CAYO CRUZ Kienes' Premier Destination
Located on the north shore of Cuba, this secret prize called Cayo Cruz is an enormous system of flats, lagoons and pristine estuaries. Located in Jardines del Rey, commercial fishing within this designated area is strictly forbidden and rigorously enforced! The Kiene's Fly Fishing Travel team of Steve Jensen and Gary Eblen has fished this area and have rave reviews!
The sport-fish-only area is 366 square kilometers in size, meaning that on the average day, each skiff has over 50 square kilometers to itself. The fishing area is virtually untouched and represents one of the cleanest and most biologically diverse ecosystems you’ll ever fish. It is virtually untouched and has only seen anglers for three seasons! The fish are plentiful and aggressive.
Cayo Cruz demonstrates all the characteristics of a recently discovered, virgin fishing territory. The flats are an inviting combination of hard packed white sand and a semi-firm mottled bottom that still provides good wading. You can wade for 4 straight hours without heading back to the boat. Our staff has never seen such large white flats, filled with big rays that permit love to follow.
The flats at Cayo Cruz are a little deeper than those found in other areas of Cuba, which means that the bonefish and permit are still found in excellent numbers throughout the year.
The average sized bonefish is a healthy 4 pounds! During the course of the week it is not unheard of for guests to land a fish in the 10 pound range. Tailing bonefish are common and guests can expect to see bonefish in singles and doubles, all the way up to schools of several hundred fish.
What really sets this location apart from so many other fisheries is that you can expect to encounter and get shots at good numbers of permit each day and see big bones! This consistency that is virtually guaranteed at Cayo Cruz. It is a rare day when you don’t encounter and get shots at permit. The permit will range in size between about 8 and 30 pounds.
We passionately recommend this as a must do on your bucket list of saltwater destinations!
At a Glance
Location: Camaguey, Cuba
Target Fish: Bonefish, Permit, Tarpon, Snook, Jacks, Snapper, Barracuda and more
Time of Year: Year round
Lodge Capacity: 12 anglers
Nearest Airport: Camaguey
Documents Required: Passport (valid for at least six (6) months beyond the duration of your stay) Citizens of most countries are also required to have Visas
The first thing that guests need to know when considering this location, aside from the exceptional flats fishing that is found here, is this new fishery is still very much in its infancy. Cayo Cruz has only been in operation for three years and has not seen many clients, particularly when compared to other locations in the Caribbean that offer this quality of fishing.
Cayo Cruz guides did not work under Avalon management in past years. When Avalon established a fishing program in this fantastic location, one of the major goals was to improve guides’ language and guiding skills. Avalon has paired these guides with Cayo Largo guides to help bring them up to those same standards.
In addition, Avalon veteran guides with decades of experience are constantly helping new guides to improve. If one is prepared to be patient while the guides develop, you will find a virtually untouched flats oasis, absolutely teeming with fish and wildlife. What these guides lack in experience, they more than make up for in hard work and enthusiasm.
The skiffs depart from Cayo Cruz each morning and depending on the guide rotation that day, you may be heading to any number of areas to spend the day. From Cayo Paredon Grande in the north to Cayo Guanaja in the south, there are countless islands, lagoons and bays that will keep anglers happy and into fish.
Much of the fishing takes place back towards the mainland, in and around the massive island of Cayo Romano. The average boat run to the fishing areas is about 20 minutes, and in some areas you can be into fish within 5 minutes of leaving the boat docks.
It just depends on where your guide wants to take you that day and what you are interested in targeting. With 50 square kilometers per boat, the options are just about limitless. There are so many great aspects to this fishery that it can truly be a sensory overload at times.
There are two locations within the Cayo Cruz that offer very good tarpon fishing. Guides tend to save these areas for when an angler has already boated a permit and is looking for a Grand Slam.
These fish will range from 30 to 90 pounds. Besides the fishing for permit, bonefish and tarpon, you will also cast for other challenging species as mutton snapper, snook, cubera snapper, jack crevalle, barracuda, etc.
