In 1514, Diego Velazquez named these cays Jardines del Rey in honor of its majesty Fernando el Catolico. From the 90s, these cays were converted into a major tourist destination. Places unknown like Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo have gained worldwide fame among vacationers looking for sun and beaches. Its tourist value is reinforced by the successful conservation of its fauna and flora.
Cayo Guillermo is famous for having inspired Ernest Hemingway to write The Old Man and the Sea in which the action takes place in Playa Pilar.