5 BEST SCUBA DIVING SITES IN CUBA
Updated: Oct 3, 2019
CUBA'S 5 BEST DIVE SITES
Maria la Gorda on the southwestern end of Cuba has beautiful reefs and abundant marine life, with shore and boat immersions. It is only available by booking through the government dive center and the only accommodations in the area are a government operated hotel, but it’s worth it! Plan on staying at least two nights at what is probably one of the best places to dive in the Caribbean, where schools of barracudas, yellow tail snappers, rays and huge groupers will greet you.
Playa Giron/Playa Larga AKA The Bay of Pigs is my number one pick for those with limited time and who can only dive in one area in Cuba. It offers shallow diving, wall diving, and just about everything in-between. Diving in Playa Larga is the easiest of the five spots and does not require booking or going through any Cuban government dive center or operator. There are great B&Bs in the area and several great private restaurants. There is a catch-and-release fly-fishing operation nearby to give you time to recover between dives. You could spend three to four days exploring this unique area of southern Cuba.
Santiago Harbor is a great place to dive historic wrecks which were part of Cuban and American history. The Spanish fleet was decimated Santiago in 1898 and a couple of the wrecks are accessible, however check first because the government dive center in the area has been closed in recent months.
Jardines de la Reina are only accessible by live-aboard boat, and its distance from the Cuban mainland has protected this vast area that appears untouched by human hands. If you’ve visited the other sites listed here, then definitely book your trip to Jardines de la Reina.
Cayo Coco on Cuba’s north coast offers boat dives through the Blue Diving Center in the Melia Cayo Coco Hotel. The area is home to tarpon, angelfish, parrot fish, spade fish, and various snapper. Cayo Coco is located within the Jardines del Rey archipelago and presents divers with countless dive sites.
Cuba accepts SCUBA diving certifications from all licensing entities around the world.
By Frank Gonzalez
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