Maria la Gorda
Declared a World Biological Reserve, this remote enclave on the Guanahacabibes Peninsula is inextricably linked to a history of piracy. Numerous old anchors and ship’s cannons are found at the bottom in this area everywhere. The diving depth here is 14 meters. Black corals are found in abundance here. More than 15 species of corals are inhabited by fish accustomed to the appearance of humans here. Among them: barracuda, various types of snappers, Cuban crucian carp, sea lawyer and others. Sponges, vast walls with grottoes, vibrant underwater fauna are the natural attraction of this international diving center “Maria la Gorda”, which has its own facilities for tourist accommodation. Located 304 km from Havana in the western province of Pinar del Rio.
This islet from the Los Colorados archipelago is located in the northwest of Cuba. Its coral beaches and ocean floor are incomparable. The island is surrounded by massive coral formations inhabited by algae, jellyfish, parrot fish, black bream, stipoma and other fish species. Sea wolf, Cuban crucian carp, various crustaceans (including lobsters) are very common here. One of the best dive sites here is La Corona de San Carlos. Cayo Levisa is just a few minutes from Palma Rubia, the starting point for this excursion, and only 146 km from Havana. Diving center – “Diving World”.
According to Clothesbliss, the Cuban capital is a beautiful coastal city whose past and present are inextricably linked to the sea. There are 4 international diving centers (“La Aguja”, “Club Habana”, “Tarara”, “Blue Reef”, “Puerto Escondido”) operating for diving in waters over 100 km along the coast and about 3 km from the line coast. There is an abundance of various types of corals with bright colorful fish inhabiting them: red squirrel fish, soldier fish, bronze snapper. At depth you can see turtles, sharks, blue marlin, swordfish. A strip of snow-white coral beach stretches 20 km east of the city. Cultural Mecca of the country, Havana has a picturesque historical part, which is declared by UNESCO as part of the world cultural heritage. Sunken ships at the bottom of the ocean
The island of Youth, the second largest island in the Cuban archipelago, has become a must-see for scuba divers around the world thanks to the Punta Frances National Marine Park, where traditional underwater photography competitions are regularly held. The 6 km dive zone offers tourists the opportunity to get acquainted with the diverse local fauna, and the highlight of the dives is swimming through the tunnels in the coral walls. Next to the sunken old ships, you can see tarpon, parrot fish, tarpon, barracuda, lobster and even large turtles. The International Diving Center “El Colony” has a specialized medical center and a hyperbaric chamber that can serve several people at the same time. The center has the opportunity to accommodate tourists in a cozy hotel. El Colony is located 42 km from the city of Nueva Gerona, the center of the province, which also has a hyperbaric chamber. Nueva Gerona, in turn, is located 200 km from Havana, from where it is most convenient to get to the island of Youth by plane.
Just like the island of Youth, Cayo Largo is part of the Los Canarreos archipelago. Its beaches are the main attraction of the island, which is completely isolated from the world and has two diving centers (“Cayo Largo del Sur”, “Playa Sirena”). About 30 dive points offer athletes tunnels and steep walls with rich fauna. The virgin nature of the local underwater world, its charm and amazing contrasts of colors amaze divers. Located 180 km from Havana, 140 km from the island of Youth and 125 km from Varadero, Cayo Largo promises to become one of the most popular resorts in Cuba. The Cayo Largo International Airport connects the island with the whole world, and the developed hotel infrastructure provides tourists with the highest level of beach recreation.
The world famous Varadero beach with comfortable hotels and entertainment centers stretches along the northern part of the Hicacos peninsula, in the north of the Matanzas province. The dive zone here stretches from Matanzas Bay to the western edge of the Jardines del Rey archipelago. The gently sloping platform of the shelf is covered with islands of corals with abundant fauna. Particularly popular are Ojo del Megano, a 70m diameter underwater cave near Cadiz Bay, and the Cayo Pedra del Norte Marine Park, over 2 square miles in size, with a missile boat, a frigate with deck guns and a transport aircraft that are sunk here. specifically in order to create the largest underwater artifact in the archipelago. There are also coral colonies with a wide variety of fish. Varadero is located 140 km from Havana and 16 km from the city of Cardenas, where there is a specialized medical center with a hyperbaric chamber. Diving opportunities are offered by three specialized centers: “Acua”, “Barracuda”, “Gaviota”.
Bahia de Cochinos
Diving in the open sea and speleological diving in salt water caves, which are part of the lake-cave ecosystem of the Zapata peninsula, are the most interesting adventures for diving enthusiasts in the south of the province of Matanzas, where there are two specialized centers (“Octopus”, “Playa Giron “). Dives are carried out immediately near the shore, where the most beautiful colonies of corals begin with schools of multi-colored fish inhabiting them. Located 85 km from the city of Cienfuegos, 105 km from Varadero and 177 km from Havana, Bahia de Cochinos is an excellent accommodation for tourists who come here to enjoy the sights of this region.
