Cayo Santa María, the White Rose
Located some 20 miles north of central Villa Clara Province, the Santa María key is also known as the White Rose of Jardines del Rey. It is the largest of a group of 500 islets known as Cayos de la Herradura (horseshoe keys), with a total area of over 1300 sq. km., north of which is the world’s second largest barrier reef.
Considered the area’s flagship island, Santa María is accompanied by the Las Brujas and Ensenachos keys. These are connected to the mainland by a 48 kilometre causeway stretching over the sea with a total of 46 bridges especially designed to allow the flow of sea water, there by protecting both the biodiversity and sustainability of the area. The road was awarded the Puente de Alcántara Award for Best Ibero-American Civil Engineering Project. In addition to its 10 kilometres of white sugar sand beaches and crystal-clear waters, Santa María has been privileged by nature. It is home to many species of reptiles, amphibians, fish, birds and mammals, many of them endemic to the area. There are also more than 245 species of plants which, together with an intricate system of channels between the cays, provide the area with a unique location for nature tourism programs and water sports.
Another major attraction are the fi ve luxury hotels on the longest stretch of beach on the island - some 13 km long and 2 km wide -, where you can also enjoy food services, swimming pools, diving, snorkelling, tennis, hiking, biking and other recreational options.
If you want to know a little more about Cuba you can make short excursions to the nearby cities of Caibarien, Remedios, Santa Clara and Trinidad, where you can get a closer look at the history, culture and customs of the Cuban people.