Hidden away on the east side of the Bahía de Nipe near the village of Felton, and connected to the mainland by a drawbridge, picture-postcard, isolated Cayo Saetía is the most bizarre – and exclusive – resort in the country. A one-time private game reserve and beach catering to government party officials, it was opened up to the public during the 1990s, yet still retains its air of exclusivity. It’s run by Gaviota, the army-owned tourist group, which may explain the vaguely military aura, notably in the ranks of jeeps and other vehicles stationed across the island. Oddly, Cayo Saetía’s beauty is not diminished by the pale orange smog drifting across the bay from grimy Nicaro, a distinctly uneventful town wreathed in plumes of smoke from an electricity plant.

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