By Emma Lelliott
Scuba diving in Cuba has become hugely popular in recent years, and it's easy to see
why. The water is warm and crystal clear, and the vibrant underwater wildlife and
excellently preserved coral reefs make it a key destination for avid scuba divers.
The sheer number of great dive sites in Cuba is staggering, far too many to explore in
a single Cuba diving holiday. Many keen scuba divers return to the island year on year to
explore some of the more out of the way places. The sites also present a good variation in
their level of difficulty, so diving in Cuba is suitable for both beginners and veteran
Scuba diving in Cuba is a big business and there are plenty of companies to choose
from, especially around the most popular dive sites. Note that if you have dived before,
you must bring your certification card with you. If you are a beginner, many companies run
courses that will get you certified in a few hours.
When Should I Go?
The rainy season runs from May to October; the most popular (and expensive) time to go
diving in Cuba is between November and May. Plenty of good diving can still be done all
year round - the average water temperature is a balmy 24 degrees Celsius. Be aware that
once every two years or so Cuba experiences a hurricane between August and September along
its east coast, so it is worth researching if a hurricane is expected to hit before you
book your holiday!
Where Should I Go?
There are great dive sites suitable for Cuba diving holidays around the entire coast of
the island, but the resort of Cayo Coco is a particular highlight. Located on the north of
the island, a magnificent coral reef is half a mile from the coast and this particular
part of the Cuban coast is teeming with tropical fish, giving divers plenty to see
underwater. Out of the water, Cayo Coco features the finest beaches in Cuba, and the
numerous hotels and dive companies that are set up at this resort mean that you'll have
little trouble finding places to stay and companies to dive with.
Maria la Gorda is equally popular, and is regarded as one of the best sites for scuba
diving in Cuba. Situated in the midst of a national park, Maria la Gorda provides a more
secluded experience than Cayo Coco - there's little here except for natural beauty, a few
apartments and restaurants, the dive centre and some of the best diving on the island. The
dive sites are characterised by steep drops, and sheer walls that are riddled with caves
and tunnels to explore.
If you'd prefer to go diving amidst ship wrecks rather than coral reefs, then Santiago
de Cuba is the place to go, as there are a number of well preserved wrecks that are safe
How Much Will It Cost?
Naturally, the cost of scuba diving in Cuba will vary depending on the season you visit
and the company that you go with. Single dives typically cost between $25 - $50 US, with
discounts available if you buy several dives at the same time. Many companies now offer
Cuba diving holiday packages, including flights, accommodation and diving costs, which can
offer good value and save you the hassle of putting everything together separately.
About the Author
Emma Lelliott is the general manager of Captivating Cuba, an independent Cuba holiday
specialist. With offices in Havana and the UK, Captivating Cuba are experts in putting
together the very best Cuba diving holidays.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Emma_Lelliott
Cuba Vacations -
The Best Diving and Snorkeling
Scuba Diving and Snorkeling in the Caribbean is often associated with such
locations as the Blue Hole in Belize, Sting Ray City in Grand Cayman, Santa
Rosa Wall in Cozumel and Wreck Diving off the coast of Aruba. While these
are among the most sought after spots in the Caribbean, there is another
Island in the Caribbean that, although not usually associated with the best
Dive and Snorkel sites in the world, can hold its own even to some of the
most demanding underwater enthusiasts.
While mostly known for the pristine beaches, beautiful architecture and rich
culture, Cuba is home to over 500 Diving and 360 Snorkeling sites within the
Cuban Archipelago, many of which have been declared National Parks or
protected areas. Preservation of Cuba's natural ecosystem on both land and
water are taken very seriously to ensure that the warm clear waters and
thriving biodiversity remain vibrant and healthy. The Main Island and Cayos
of Cuba have an exceptional diversity of marine life and offer a variety of
opportunities from reef exploration, walls, narrow channels and wrecks.
Conditions surrounding the island are consistently ideal with clear warm
waters and no strong currents.
Jacques Cousteau once proclaimed that he saw more fish on Cuban reefs than
anywhere else in the world. You don't just have to be a seasoned diver
though; excellent snorkeling is available throughout the island from just
meters offshore to full day excursions among the reefs and wrecks. Five of
the best places in Cuba to dive are:
known for its underwater caves and sudden ocean walls and features lots of
gorgonians, sponges and corals. A thriving marine life will satisfy
Snorkelers and Divers alike as most of the diving is done from the shore.
Maria la Gorda
biosphere reserve on the westernmost part of Cuba. Although quite remote, it
is very rewarding for both Divers and Snorkelers as the seabed is among the
top places in the Caribbean and contain an abundance of marine flora and
the north coast is home to countless schools of underwater species and
superb coral reefs. Numerous dive centers offer excursions at very
on the north coast comprise of inlets and Cays including Cayo Coco, Cayo
Santa Maria, and Cayo Guillermo. With 20 miles of Coral reefs and perfect
visibility, you'll encounter turtles, moray, lionfish and dolphins among the
thriving underwater world. Divers will experience incredible walls and
impressive coral formations.
Santiago de Cuba
on the southern coast has wrecks, vibrant flora and fauna, and fantastic
of these locations in Cuba have accommodation ranging from All-Inclusive
resorts to more modest hotels. Many of the resorts include snorkeling as
part of their All-Inclusive package and also offer day excursions to more
remote locations at very affordable rates.
a safety record that is tops in the world and extreme high regard to diver
safety. By never having more than 5 divers per dive master and always having
a highly qualified doctor manning their 10 recompression chambers means Cuba
is not only one of the most spectacular places to dive but also one of the
incredible beaches of Cuba are incredible not only on the land but under the
water as well. If you are traveling to Cuba just to soak up the sun and
enjoy the laid back Cuban vibe, grab a snorkel and enjoy the world hidden
under the turquoise waters. For Divers looking for world-class diving at
less than world-class prices, give the reefs and coral around Cuba and
you'll discover that diving in Cuba will not only meet but surpass your
Beyond the white sand and under the turquoise clear waters, there is a whole
other world to explore on your