Cuba

Country: Cuba

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Cuba in a Nutshell - The Cuban archipelago is situated in the most occidental part of the isolated Caribbean. Cuba's nature is rich and inquisitive. The flora is marked by the endemic and assorted qualities of its plant groups, with the orchids, desert flora and palms being the highlighted ones. The extravagance and endemism of Cuba's fauna is endless. The marine life and wetlands, living fossil, endangered species and essential coral reefs are known to have an extraordinary value and worldwide acknowledgement.

 Dive Overview -  Cuba is home to 50 species of coral and 200 species of sponge. It is a wonderful destination for scuba divers of all levels.
 
Watch this awesome video to give you a great feel for what it would be like to dive in Cuba!

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Diving Information 

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Marine Life & Environment -  Cuban marine life includes jewfish, nurse sharks, stingrays, green morays, turtles, Atlantic spadefish, jacks, tuna, tarpon, barracuda, grunts, snappers, red hinds, parrotfish, squirrelfish, triggerfish, lobsters, crabs, shrimps.

Jardines de la Reina Marine Park -  Jardines de la Reina was declared a Marine Park in 1996. This area has been preserved for future generations as a complex network of untouched marine ecosystems. It has been regarded by many knowledgeable scientists and organizations as a reference of what is the original status of a coral reef. This is an underwater paradise. Imagine the vertical walls covered with brightly hued sponges, huge Pilar Corals, black corals extending its branches in the contrasting blue water. Many species of gorgonians, fragile laminar corals showing their beautiful shapes through crevices, canyons and caves. You can also go diving with Cuban crocodiles in here.

Cuba Sampaguita Resort MoalboalSampaguita Resort MoalboalCuba

Diving Conditions

Water Temperature: Vary from around 22°C (72°F) in December to 29°C (84°F) in July

Visibility: 20 - 40 m (65 - 130 feet)

Weather: Climate varies slightly during the year. Drier season (December- mid April): 73 to 77°F (23-25°C); Height of summer (August): 83°F (28°C)

Top Dive Sites -  Here are some of the most popular dive sites around Cuba!

Pipín - At the mooring buoy, the reef is 15 meters deep, forming impressive canyons and caves that run perpendicular to the coastline until they reach 24 meters of depth at the edge of the drop-off. At this point, the reef is very colorful and alive, with huge schools of grunts patrolling the border of the abyss; many jacks; silver tarpons in groups of 10-50 coming straight at you and then making a swift turn 5 inches away from your mask, along with turtles, eagle rays flying near the wall and sometimes a lonely three-meter-long great hammerhead coming up from the deep to take a quick look at the divers and then disappearing into the blue. In the meantime, as divers go around the canyons, a group of 10-12 silky sharks keep swimming close to the surface near the boat; then, during the safety stop, they come to get an eyeful of the divers.

Farallón - This is one of the best dives in Jardines de la Reina. Farallón is a giant coral mountain 17 meters deep at the top and divided into four parts by tunnels that run across and end at a white sandy bottom of 29 meters. These tunnels are about 30 m. long, 3 m. wide and 10 m. high, with an opening at the top that allows the sunlight to pour through, creating a spectacular show of light and shapes, giving the diver the feeling of flying across another world. Same species as in Pipín plus the reef shark (Carcharinus perezi) swimming close to the bottom.

Vicente - Dive along the drop-off, with coral mountains at the edge descending from 20 m. to 40 m. and then to the abyss (800 m.). Visibility is more than 40 meters. You can find massive black coral colonies in the wall; also, the mysterious and shy great hammerhead shark (Sphyrna mokarran) sometimes emerges from the blue to show its incredible body shape and elegance.

Black Coral I and II - These two dives are the most exciting! Minimum depth is 24 meters on top of the reef, then a sandy bottom at 30 m. Channels run across the reef perpendicular to the coast, until they reach the drop-off; at this place, there is a resident population of more than 30 reef sharks (Carcharinus perezi) that get very close to the divers (sometimes 10 inches away from the mask). After 15 minutes of breathless watching at these creatures while they swim around, the dive continues close to the coral formations and sandy channels with sleeping stingrays (Dasyatis americana), parrotfish, big black groupers and tons of jacks swimming near divers until the end of the dive.

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Travel Information 

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How to Get There -  There are two ways to get to Cuba: by air and by sea. Cuba has 10 International Airports, 15 National Airports, 4 cruise terminals for the sea access and 15 international marina or strategic points in the touristic destinations. The most common way is to fly into Havana’s Jose Marti International Airport. The airport has a number of international connections.
 
How to Dive Cuba -  Cuba’s Jardines de la Reina is a liveaboard-only diving destination and only 900 guests per year are allowed. There is one single operator in the area: Avalon Cuban Diving Centers which provides 5 liveaboards. 

 

Topside & Non-Diving Activities

✓ Great beaches

✓ Shopping

✓ Tours, rides, circuits and excursions around different tourist destinations of the island

✓ Sailing, sports fishing, water skiing and snorkeling

✓ Bird watching, hiking, diving, sports fishing, outdoor horseback riding, caving, mountain biking or rural tourism

✓ Golf

✓ After-dark entertainment scene

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Other Useful Information 

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Currency: Cuban Convertible Pesos
Language: Spanish, but many Cubans have studied either English, French, German or Russian
Time Zone: UTC-4 or UTC-5
Electricity: 110/230 volts AC, 60Hz

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