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Scuba Diving Cuba



Scuba diving Cuba - it's full immersion into the world of coral reefs environment with its lush vegetation and numerous inhabitants, it's beautiful underwater gardens and creatures, which may not be seen anywhere else in the Caribbean! Scuba diving Cuba - it's highest professionalism of the instructors and friendliness of the local people in all sincerity! It's wide variety of resorts - from top-ranking to all-inclusive, so selecting place to spend your holiday comes too easy!

Cuba Marea del Portillo beach

Marea del Portillo beach, Cuba


Scuba Diving Cuba: General Information

With its shelf sizes comparable to a decent continent, Cuba is one of the best places in the Caribbean for diving and one of the best caribbean resorts as well! Here, at 70,000 square kilometers of calm and warm waters, protected by an extensive reef and the surrounding islands, the whole underwater universe rages with the most unexpected shapes and colors.

Long and narrow, with an area of about 112 000 kilometers, the island of Cuba, is the largest of the Antilles. The central position of Cuba in the Caribbean near the other islands of the Antilles arc and continental America explains the fact that the fauna that inhabits these waters, and the variety of its forms represents the entire Caribbean region.

One particular advantage of scuba diving Cuba is that it is surrounded by a coral reef and nearly four thousand small islands gathered in the archipelago. This resulted in a lack of strong currents around Cuba that provides horizontal visibility at an average of 40 meters. Water temperature ranges from 24 degrees in Celsius in winter to 29 degrees in summer, thanks to broad and relatively shallow submarine platform, under the island, and tropical climat conditions. This allows you to enjoy scuba diving all year round.

Diving Centers offer both diving and snorkeling, and day and night diving to a depth of 40 meters to observe coral reefs, vertical walls, wrecks, caves, tunnels, etc. Contrasting colors and unique forms of the underwater world represented by more than 500 different species of fish and 200 species of sponges (round, tubular and branchy), a wide variety of mollusks, jellyfish, seaweed and other amazing creatures of nature.

The development of scuba diving Cuba is based on the principles of protection and preservation of underwater ecosystems. Modern equipment is available for use at all points of the dive, the majority of which are classified as protected areas. Comfortable coastal hotels for almost the entire island linked to diving centers, which creates opportunities for vacationers.

There are plenty of yachting and other water sports centers on the north and south coasts of Cuba and its surrounding islands. They care about tourists and all managed by different specialized companies with its own fleet of vessels and all necessary equipment for diving and other activities. Instructors with years of experience, accredited by CMAS and certified by American-Canadian Underwater Association (ACUC), work with medical centers and deploy a network of hyperbaric clinics. A variety of scuba diving Cuba schools are open to all interested persons and issue international certificates of training completion at various levels.


Scuba Diving Cuba: Diving Conditions

  • Dive centers - the state owned;
  • Dive Season - all year round;
  • The Best Dive Season - from July, 15th till August, 31st;
  • Water temperature - during the year, water temperature varies from 24 degrees to 28.5 degrees by Celsius;
  • Visibility - 20 - 40 meters;
  • Best working depth - 40 meters;
  • Relief and depth - the coral gardens, vertical walls, caves, tunnels;
  • Currents - more weak than strong;
  • Main diving recommendations: 3-5 mm dive suit, necessarily having a dive computer, boots, fins, mask, snorkel, gloves, flashlight for night dives, dive insurance;
  • OWD qualification, as a minimum;
  • Good conditions for underwater photo and video!


Scuba Diving Cuba: Marine Flora & Fauna

  • Dolphins;
  • tuna;
  • marlin;
  • swordfish;
  • pipefish;
  • barracuda;
  • rays;
  • plataksy;
  • mackerel;
  • gray whitetip sharks;
  • parrotfish;
  • wrasses;
  • and coral reefs, of course

Scuba Diving Cuba: Several Scuba Diving Centres

Cuba Treasures
Green Moray
Playa Ancon Dive Center
Just a few Scuba Dive Centers in Cuba


Scuba Diving Cuba: The Best Scuba Diving Locations

scuba diving cuba map

Scuba Diving Cuba Map - Best Scuba Diving Locations Around The Island


Maria La Gorda (39 dive sites)

