Cuba Gardens of the Queen reef sharks lots shutterstock 740486392 opt

pen ink well goldA note from Dom  ...  Charismatic Cuba

The colors of the Caribbean Sea have long captivated divers.  While most of the diving regions are still lovely & enchanting, the opening up of diving in Cuba has introduced an entirely new perspective....and an opportunity to view the Caribbean as it used to be ....... read more

Thanks to aggressive protection from the Cuban government, everything you find here is healthy and happy.  And, nearly everything is oversized and abundant.  Starting from the vigorous mangrove swamps, where natural fish nurseries are found, along with countless juvenile fish ... the food chain is well supplied and the various species are well fed !

The colors of hard & soft corals are startling .... and the shark life is nothing less than energizing.  The silky sharks, in particular, will whiz around you testing your nerve!  Admittedly, I'm a shark fanatic but these silkies, seen in the unblemished environment of the Cuban national park & World Heritage Site, are beyond stunning.  We are now representing several operators here, all of whom I have full confidence in to provide top-notch diving adventures. 

I recommend the experience whole-heartedly.  Please let me know how I can help with your trip ....  Cheers, Dom

Cuba Diving

Cuba destination oic painted wall shutterstock 211602022 opt

globe th CopyCuba is located where the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico & Atlantic Ocean meet.  The territory is comprised of Cuba (largest island in the Caribbean) as well as Isla de la Juventud & several minor archipelagos. Cuba is a multi-ethnic country whose people, culture and customs derive from diverse origins, including the aboriginal Taino and Cibony peoples. The economy is dominated by the exports of sugar, tobacco, coffee and skilled labor. The seas have been protected for many years and offer a pristine experience to divers.

Cuba diving ... the essentials

Cuba's premier diving is located in a protected national park which includes a chain of 250 pristine coral and mangrove islands extending along 75 miles of clear, turquoise water. It is widely recognized as the healthiest marine ecosystem in the Caribbean.  Divers will see:

  • healthy & diverse species of hard & soft corals and sponges
  • massive Goliath groupers
  • barracuda & tarpon
  • pervasive silky sharks prowling the reefs
  • Caribbean reef & nurse sharks
  • ever-present sea turtles, eagle rays & sting rays
  • possible whale sharks from July to November
  • mangroves with loads of juveniles & critters - great macro territory

A wonderland now open to all

Start with the clear turquoise-blue water … add colorful gorgonia, bright sponges, pillar corals & black corals, many of which cover plunging walls … and finish with huge schools of fish and wandering sharks.

There you have Cuban diving in a nutshell.

Protected by the Cuban government, the Cuban sea environment is an underwater paradise reflecting the beauty that was once all of the Caribbean.  Thanks to a ban on commercial fishing in the park, marine life is plentiful and healthy.  Very importantly, the protection in the park ensures healthy wetlands where mangroves & seagrass provide an ample and healthy habitat for juvenile and small fish, supplying eventual nourishment for all of the big guys in these waters.

You’ll be amazed by the sheer size of the sea fans and barrel sponges, the large & healthy black coral colonies, the starkly haunting staghorn & elkhorn corals, the strange appearance of brain coral …. and the rest of the colorful coral life, in general.  With all of this healthy coral, of course you see big schools of fish: jacks & barracudas & tarpons, large French angelfish, big hog fish, parrotfish, black groupers & nassau groupers and immense schools of grunts & snappers.

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The Goliath Groupers & Silkies will take your breath away

There are gigantesque Goliath groupers (weighing up to 200 pounds & sometimes more) and black groupers which can be as much as 100 pounds ... and natuarlly, you’ll encounter eagle rays, stingrays, spiny lobsters, green morays, and a variety of turtles.

But, probably the biggest excitement is the variety and plenitude of the shark population. The silky sharks are absolutely ubiquitous but you’ll also (depending on the season) get lots of reef sharks, lemon sharks, black tips, nurse sharks …. the occasional great hammerhead and from July to November, whale sharks.

Cuban diving .... choose one of two regions or dive both

Caribbean Shark Striped fish Christopher Bartlett Fololia CopyGardens of the Queen ... pristine, untouched, the Caribbean of yesteryear
This remote marine park lies 60 miles southwest of Cuba. The coral reefs here are pretty much the same as when Cristopher Columbus sailed in and the visibility has to be seen to be believed.  If you're looking for the latest "buzz" in the diving world .... this is it  ... read more

Fish & sharks & colors everywhere !   Imagine diving a region of the Caribbean - or anywhere - where no commercial fishing is allowed and the number of human inhabitants is zero!

It's a marine wilderness where you'll dive plunging vertical walls covered with brightly hued sponges and corals ... all filled with active marine life.

The biggest population of adult fish in the Caribbean hang out here — sharks, snappers, groupers and loads more - plus sharks circle around divers absolutely everywhere. You will encounter silkies, reef sharks, lemon sharks, black tips, hammerheads and nurse sharks.   You'll even encounter some old Spanish galleons from the 17th century.   If you travel July to November, whale sharks are added to the mix.

And, your diving will include caves & canyons & tunnels … fantastic walls & deep drop-offs …. plus plenty of stretches of white sandy-bottom.

Add a Havana land excursion .... Above water, this is a dreamy remote location with mangroves to explore and more than 68 species of migratory birds.   Take time on our own to explore, ride some of those cool old vintage cars, hear some music, have a mojito or two and relax in Caribbean style.

Cuba purple coral sunrays large shutterstock 109386659b optCuba  ...  Walls of Zapata / Bay of Pigs ... steep walls, black coral, lots of fish, incredible viz
The Walls of Zapata region is known above the waterline for its mangrove forests, marshlands, and grass beds … all of which attract exotic bird life & underwater for its black corals, sponges & abundant fish life.  ... read more

The Walls of Zapata & Bay of Pigs diving are both known for water with startling visibility. In general, the big draws are the colonies of black coral, the abundant sponges in a wide variety of species & colors, the steep coral walls with stunning gorgonia ... and the large schools of colourful reef fish ... plus jacks & barracudas, snappers & grunts, hogfish & parrotfish ... and, of course, the Goliath groupers .. plus plenty of rays flying past. In addition to the spectacular walls, you'll enjoy canyons & tunnels filled with life. You've got blue holes & possibly a cenote experience.  Shrimps & lobsters abound and out in the blue, away from the walls, you're likely to observe sharks .... even some hammerheads floating in the deep. Night dives give you the best opportunity to meet up with the "little stuff" & fascinating characters of the region .... octopus, squid, moray eels, balloon fish, yellow-headed jawfish, flamingo tongue, nudibranchs.   There's even a ship wreck for you to explore and you may get to swim with a crocodile or two !

Add a Havana land excursion .... Above water, this is a dreamy remote location with mangroves to explore and more than 68 species of migratory birds.   Take time on our own to explore, ride some of those cool old vintage cars, hear some music, have a mojito or two and relax in Caribbean style.

Cuba map ... zoom & click the markers for airports, boat departure points & diving