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Another Nearby Island: Cayo Jutías

A little bit west of Cayo Levisa, you can find similar attractions and isolated wonder at Cayo Jutías. Unlike its nearby sister, Cayo Jutías is connected to the mainland by a 8km (5-mile) pedraplén, or low-lying causeway. The island is a popular destination for day trips out of Pinar del Río and Viñales. Aside from the 8km (5 miles) of deserted white-sand beach, there's an open-air beachside restaurant serving standard criolla fare at reasonable prices. There's a náutico (nautical) center from which excursions are arranged to Starfish Beach -- a real highlight with dozens of enormous starfish -- and to Isla Mégano, among others, for CUC$5 to CUC$17 per person. You can also walk to Playa de los Estrellas del Mar, an isolated stretch of beach that will take you past sculpted driftwood; it takes about 2 hours each way to walk along the coastline, but beware that there is no shade and no water. Fishing trips can also be arranged for CUC$40 to CUC$45 an hour. You can also rent pedal boats, kayaks, and snorkel gear.

To get to Cayo Jutías from Havana, drive the northern highway from Mariel to Bahía Honda and continue west to Santa Lucía. If you're coming from Viñales, drive north to San Vincente, then continue to San Caetano and Santa Lucía. The pedraplén to Cayo Jutías begins about 5km (3 miles) northwest of Santa Lucía. The toll for the pedraplén is CUC$5 per person (open 10am-6pm daily). All of the major tour agencies offer day trips to Cayo Jutías from Viñales and Pinar del Río for CUC$22 per person, including lunch.

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.