This remote enclave on Guanahacabibes peninsula, was announced the world's biological reserve, and it is inextricably linked with the history of piracy. Numerous old anchors and ship guns are at the bottom in the area all over the place. Diving depth here - 14 meters. There are abundant black coral in this area.
More than 15 species of corals inhabited by fish that are accustomed to the appearance of a men. You can meet here barracudas, red snappers, Cuban sea bream, and the others. Sponges, large walls with caves, vibrant underwater fauna are the natural attraction of the International Diving Centre "Maria la Gorda", which has own capabilities to tourists. This scuba diving Cuba place is located at 304 km from Havana in the western province of Pinar del Rio.

Cayo Levisa (15 dive sites)

This island of the archipelago of Los Colorados is located in north-western Cuba. Its coral beaches and the ocean floor is not comparable to anything else, and it's one of the most gorgeous place of scuba diving Cuba. The island is surrounded by massive coral formations inhabited by algae, jellyfish, parrotfish, black bream, and other species. You will definitely meet Cuban sea bream and various crustaceans (including - lobsters). One of the best dive sites here - La Corona de San Carlos. Cayo Levisa is located just a few minutes from Palma Rubia, and only 146 km from Havana. Diving center in this area - "Diving World".

Havana (72 dive sites)

The Cuban capital - the beautiful coastal city, whose past and present are inextricably linked to the sea. There are 4 international diving centers: La Aguja, Club Habana, Tarara, Blue Reef, Puerto Escondido. They cover diving activities in the area of more than 100 kilometers along the coast, and about 3 miles from the line shore. Everyone can see wide variety of brightly colored fish, inhabiting reefs: red squirrelfish, bronze snappers, barracudas, and turtles, sharks, blue marlin, swordfish at the greater depths. Snow-white coral beach strip stretches to 20 km east of the town.
Cultural mecca of the country, Havana has a picturesque old town, which is declared to be the part of the UNESCO world cultural heritage. Shipwrecks lying on the ocean floor are also part of the history of Havana, and hotels provide guests with comfortable accommodation and scuba diving facilities.


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El Colony (56 dive sites)

Isle of Youth (Isla de la Juventud) is the second largest island in the Cuban archipelago, and it is a must for diving enthusiasts all over the world, thanks to the National Marine Park Punta Frances, which regularly hosts traditional competitions in underwater photography. Its 6-kilometer diving zone offers travelers the opportunity to experience a variety of local fauna. Tarpons, parrotfish, barracudas, lobsters and even large turtles can can be seen next to the ancient sunken ships.
International Diving Center "El Colony" has a specialized medical center and hyperbaric chamber, which can serve several people at once. This center is able to accommodate tourists in the cozy hotel. This scuba diving Cuba place is located in 42 km from the city of Nueva Gerona, the provincial capital, which also has a hyperbaric chamber. Nueva Gerona, in turn, is located in 200 km from Havana. And from Havana it's the best to get to the Youth island by plane.

Cayo Largo (32 dive sites)

Like the Isle of Youth, Cayo Largo del Sur is a part of the Los Canarreos Archipelago. Its beaches and insular shelf are the most notable attractions of this Caribbean paradise, which has 2 scuba diving centers - Cayo Largo del Sur and Playa Sirena. 32 dive spots offer divers many underwater tunnels and steep walls with rich fauna. Wilderness of the local underwater world, its charm and stunning color strike divers and tourists.
Located 180 km from Havana, 140 km from the Isle of Youth, and 125 km from Varadero, Cayo Largo promises to be one of the most popular scuba diving Cuba resorts. Cayo Largo del Sur, is one of Cuba’s main tourist destinations and its international airport has regular connections with the rest of the country and the world. A complete hotel infrastructure and services are available on the island.

