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Some 110 kms (68 miles) north of Camagüey are the white sands and aquamarine seas of Santa Lucía. There are a handful of hotels and a dive school along the 21-km (13-mile) stretch of fine white sand. At the western end is Playa Los Cocos, which is known for its bull sharks that feed in the area from July to September and February to March. Along this north coast are Cayo Sabinal, Cayo Cruz, and Cayo Romano.

For tours to Bonita Beach (CUC$55) or snorkeling tours (CUC$25), contact Cubanacán (tel. 32/33-6449) or Ecotur (tel. 32/33-6109) at Playa Santa Lucía. The bull sharks tend to appear around the turning of the tide, so dives are timed to coincide with the turning of the tides to give visitors the best chance to see the sharks; many dives include a visit to the Mortera wreck, a Spanish galleon that sunk in 1905. Contact Shark's Friends Diving Center (tel. 32/36-5182) between Hotel Be Live Brisas Santa Lucía and Gran Club Santa Lucía for information. There are some 34 dive sites with dives from CUC$30.

At Playa Los Cocos, Restaurante Bar Bucanero (tel. 32/36-5226) serves seafood and slices of smoked beef under a thatched roof. Los Cocos is very popular with locals and has a more authentic feel than the hotel strip.

There's a gas station, bank, shops, an Etecsa office, car rental office, and international clinic at Santa Lucía. There is no public transport to and from Santa Lucía but a workers' bus leaves for the city bus station at 3:20pm and 5:20pm ($10MN/CUC$0.35) from a spot just beyond El Rápido on the hotel strip.

Where to Stay

Day passes are available for many Santa Lucía hotels, but considering its distance from Camagüey, most visitors opt to spend the night in the area.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.