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The warmth of the Cuban people is matched by the warm ocean that surrounds the archipelago country in which the reefs are little explored and undisturbed which gives a unique experience as sea life, in particular, grouper and sharks, are curious and will interact closely with divers. Cuba is home to the second largest reef in the world behind the Australian Great Barrier and, what’s more, is that Cuban diving features long drop-offs or the Grand Canyon which promises that dives are eventful and unforgettable.This average visibility in the jade water is 98-131 feet (30-40m) which makes it possible to spot sharks and dolphins easily. There is no better site to do just this than Jardines de la Reina (The Queen’s Garden) off the southern coast of the island and where sightings of Jewfish, Hawksbill turtles and an array of sharks are common. The protected area allows no more than 300 divers a year and there are no inhabitants on the nearby island, therefore, the fish have never learnt to fear humans. Their natural curiosity creates unbelievably close encounters. The ease of diving these sites and others off the remote islands of Cuba is enhanced by the liveaboard option. These sea hotels travel from site to site quickly and efficiently and decrease travelling time from the main island, which in turn increases time under the water.

Cuba Sea Life

The exotic marine life in Cuba is as lively and colorful as the other Caribbean islands. Nassau groupers, black groupers and Jewfish are sighted amidst blue striped grunts, yellowtail snappers and blue creole wrasses. Nestled in the caverns are green moray eels and juxtaposed in the open water bull sharks roam above untouched reefs of coral and sponge.This is a photographer’s heaven where at every turn there is a near-perfect shot to be taken and microphotography of organisms hidden inside resplendent sponges is overlooked due to regular sightings of turtles or the hammerheads. The 4 main reefs cater for both the large game viewer and the photographer looking to train their eye for the smaller creatures.

How to Get There

The main airport is located just outside Havana and is easily accessible using a direct flight from Canada, Europe and Mexico. There are flights from Tampa and Miami in the US daily, with specific licensed operators, and there are also chartered flights directly to some resorts which may be less expensive. Viazul is a bus service that is most often used to travel around once you have arrived.

Best Scuba Diving in Cuba

Jardines De La Reina

Diving in Jardines de la Reina is exciting on many levels. From circling sharks to pristine reefs, there’s a bit of something for every type of diver. In addition, diving in the Gardens of the Queen is pretty easy. You can expect almost no current, warm water averaging from 79 °F (26 °C) to 84 °F (29 °C), and amazing visibility of 100 feet (30 meters) or more. Dives...

La Habana

La Habana usually attracts visitors who are craving a taste of the combination of city and beach life, but the scuba diving here is surprisingly underappreciated. If you have a little time, there are some excellent sites that are well worth exploring.Some of the most excellent sites are wreck dives. There is an abundance of advanced wrecks to see, a favorite being...

Cayo Largo Del Sur

With an excellent barrier reef lying less than a mile offshore, Cayo Largo del Sur doesn’t fail to impress, making shore diving accessible. The reef is home to a vast conglomeration of creatures, from colorful parrotfish to sidling rays.Off the reefs, you can explore caverns and grottoes, where weird creatures will greet you, hiding from the light. There is also a...


Coral gardens and incredible rock formations are just offshore from lovely Varadero. There are several dive shops to be found along the peninsula, locals who know the best places to find wildlife.Head to the Coral Negro wreck, the Neptuno wreck or the Caribe wreck, all of which make for some great photographs and memories to take home.There iis even a couple of caves...

Playa Giron Playa Larga

Playa Girón has an abundance of dives to check out from caverns to cenotes to coral reefs. The most famous dive is Punta Perdiz, a tantalizing reef where plenty of fish congregate. There are two main sites here, and both have equally incredible views.The cenote on the island gives divers the unique opportunity to see cavern wildlife and awesome formations. There is a...