The skiffs operating at Cayo Cruz are Mitzi brand skiffs. Each skiff has a poling platform for the guide along with rod holders and very generous storage space, located at both the front and back of the boat. The casting platform is large and offers lots of space for those anglers who like to move around a bit while standing on the bow of the boat.
Constructed from a very light fiberglass mold, these skiffs are ideal for the miles and miles of shallow water flats that anglers will find here. Drawing less than 6 inches of water, the skiffs are powered by very reliable 40 HP Yamaha engines.
Cayo Cruz is well protected by the string of cays that shelter most of the fishing spots. The fishing from Jan - March is good - particularly for good-sized bonefish, small and medium tarpon (20-30 lbs.), and from mid-January the permit begin to appear.
The period from April to June is perhaps the best time both for weather and for the appearance of large quantities of huge tarpon – in addition to the bonefish and permit. In July and August the fishing is the same, but hotter sometimes. September to December is a good period for bonefish and for smaller quantities of large and medium tarpon.
Programs at Avalon Cayo Cruz are weekly. Starting on Saturdays and ending the following Saturday, fishing is from Sunday to Friday (6 fishing days).
The HOTEL CAYO ROMANO is a stunning new accommodation in Cayo Romano/Cruz. With a privileged location, at only 100 meters from the fishing marina, this brand new hotel has 60 rooms, swimming pool, bar, lounge, a variety of signature restaurants, bowling area, and several activities for anglers and also for non fishing guests.
The lodge is built right on the water, overlooking a beautiful channel visited daily by tarpon schools and jacks. Some of the best fishing takes place right off the marina before dark.
All rooms are spacious and well appointed with air conditioning, tile floors and nice showers. Hotel Cayo Romano has a block of rooms specially assigned to the Avalon anglers, in a quiet area.
In the open-air main lodge you will find comfortable lounging chairs and a fully stocked bar with an accommodating bartender. After a long day on the flats it’s nice to recount your adventures to fellow anglers while sipping an ice-cold beverage and enjoying the daily selection of snacks prepared fresh every afternoon. After a shower, make your way to the dining room to enjoy the chef’s daily specialty.
This hotel offers a “lodge atmosphere” to anglers who visit it, as it is remote but not disconnected. The main lodge has wireless internet for guest use. Come down and enjoy yourself at Cayo Romano/Cruz!
Guests will fly into Camaguey or Cayo Coco and will be met by an Avalon representative as soon as you clear customs.
If flying into Havana, you will board a flight early the next morning to fly to Camaguey or Cayo Coco (1 hour flight). From Camaguey or Cayo Coco it is a charming 90-120 minute drive through the beautiful countryside to the lodge.
A valid passport is required for all visitors to Cuba and must be valid for at least six months beyond the duration of your stay. Citizens of the United States are also required to have Visas with proof of authorization to travel under one of the 12 approved categories of travel.
A Cuban entrance visa can be secured when checking in for your direct flight to Havana. The visa can be purchased for approximately USD $25.00 (payable in cash) when checking in for the flight.
Low Season: Sept-March, $3,300 pp/dbl occ.
High Season: March-August $4,950 pp/dbl occ.
Reception at the Camaguey airport and group transfer to the lodge (round trip)
7 nights at Hotel Cayo Romano
5 1/2 days of fishing
An immersive experience in participating in a sustainable conservation and fishing workshop with instruction by local Cuban guides and discussions with Cuban marine biologists. This qualifies your trip for legal travel as a US citizen. Read more about the Blue Sanctuary conservation program here: bluesanctuary.org
RATES DO NOT INCLUDE
Transfers from other airports (can be booked at a supplement)
Tips, personal expense; and drinks other than stated above.
Open bar fee: US$ 200 per person/week (to be included at your invoice)
Conservation fee per angler: US$ 100 (to be included at your invoice)
Tips, personal expense; and drinks other than stated above.
To book any of our trips give us a call to start the process