Cayo Largo, Cuba: Hola Cuba! Day 5 - Cayo Largo Del Sur

Cayo Largo del Sur (CYO), Cuba

Having had enough of staying in the same spot (day three was spent luxuriating by the hotel pool, day four we barely budged from our sandbank on paradise beach) we decided to shake things up just a little on our and third day in Cayo Largo Del Sur. We threw some Cuban money at the problem and paid 44 CUC a for half-day excursion by boat to three locations; Cayo Las Iguanas (iguana island), a natural swimming pool, and snorkelling near some coral reefs.

When the sky meets the sea. Yet another sandbank by the 'natural swimming pool'. Photo by Luxy

We took a catamaran to our first stop, iguana island.

Our boat dropped anchor a distance from the beach and we waded through the waist deep water to get to the iguanas.  God knows how they got there in the first place. The tiny limestone island is right in the middle of nowhere, it's bone-white flatness surrounded by turquoise waters, like a ghost-town risen from the sea.

Photo by Luxy
It is inhabited by nothing but iguanas. They have no natural predators apart from tourists who harass them, like this big fat Argentinian man who was chasing a tiny baby iguana around, pulling it out of it's hiding hole by the tail, and shaking it about like a toy while his nasty wife laughed and filmed the whole thing. No amount of admonishing from us would get him to stop. Horrid bully! His version of hell will be giant iguanas chasing him around and swinging him around 'for fun'.

Their wrinkly, scaly skin is my reminder of the ageing effects of sun overexposure. I slathered on SPF50 everyday but even so I could only dared to be in the sun for twenty minutes before hurriedly jamming my hat back on my head. 

Our second port of call, the 'natural swimming pool'. 

Which is basically a sandbank surrounded by shallow water. 

See any resemblance?

These dolphins were actually in the 'dolphin enclosure' in Playa Sirena which was a fenced-off part of the sea, just off the jetty. But they don't belong there! They belong with the rest of their kind. I hope they weren't captured and that they were bred or raised in captivity (ie. rescued orphans) to be released back to the wild. 

The view from the boat.

We lifted anchor and headed to our third and last destination.

The seas here were a lot less calm.

It is quite surreal to see huge waves in the middle of the sea, no doubt there are there because of the coral reefs. I tried snorkelling with the girls, but wasn't awed. I was disappointed actually. The deep waters of this patch of the Caribbean weren't nearly as clear as when I snorkelled in the shallow waters of Redang island marine park. Nor did that spot in Cayo Largo have much diversity of sea creatures. In Redang we swam with baby sharks, turtles, and colourful fish but the variety in Cayo Largo was more like 'seen one fish, seen them all'. 

I turned my attention instead to more important matters, ie. tanning myself and observing how the green waters looked like malachite.


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