Varadero (32 dive sites)

The world famous Varadero beach with comfortable hotels and entertainment centers stretches along the northern part of the Hicacos peninsula, and in the north of the Matanzas province. Diving area stretches from Matanzas Bay to the western edge of the archipelago Jardines del Rey. Gradually descending shelf platform is covered by coral islands with abundant wildlife. Especially popular are Ojo del Megano, underwater cave with a diameter of 70 m, which is located near the Gulf of Cadiz, and the marine park Cayo Piedra del Norte with the area of 2 square miles, with missile boat, a frigate with deck guns and transport aircraft, lying at the bottom. They were flooded here in order to create the largest underwater artifacts in the archipelago. There is also a coral colony with a diverse number of fish.
Varadero is situated 140 km from Havana and 16 km from the city of Cardenas, where a specialized medical center with a hyperbaric chamber. Opportunities for scuba diving offers three specialized centers - Acua Varadero, Barracuda, Gaviota Marina Dive Centre.

Bahia de Cochinos (The Bay of Pigs) (14 dive sites)

Diving into the open sea or in caves, filled with salt water - are part of the lake and cave ecosystems of Peninsula Zapata. This is the most exciting adventure for scuba diving Cuba in the south of the province of Matanzas, where there are two specialized centers - Octopus Club Diving Center and Playa Giron. Dives can be performed from the shore, where are the most beautiful populated coral colony. It is located in 85 kilometers from the city of Cienfuegos, 105 km from Varadero and 177 km from Havana. The bay Bahia de Cochinos has excellent opportunities for tourists, who come here to enjoy the beauty of this area.

Cienfuegos (46 dive sites)

This interesting seaside town burst into the scene of underwater sports and scuba diving Cuba through its pristine beauty of the underwater world and the vast coral reef, which stretches along the coast. In this province, with a network of comfortable hotels for tourists, there are three diving centers - Faro de Luna, Guajimico, and Whale Shark. They cover a huge water area and more than 40 points for diving. Sunken ships, covered with shells and turned into artificial reefs, diverse fauna with a lot of fish, jellyfish, turtles, sea urchins, and even, if you're lucky, whale sharks - all of this can be found here. Here there is a local landmark - Coral 6-meter tower of Notre Dame, so named because of its similarity to the famous cathedral in Paris.
Cienfuegos is located in the center of the country on the southern coast, 269 km from Havana and 181 km from Varadero.

Trinidad (21 dive sites)

Spread out on an green area close to the sea and mountain Escambray, Trinidad - is a charming town, declared UNESCO world's cultural heritage due to its amazing architectural features. Near the Ancon Peninsula to the best beaches of the southern coast of Cuba has a diving center - Cayo Blanco, and a comfortable hotel just a few steps from the beach. From here to the coral island of Cayo Blanco stretches a narrow platform with a sandy bottom, coral populated groups of up to 5 meters tall with caves and tunnels, with a lot of fish, sponges and jellyfish. Trinidad connects with Cienfuegos by the coastal highway length of about 40 km. From Trinidad to Havana 340 km.
Types of dives: reef, wall and night scuba diving courses, including specialties Equipment rental.


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Cayo Coco (20 dive sites)

Experts say that in the Caribbean there are only a few places that are comparable in beauty and abundance of underwater wildlife to Cayo Coco, sometimes called a "giant natural aquarium." Coral reef stretches over 30 km. Cayo Coco is connected by the causeway to the main part of Cuba. The same road connects it to the other island - Cayo Guillermo. High class hotels, and four scuba diving centers - Coco Diving Center, Blue Diving, Cayo Guillermo, Jardines del Rey. They offer tourists to enjoy the natural surroundings of this area and considered to be the best scuba diving Cuba places.
Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo is located in the north of the province of Ciego de Avila, 500 km from Havana and 600 km from Santiago de Cuba, and are part of the archipelago of Jardines del Rey. On Cayo Coco there is a small airport to receive small aircrafts.

Jardines de la Reina (33 dive sites)

This archipelago consists of the small islands and located in the south of the province of Ciego de Avila. It offers tourists the longest coral reef and is one of the places in the Caribbean, where we may meet turtles that come here to lay their eggs. International diving center "Avalon" offers dive along the chain small islands that form the archipelago: Cayo Grande, Cayo Caballones, Cayo Anclitas, Cayo Piedra Grande, Cayo Cachiboca. A great variety of corals, sponges, jellyfish, molluscs and fish is the main attraction of the area. Possibilities for accommodation of tourists here are very limited, so if you go to this scuba diving Cuba area - you should consider having an alternative accommodation - like in the boat or yacht. You can get here only by boat.

