Cuba is a Caribbean dive destination like no other and scuba diving Cuba is among the world’s best kept secrets. It is both pristine and exotic, hiding many unpredictable secrets. It also boasts magnificent white sand beaches with clean, sparkling turquoise waters. Cuba is home to exceptionally friendly people, exotic flora, tropical climate and a vibrant nightlife. If you like the Latin beat, then this is the place to visit, where hot salsa music can be heard everywhere. All this, the scuba diving vacation packages Cuba plus the warm welcome from the Cuban people, make this island – the largest in the Caribbean – very attractive.
Liveaboard cruises in Cuba will commonly visit and scuba dive the pristine marine reserves at Jardines de la Reina. This Cuban Archipelago “Gardens of the Queen” or Jardines de la Reina, comprises a whole set of islands, keys, islets and banks in the Gulf of Ana Maria at the southeastern section of the Cuban shelf.
The Gulf of Ana Maria is one of the largest and most habitat-diverse shelf areas of Cuba and the Caribbean, covering the waters south from the Cuban provinces of Camaguey, Ciego de Avila and Sancti Spiritus. The Gulf is the deepest in Cuba and is fringed by the main island of Cuba in the north, and the “Jardines de la Reina” Archipelago in the south.
Named by Christopher Columbus to honor the Queen of Spain, Jardines de la Reina is one of the last marine areas in the Caribbean where large fish and sharks can be seen in abundance. Paradise is nothing compared to these surroundings: fantastic sea beds, scuba diving sites extending for nearly 70 kilometers (43 miles); coral reefs inhabited by many species of marine fauna. The biggest populations of adult fish in the Caribbean including sharks, snappers and groupers and jewfish up to 400 pounds can be found within this stunning marine reserve.
Sharks are one of the main scuba diving attractions of this pristine coral reef system and up to six different species occur in Jardines de la Reina including Silky, Reef, Lemon, Black-tip, Great Hammerhead and Nurse sharks. During the months between July and November you might also encounter Whale Sharks drifting their way through dive sites, visiting the reefs to feed.
More than 150 species of Atlantic, Gulf and Caribbean fish abound in Cuban waters, from the majestic marlin, swordfish and sailfish to bonefish, tarpon, snook, snapper and grouper, tuna, cobia, mackerel, sea trout, jack and barracuda.
A noticeable lack of tourist development, no commercial fishing in the park and zero inhabitants, have also contributed towards the stunning marine biodiversity of Cuba’s seas.
Jardines de la Reina is one of the few places in the world where you can commune with American Crocodiles at close range. Snorkelers are monitored very closely during these encounters so if you can cast your apprehensions aside, a snorkel with them is truly a memorable experience.
Scuba diving vacation packages Cuba offer something for everyone, catering for all experience levels.