My top 5 things to do on the Isle of Pines

The Isle of Pines (IoP) is a super popular cruise ship destination but well worth a longer stay. We arrived by plane and hadn’t booked the shuttle bus to our hotel, so it took some awkward attempts to speak French to the ground staff to organise for a taxi to take us. If you haven’t read my previous post please book everything in advance!! We stayed at Hotel Kou Bugny which is right in Kuto Bay, has a pretty good restaurant and a two minute walk to Kanumera Bay. Here’s what you should do:

Grab a car to explore the island

Unless you are on a cruise day trip or some other tour, it’s impossible to see the island without a car. Kou Bugny has a fleet of three or four hire cars which make it really easy to explore the island. There is a small shop not far from Kou Bugny where you can pick up supplies for a day of sightseeing. The roads wind between small towns and reach spectacular view points. You could even pump the Moana soundtrack on the way around like we did.

Snorkel in the Piscine Naturelle (natural pool)

I did a lot of research on how to get to the natural pool and found many accounts of people unable to find it?! We found it clearly signposted and very simple to get to. We followed Google maps, parked the car, paid a couple of dollars and walked on in. Beautiful beach with some great snorkelling, make sure you BYO snorkel and mask. A friendly doggo joined our walk along the estuary to the pool and hung out for a lot of the day, barking like mad at someone’s drone.

Plenty of fish and easy swimming in the natural pool

I like to be, under the sea

Ol’ Squinty McGee

Sail around Upi Bay in a traditional outrigger

We weren’t keen to join a bus trip from our hotel to Upi Bay in the morning because we thought it might be cloudy so we decided to wing it and head out there ourselves in the afternoon. The receptionist at our hotel had called ahead to organise us a trip with a local man on his boat.  When we got there the tide was out and we we found a man who was willing to take us out if we could push his beached boat into the water. We still don’t know if we ended up with the man the receptionist had contacted or not?! Either way we loved putting along amongst the giant rock formations.

Pushing the outrigger into the water. I love how high the gent on the left has his shorts rolled up.

Upi Bay

GoPro selfie

Remember that time we went volcano boarding in Nicaragua? Andy’s singlet does

Enjoy sundowners at Kuto Bay

The IoP isn’t the kind of place where you stroll along a beach heaving with bars with extensive cocktail lists and colour coordinated beanbags. It’s just not that populated or touristy. If you want to catch the sunset while sipping a Pina Colada head to Kuto Bay.

The only bar at Kuto Bay is this one at Hotel Kou Bugny

Yes I like Pina Coladas

Snorkel around the sacred rock at Kanumera Bay

Kanumera Bay is a hop, skip and a jump from Kuto Bay, Hotel Kou Bugny and Oure Tera beach resort. It looks like this above water:

It’s disrespectful to climb the rock FYI

And like this under water:

This was the sassiest little fish

Was not keen on me photographing him


What do you think? Your kind of holiday?

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