the Stream
Access to the island is possible through the Jardines del Rey Airport (Aeropuerto Jardines del Rey) (IATA: CCC, ICAO: MUCC) as well as by means of a long causeway from mainland Cuba to Cayo Coco leading to a second shorter causeway to Cayo Guillermo, connecting the two kays.
Sparsely inhabited in early years by fishermen and charcoal producers, the island gained fame in the 1960s with deep sea fishermen. The first resort was built in 1993 in an era known as "Tourist apartheid" as Cuban citizens were not allowed on the island unless they worked at the resorts serving tourists. However this restriction was lifted after 2000 and Cubans who can afford motor transport often visit Playa Pilar on the island. Many staff who work in the hotels commute from the distant mainland town of Morón.
- Hemingway, Ernest, Islands in the Stream (1970) Charles Scriber & Sons, New York, pp.405-466
- Sainsburg, Brendan, Cuba Lonely Planet Guide 2009, p. 316
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- www.cayoguillermocuba.net (English) (French)
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