This interesting seaside town has burst into the underwater sports scene thanks to the unspoiled beauty of its underwater world and the huge coral reef that stretches along the coast. This province, which has a network of comfortable hotels to accommodate tourists, has three diving centers (“Faro de Luna”, “Guajimico”, “Whale Shark”) with a huge water area and more than 40 diving points. Scuttled ships studded with shells and turned into artificial reefs, a diverse fauna with many fish, jellyfish, turtles, sea urchins and even, if you’re lucky, whale sharks – all this can be found here. There is also a local landmark – the 6-meter coral column of Notre Dame, so named because of its similarity to the famous Parisian cathedral.
Nestled in undulating green land close to the sea and the Escambray mountain range, Trinidad is a charming town declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO for its amazing architectural features. Near the Ancon peninsula with the best beaches on the south coast of Cuba, there is a diving center (“Cayo Blanco”) and comfortable hotels just a few steps from the beach. From here to the coral island of Cayo Blanco stretches a narrow platform with a sandy bottom, inhabited by coral groups up to 5 m high with grottoes and tunnels, with many fish, sponges and jellyfish. Trinidad is connected to Cienfuegos by a coastal highway about 40 km long. From Trinidad to Havana 340 km.
Experts say that there are only a few places in the Caribbean that match the beauty and abundance of fish with Cayo Coco, sometimes called the “giant natural aquarium.” The coral reef where dives are made stretches for more than 30 km. Cayo Coco is connected to the main part of Cuba by a causeway. The same road connects it with another island – Cayo Guillermo. Upscale hotels and four diving centers (“Coco Diving Center”, “Blue Diving”, “Cayo Guillermo”, “Jardines del Rey”) offer tourists to enjoy the natural environment of this reserve and take advantage of a wide range of water sports, including diving. The amazing snorkeling facilities of this resort make it an adventure in the company of a variety of fish and other sea creatures. Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo are located in the north of the province of Ciego de Avila, 500 km from Havana and 600 km from Santiago de Cuba and are part of the Jardines del Rey archipelago. Cayo Coco has a small airport for local airlines.
Jardines de la Reina
This archipelago of small islands is located in the south of the province of Ciego de Avila, offers tourists an extended coral reef and is one of the places in the Caribbean where turtles come to lay their eggs. The international diving center “Avalon” offers diving along the chain of islands that form the archipelago: Cayo Grande, Cayo Caballones, Cayo Anclitas, Cayo Piedra Grande, Cayo Cachiboca. A great variety of corals, sponges, jellyfish, shellfish and fish is the main attraction of the area. Accommodation options for tourists here are very limited, so accommodation on board a boat or yacht should be considered as an alternative. You can only get here by sea.
One of the longest and most beautiful beaches in Cuba is located in the north of the province of Camaguey, near the largest coral reef in the Western Hemisphere. Sharks Friend International Diving Center offers a dive area stretching from Cape Maternillos to Cayo Sabinal Island and filled with wrecks such as Nuestra Senora de Alta Gracia, Mortera and Pizarra (the latter two sank in the second half of 19 century). The coral belt is only a few minutes away by boat. Here you can enjoy the beauty of underwater ridges up to 3 m high. Santa Lucia is located 640 km from Havana and 550 km from Santiago de Cuba.
Here, on 18 km of water area suitable for contemplation of the underwater world, there are two diving centers: one – on Playa Esmeralda (“Sea Lovers”), the other – on Playa Guardalavaca (“Eagle Ray”). The underwater relief here is quite complex, formed by high hills, caves, small valleys and cliffs with sheer walls. Sometimes the bottom slopes gently, forming terraces covered with coral, with a typical Caribbean reef of shallow water. This place, called the Coral Garden, is undoubtedly one of the most outstanding diving points in this amazing area.
Santiago de Cuba
The dive area of this “most Caribbean” province of Cuba is divided into four main areas: Sigua, Daiquiri, Bucanero and Sierra Mar. It stretches for 150 km close to the coast and includes many different points for scuba diving. The coral reef takes on unusual forms here, including barriers, mounds scattered across the sandy bottom, ridges, shallows and depressions, and massive walls. Tourists are waiting for several sunken ships that belonged to the famous fleet under the command of the Spanish Admiral Cervera, defeated on July 3, 1898 by a powerful American squadron during the Spanish-Cuban-American War. Each of the dive zones has its own distinctive features, making this area a real treat for diving enthusiasts.
Marea del Portillo
This coastal area of the Granma province has almost the same characteristics as the diving areas of Santiago de Cuba, and can even be called an extension of Santiago. There is a sunken galleon with 36 guns, there is also a well-preserved ship of Admiral Server “Cristobal Colon”. Towards Cabo Cruz, on the southwestern tip of the province, there are magnificent underwater landscapes with coral reefs, jellyfish and a variety of fish. All this can be enjoyed thanks to the diving center “Albacora”.