The Atlantic Ocean fringing Cayo Coco’s northeast coast holds one of the world’s longest coral reefs, with shoals of angel fish, butterfly fish, nurse sharks and surgeon fish weaving through forests of colourful sponges, and alarmingly large barracudas bucking below the water line. There are over forty dive sites spread over the length of the reef, averaging 10m in depth but reaching 35m in places. Several diving centres operate on the cays but, if you’re staying at a hotel, you can organize a dive, or a boat trip, through the hotel itself and most establishments give free induction classes to guests.
Cayo Guillermo has its own dive centre, as well as some of the cays’ best snorkelling off of Cayo Media Luna. It’s also one of the top two kitesurfing locations in Cuba (the other is in Varadero), with winds regularly reaching speeds of 20–40km/hr. The best conditions are at the northern end of Playa El Paso and on Playa El Medio, where the Sol Cayo Guillermo hotel has two kitesurfing clubs open to non-guests.
There are also many other activities, from fishing and boat trips to horseriding along the beaches and exploring the lush interior south of Cayo Coco’s hotel strip on foot. Though you can strike off on your own – ask at the hotels about hiring horses or arranging horse-drawn carriage tours – you can also book organized excursions.