Cayo Largo lies at the very eastern edge of the Carnarreos archipelago, which is comprised of nearly 350 islands on Cuba's southern coast. A resort island, Cayo Largo is largely visited by Canadians and Europeans seeking its pristine white-sand beaches, large all-inclusive resorts, and crystal clear waters. Better yet, the waters around Cayo Largo hold abundant and extremely healthy populations of the skinny species fish fly anglers love to stalk. Only a 35-minute flight from Havana, guests from the US will usually enjoy the city for a night before leaving early the next morning for Cayo Largo. The airport is modern, and only a 5 minute ride to the Sol Club Cayo Largo, the beautiful, all-inclusive resort where Avalon houses its guests.
For anglers with families, and anglers who have a spouse that might not want to fish, Cayo Largo is perfect. The resort itself has plenty to keep a person occupied, with the beach nearby, several pools, tennis courts, a gym, sauna and Jacuzzi, Spanish classes, a karaoke club, and access to a dive school. The staff here regularly arrange excursions for non-angling guests, from catamaran trips to deserted islands, to snorkel and dive trips, to evening sunset cruises. For groups who might want accommodations more to themselves, and a lower-key option to Sol Club, Avalon also offers the Villas Marinera. These beautiful guesthouses are located next to the marina.
All meals are included with accommodations, and there is a very cozy and friendly pool an bar area. All months of the year offer good fishing. The months of September and October are generally not suggested, as this is hurricane season. Fishing is great all through the winter months with Bonefish and Permit available, as well as numerous species of Jacks, Snapper, and Barracuda. There are a few Baby Tarpon spots known to the guides, but the true Tarpon fishery starts when the adult fish migrate. During the months of April, May and June, Tarpon reaching 100 pounds can be stalked cruising the reef edges, the deeper flats, and the cuts between islands. Most famous of all, is the Permit fishery. The entire north side of Cayo Largo is Permit habitat, the water ranging in depth from 2-5 feet. With deeper waters at the border, Permit migrate with the tides to this area, where they find Ray's to feed alongside. They are quite susceptible to taking a fly in these conditions, making Cayo Largo one of the world's best Permit destinations.
The Sol Club
The Sol Club Cayo Largo is a beautiful, all inclusive resort located within a 5 minute drive to the international airport on Cayo Largo. With a multitude of amenities, guests are seldom left without an available activity! The resort has a pool, tennis courts, easy access to the beach, several restaurants and bars, a karaoke club, Spanish classes, and guests can arrange for many different daily activities.
Non-anglers may be interested in catamaran trips, snorkeling, diving, or exploring well deserted cayes & white sand beaches. For guests booked on an angling package, a van will pick them up each morning at the resort and make a short ride to the marina where you embark for the day's fishing.
The fishing around Cayo Largo can be spectacular. A protected marine sanctuary, many shallow water species flourish in this environment. Bonefish are on the large side of average, with many fish of 6 or 7 pounds available. The Permit fishing is some of the best in the world, and large Tarpon gather in the flats and channels during the migration of Spring and Summer.
The Villas Marinera
The Villas Marinera offers a more intimate and low-key accommodation option as compared to the Sol Club. Lacking many of the amenities of the Sol Club (like a theater & multiple restaurants), VM is friendly, simpler, more rustic, less expensive and intimate. Guesthouses are located on the beach directly adjacent to the dock where flats skiffs are stored and launch each morning.
Mauro is the host at Villas Marinera, and a quite famous angler and fly tier. He is addicted to Permit fishing, and is a wealth of information. Mauro is also the inventor of the famous Avalon Fly, responsible for making many Cuban Permit feel stupid. The Villas Marinera also offers a small pool and bar area.
The Sol Club: $4,900 - $7,900 per person for a 7 night/6 day package
The Villa Marinera: $4,600 - $6,990 per person for a 7 night/6 day package
Jardines Avalon 1: $4,492 - $6,325 per person for a 7 night/6 day package (based on a group of 12 anglers)
Included: All accommodations and meals, guided fishing, all ground transfers inside Cuba, national park license.
Not Included: Round trip airfare to Havana, fishing tackle, departure tax, personal expenses, taxis and meals in Havana, staff & guide gratuities, $100 conservation fee, $100 general license, $85 Cuba Tourist Visa, $200 mandatory open bar fee (Jardines Avalon 1 only)
Fish Species: Bonefish, tarpon, permit, jacks, snook, baracuda, snapper
Capacity: 12 anglers
Map: Cayo Largo, Cuba