Scuba diving in Cuba

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About scuba in Cuba

by Scubacrowd

Diving in Cuba is a wonderful experience, because this is an island that is around very rich waters of the Atlantic on the north side, the Caribbean on the south and the Gulf of Mexico on the west side. It has 746 literal kilometers and Cuba is surrounded by 4,195 islets and cays. Its beautiful scenery makes it in the best diving site of the Caribe.

Species Diversity

Until today have been identified and classified more than 1,500 marine species, 50 coral species and 200 sponge species. Among the most prominent and abundant corals can be seen the brain coral, spine, Elkhorn and staghorn.

Also you can see so many sharks, and so many tropical fish of all colors, shapes and sizes. All this “Marina Amazon rainforest" is there for all the divers, because the amazing view ranging between 30 and 40 meters, depending of the zone and the season of the year. The waters temperature is around 24°C all the year.

Best diving sites in Cuba

Cuba is the biggest island of the Caribe, and it offers you principal diving sites like: Giron Beach, Maria La Gorda, Cienfuegos, and the best of all of them is the Youth Island, which is a marine reserve. The Cuban government has prohibited fishing, here you can see over 1,000 different fish’s species with beautiful reefs.

Havana is the busy capital of Cuba. This city was founded for the Spanish in the 16th century, and it attracts over a million of tourist annually. This place offers a lot of history, culture and ancient monuments, you won’t regret your trip at all. And because the city is near to the sea, it has a very impressive port, and very beautiful beaches.

Those offer you more than 70 diving sites with beautiful coral reefs that hide a variety of small fishes, sponges and gorgonians. The reef is near and is parallel to the coast and little by little this reaches the depths. Some of the principal attractions for the divers are the small caves and the wrecks. Although there are so many that can go the access to so many is very difficult.

The Jibacoa coral reef is an unforgettable place and is the place to practice snorkel and diving, the marine and tropical life is very impressive and outstanding. It is ideal for the development of the corals, hydroids, bivalves, sponges and algae.

Protected Sites

Since so many years ago, the Cuban government is protecting strictly all this immense richness by preventing the contamination of the water and the abusing of the fishing. Because this political-environmental factor, the marine life advances healthy and the coral gardens are in very good conditions and are waiting to be visited every day with the diving lovers. Cuba, is maybe the last “corner” of the American continent where you can enjoy of all the reef in their original splendor. The Overexploitation had made these creatures victims elsewhere in the continent, and this make the Cuban reef truly unique.

They are 150 diving sites approximately that the island has, they have very healthy and beautiful coral reefs where live all kind of wonderful fishes that swim in crystal waters.

The Youth Island : “Let’s go” first to the well-known “Youth Island.” The great writer Robert Louis Stevenson was inspired by this paradise to write his book "Treasure Island", well known for everyone.

This place has a marine reserve declared with more than 20 years, here you can find more than 50 diving sites. Its shallow reefs contain beautiful cracks, caves and canyons.

The West Coast

Further, on the West Coast there are walls that descend to the amazing 80 meters. We can start now with the real “party” as there we can see spectacular and brilliant black reefs that usually are not living in shallow waters as these ones. The excellent visibility (because of the shallow waters) let them being observed as you wish.

The natural wonder does not end there. Elegant stingray schools go along seabed. For their part, beautiful turtles, trumpet fish and spectacular eagle rays are rather visiting frequently the water surface. The “party” does not end there yet. Lovely green morays can be found in the hollows quantities, lurking quietly awaiting their prey. The divers will find there so many species of lobsters that are maybe the biggest of the world. They eat on the nights offering a great spectacle that have a view almost like a "jungle".

The divers of the“Youth Island”, enjoy the presence of one of the most beautiful fishes of the ocean like the French Angelfish. His very name denotes elegance, beauty and “glamor”. The real angelfish has nothing to envy to his “cousin”. that moves for these waters, showing all its majestic Elegance. Also the black caulk, butterfly fish, surgeon fish, huge groupers, triggerfish, the beautiful drums and much more are eternal “guests” of these waters.

Wreck Diving options 

For the divers who loves the wrecks, there are a lot of them as well as in the Caribbean Sea in general. Really it wasn’t enough with the description we gave you about the “Youth Island” but “you can travel” to other paradisiac place. It is “The garden of the queen.”

It is an archipelago “done by coral”, i.e., the coral formations are the islands themselves. This reef archipelago is composed by 250 Virgin Islands, arranged along about 120 kilometers.

It has been declared as the National Park 18 years ago, and because of that, its protected marine life shines like an eternal flash of bright colors. Its crystal waters are shallow, and they are decorated with an impressive variety of corals and sponges.

Dive with White Sharks in Cuba

The decor is beautiful, thanks to the huge amount of tropical fishes that belong to the reefs on this part of the continent, although, the true protagonist of this “fiction movie” is the shark.

The parsimonious and the majestic whale shark, the hammerhead shark, the always admired nurse, gray, silky lemon (strikingly beautiful), the black tip shark and many others, are just some of the sharks that feed in these waters.

This archipelago is "proud" to have one of the largest reefs in the world. For this reason, it is free of currents of waters and strong winds. This greatly promotes diving and to enjoy this “paradise on earth.”

Maria la Gorda Site

Let's give it now a well-deserved room for "Maria la Gorda", which is the diving area most protected in Cuba. There, the coral is developing a true geometric progression. The list of different coral species is so long and they are “proud” for their spectacular contrasts that offer very different blue, orange, red, and green colors, which are resplendent in all its magnitude, thanks to the abundant sunlight they receive for being shallow.

This scenario is “witness” of the presence of the rays, some sharks (especially the whale shark), huge groupers, eagle rays, snappers, jacks and barracudas, huge swimming between sponges and multicolored gorgonians high altitude.


Sources 

About diving in Cuba