Santa Lucia (35 dive sites)

One of the longest and most beautiful beaches in Cuba is located in the north of the province of Camaguey, near the largest coral reef of the Western Hemisphere. International scuba diving Cuba center "Sharks Friend" offers diving area, stretching from the Cape to the island Maternillos Cayo Sabinal and full of sunken ships, such as the "Nuestra Senora de Alta Gracia", "Mortera" and "Pizarra" (the last two were sunk in the late 19th century). Coral zone is only a few minutes away by boat. Here you can enjoy the beauty of underwater ridges up to 3 meters tall. Santa Lucia is located in 640 km from Havana and 550 km from Santiago de Cuba.

Guardalavaca (20 dive sites)

There are two diving centers - one on Playa Esmeralda ("Sea Lovers"), the other - on Playa Guardalavaca ("Eagle Ray"), covering area of 18 km area. The underwater topography is quite complex, formed by high hills, caves, valleys and small rocks with steep walls. Sometimes the bottom of the ocean goes hollow down, forming a terrace covered with coral, with a typical Caribbean reef shallow waters. This is a place called the Coral Garden is undoubtedly one of the most outstanding place for scuba diving Cuba.

Santiago de Cuba (73 dive sites)

Area diving this "the most Caribbean" Cuban province is divided into four major territories: Sigua, Daiquiri, Bucanero and Sierra Mar. It stretches for 150 km from the coast nearby and includes a variety of different points for diving. The coral reef here is acquiring unusual forms, including barriers, hills, scattered along the sandy bottom, ridges, flats and hollows and thick walls. Divers will find several sunken spanish ships. Each dive zone has its own distinctive features, making this area a real gift for scuba diving Cuba enthusiasts. Unique natural surroundings and genuine Caribbean atmosphere of the second largest city in Cuba, in which there are three diving centers - Sigua, Bucanero, Sierra Mar, creating perfect conditions for lovers of this sport.
Sixteen dive sites are in the immediate vicinity of the Bucanero hotel offered by Marlin in Bucanero. There are thirteen more sites in front of Daiquiri Beach. In the eastern end of the park there are at least 6 more notable sites accessed via the Sigua center.

Marea del Portillo (17 dive sites)

This coastal region of the province of Granma has almost the same characteristics as the diving zone of Santiago de Cuba, and it can even be called a continuation of Santiago, and it is considered one of the most interesting places for scuba diving Cuba. Its heritage treasures include sunken ships dating from the 17th and 19th centuries: Spanish galleons, English schooners, ships that were part of Spanish Admiral Cervera's famous fleet, an old 36-cannon galleon and the battleship Cristophoro Colombo. These last two are very well preserved. The area near Cabo Cruz contains sponges, fabulous formations of Staghorn Coral (Acropora cervicornis), Common Sea Fans (Gorgonia spp.), gorgonians and many kinds of fish. Main diving center in this area is Albacora.

The Albacora Diving Center and two modern hotels are located in a wide and protected inlet near the coast and have all facilities for us to enjoy fully scuba diving Cuba. Marea del Portillo is a site for divers who love great adventures, since, in addition to exciting diving sessions, visitors can do other activities that will keep them in direct contact with nature, such as hiking, fauna and flora watching and mountain climbing.
Marea del Portillo can be reached from the city of Manzanillo, 103 km. (64 miles) away, where there is an international airport, and from Santiago de Cuba, 160 km. (100 miles) away, through a road that zigzags through the mountains, one of the most beautiful natural landscapes in Cuba.


Finally we must say that in Cuba there is a great opportunity to combine a safari and diving trips. For example, you can rent a jeep with an instructor and pass through many Cuban provinces, enjoying the magnificent Cuban nature, visiting the colonial towns for sightseeing and stopping in interesting places to dive. If you do not like a jeep, you can rent a boat or yacht for one or more days. It will be well remembered scuba diving Cuba safari and at the same time cultural expedition!


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