Far from the mainland
Cuba has a 5700km long coastline, which is more than any other island in the Caribbean, and it has more than 4000 small islands. Due to the fact of the special attention paying to the preservation of the original state of the environment by the government Cuba is an under water paradise which make this place one of the best diving sites. In addition, this large area has a great variety of coralline formations in incredible colors and shapes, where many species of marine flora and fauna (around 500 species of fish, 50 species of corals and 200 species of sponges) coexist in a fragile biological balance. The visibility often exceeds to 40 meters and the water temperatures reach 26-29 degrees. The warm, clear, calm diving conditions are consistent all year round, although hurricane season (June to November) can break it. The coral reefs and the coral walls are very popular, as well as Cuba's past colonial heritage like the sunken Spanish galleon and the countless pirate ships.
The most important places in terms of scuba diving:
Is situated around 125kms from Havana on the northwest coast in Pinar del Rio province. Here the flow is weak, so is the ideal place for beginners.
The most attractive diving-places:
- El Inferno
- La Cadena Misteriosa
- La Corona de San Carlos
- La Espada del Pirata
Cayo Levisa is rich in marine life as you can discover black coral, Crawfishes and Eagle Rays, Lip fishes, Murrains, Nassau-perches, Papagei fishes, brain - and star-coral-sticks, sponges, water-turtles and White Tip Sharks. Interesting underwater-landscape with 17th and 18th century wrecks. Cayo Levisa is a Protected Natural Landscape.
Faro de Luna
Faro de Luna is situated on the south of the island in the Cienfuegos province. It has more than 18 coral reefs and in the sea-bed we can discover a large number of modern shipwrecks. By the cleanliness of the water this zone is recommended especially for taking underwater photographs.
The island is located on the northeastern coast in Hologuín province.
Guardalavaca is rich in marine life: fans, feathers, giant green morays, large barrel sponges, turtles and whips. The bottom of the sea shows an irregular underwater structure which means that under your dip you will meet with 2 different water world on one hand caves, high hillocks, small valleys and vertical wall cliffs and on the other one coral terraces, sea fans and wide gorgonians.
This place is not recommended during the rainy season: June – November.
Isla de la Juventud
The Island was discovered in 1494 by Christopher Columbus during his second America-trip. It sets in the Canarreos-Archipelago, south from the island of Cuba. The Canarreos-coral archipelago is the second-biggest coral reef of the world between Cuba and the Bahamas.
This site is the best-known place by the divers called as “The Treasure – Island”.
You can discover caves, black coral and coral reefs, walls and plenty of fish species like barracudas, groupers, shipwrecks, tarpons. The view underwater is around 30-40meters. The sea around the island was declared as a conservation area by the government.
The main diving center at this site is the “El Colony” but you can find equally good centers in Cayo Largo, which is a group of islands at the eastern end.
Jardines de la Reina
The name of this place was given by Columbus, who named the site after his queen: Queen Isabel. It is located 80 kilometers south of Camagüey province. These islands were declared a nature conservation area (no more than 300 divers a year), so the divers who want to dip have to buy off a license for it. Known as “the paradise of the sharks” where you can discover all kind of sharks as the Black Tips sharks, Bull sharks Hammerhead sharks, Leopard sharks, Reef sharks, Silky sharks and Whale sharks. But don’t worry you can meet with splendidly hued sponges and corals, baitfish, jewfish, schooling and solitary fish, hawksbill and all kinds of turtles and last but not least wrecks as well. The visibility through the water is between 20 and 30 meters.
To visit: Natural Marine Park
Archipiélago Jardin del Rey
The name comes from the spectacular natural beauty of this region. Is located in the north shore, north from Camagüey. In this large area there are located two major diving site:
Santa Lucía with original shipwrecks on the found such as Mortera, Nuestra Senora de Alta Gracia, Pizarro and Sabinal.
Attractive diving sites are Las Anforas (Spanish fortress) and Las Mantas (coral ridge). One of the main draw is the Bull shark-feeding show.
Santa Lucia’s warm and clear waters offering visibility of over 20 meters.
- Cayo Coco has a crystal clear water with exceptional fish life, so much that it has been compared to diving in an aquarium
María La Gorda
The name of this place comes from a legend, according to which, a beautiful Venezuelan indigenous girl was kidnapped by pirates then abandoned here, in this wonderful beach with crystal-clear waters. She found out how to survive and opened her “tavern” where she attended the sailors who needed food and entertainment.
Maria la Gorda is located on the western end of the island in the Península de Guanahacabibes, in Pinar del Río province. There are plenty of opportunities to dive in the warm waters - their warmth over 24°C all year round with perfect visibility:
- Ancla del pirata ( 50 feet)
- El Almirante (90 feet)
- Las Tetas de María (65 feet)
- Salón de María (65 feet)
Underwater sights including black coral walls, 18th century ship wrecks, flora and fauna. Angelfish, barracudas, crabs, dogsnappers, groupers, jacks, lobsters, morays, schoolmasters, snappers, sponges and whale sharks can be frequently seen.
Playa Girón is located just east of the Bay of Pigs. This zone is recommended for shelf diving and it’s interesting for divers because of the sheer drop offs.
It has beautiful turquoise waters, its temperature ranges 22 ° C, with excellet visibility. Playa Girón is quiet popular diver site so in order to benefit the diving population in 1994 a ship "The Jaruco" was deliberately sunk. Natural medium of the Cuban Triggerfish.
Area of Santiago de Cuba
On the coast near to the city there are operating two diving centers:
- The Sigua diving center (CarreteraBaconao 28km)
- The Sierra Mar (Playa Guam Seville)
One exceptional attraction is the well-preserved sunken Spanish warship, Cristóbal Colón. From a narrow marine platform which falls into the abyss, divers can observe large fish.
Varadero is located slightly east of Havana. This is one of the most developed areas, which offers organized trips for diving enthusiasts: beginner and advanced divers can explore channels and observe sunken plans and shipwrecks, Jacks, Barracudas, blue groper and more along the coral reef. There is the opportunity of visiting some cave flooded with freshwater, and sea water show casing unique formations of stalactites and stalagmites. In the Cueva de Saturno interior blind fish and shrimp can be observed.