Cayo Cinco Balas and Cayo Zaza
These two Cayo’s were short one night stops as we make our way out of La Jardine’s de la Reina and back to the main land of Cuba.
Cayo Cinco Balas was a calm protected anchorage completely surrounded by Mangroves with a small beach on the outside facing the reef. The beach was pretty creepy. All the vegetation was dead, there were animal bones and the only sign of any life were huge iguana tracks. We took a short walk and then left. There really was not much here, so we only stayed for one night.
The next day we sailed 30 miles on the outside of the reef to Cayo Zaza. Fishing was good!! We caught a nice Yellow Fin Tuna and had sashimi for dinner. We played in the mangroves and had a nice relaxing evening on board.
As we are leaving La Jardine’s de la Reina we look back and are amazing at the amount of marine life we have seen here verses other areas of the Caribbean. We are also shocked that we were the only cruiser boats around and that for 3 weeks we barely saw any other people except for the few local fishermen.
Unfortunately, the snorkeling was not as good as we hoped because the clear water was on the outside of the reefs where the water was deep. Also, where we did snorkel we saw a lot of Lionfish, which are a huge threat to the reefs on this side of the world. Conch and lobster were plentiful.
After sailing around other islands and witnessing the pollution and damage generated by tourism and human population it is a pleasant surprise to explore this small part of the Caribbean that has remained untouched and preserved. Aside from a few ship wrecks, La Jardines de la Reina is pretty much the exact same today as it was when Columbus sailed through it 600+ years ago.