Scuba Diving Vacations Cuba

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.

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Visa  

All nationals from Australia, UK, Canada, EU and USA require visas for Cuba. The required tourist visa, known as a tourist card, allows the holder to stay in the Cuba for 30 days and is valid for a single entry. You must provide proof of confirmed return flight and booked accommodation. The tourist card is valid for one entry of 30 days within 180 days of issue and can be extended in Cuba for a further 30 days. For U.S. Citizens and permanent residents, leisure travel and tourism activities still remain illegal. Visiting Cuba for those under U.S. jurisdiction is restricted to one of 12 categories enforced by the Department of Treasury. Things are getting easier every day... many clients are actually using the “general license”. Please contact us for information and to tailor your Cuba educational and/or sustainable visit.
The official language is Spanish, although many Cubans have studied English, French, German or Russian.
GMT -5 (GMT -4 from last Sunday in March to last Sunday in October)
The local currency is the Convertible Peso (CUC). US Dollars are no longer accepted in Cuba and visitors will be charged 10% commission on exchanging them. In some tourist areas, the Euro is also accepted. MasterCard and Visa are increasingly accepted, provided they are not issued by a US bank, or a bank with links to the USA, but hefty fees are often added. ATMs are more common but not ubiquitous. However, cash can be obtained in banks and Cadecas with non-US Visa credit and Visa debit cards
Hot, sub-tropical climate all year round. Most rain falls between May and October and the hurricane season officially runs from July to November, with most storms historically occurring in October and November. Humidity varies between 75% and 95%. Cooler months are January to April when the least rain falls.
Obtain adequate health insurance before traveling. Prior to treatment, visitors may need to show proof of ability to pay, though some emergency services are provided free of charge. Standards of care and training are excellent, but equipment and drugs are often in short supply. Tap water is not safe to drink. Bottled water is ubiquitous, but boiling water is recommended to limit plastic waste. Milk is pasteurized and dairy products (with the exception of some cheap ice creams) are safe for consumption. Local meat, poultry, seafood and fruit are generally considered safe to eat. Dengue fever may occur as well as outbreaks of dengue hemorrhagic fever and meningitis, particularly in urban areas such as Havana and Santiago. Rabies is present. For those at high risk, vaccination should be considered. If bitten, seek medical advice without delay.
The Cuban power outlets are suited for use with the US American flat pin type electrical plugs. In general the voltage in Havana is 110V AC 60Hz , but some newer hotels have 220 V AC 60 Hz too. Travelers from Europe please make sure you bring universal adapter with you.
There is no departure tax.

Where is Cuba?


Water temperature
24 – 29 °C / 75 – 84 °F

Visibility
20 – 30 meters / 65 – 100ft

Wetsuit
Skin / 3mm / 5mm / semi-dry

Best time to travel
Year round

Recommended dive sites
Pipín, Farallón, Vicente, The Five Seas, Black Coral I and II, and Avalon

Above water activities
Havana