Scuba Diving and Snorkeling in Cuba

Scuba Diving and Snorkeling in Cuba

Scuba diving information in Cuba

Cuba is a giant island, with 5 632 km of coastline. It offers a variety of diving destinations, most of them within an hour’s boat ride and many of them accessible from shore. Waters are pristine, with an average visibility of 20 to 40 meters, providing an underwater paradise of 410 reported species of coral and sponges and about 1 000 reported species of fish. You will find in Cuba some of the richest corals of the Caribbean, which form fissures, chimneys, walls and canyons. Isla de la Juventud dive sites are known for their tunnels, deep canals and underwater valleys, with great visibility and teeming marine life, making this the most popular diving site. Shipwrecks are common in Cuba, from ships that once belonged to Spanish fleets, to modern ships that have been scuttled for divers’ enjoyment. You can even dive wrecks of landing crafts that grounded during the Bay of Pigs invasion. Santiago de Cuba stands out due to the wreck of Cristóbal Colón, a Spanish warship attacked by the American marine in 1898. Bajo de Zambo is basically a wreck cemetery, with the remains of about 70 ships. In the area around Havana are several diving sites, with wrecks, walls and reefs, all of which a few minutes from Cuba’s historic capital city. You’ll find in Cuba a fascinating variety of marine life, you can observe moray eels peer from within caves, squids and octopi drift by alongside barracuda, rays and even the occasional shark. Playa María la Gorda is the place to dive with whale sharks, November being the best month to find them. Jardines de la Reina are an excellent site to see sharks and quantities of fish. The only permanent lodging available here is the floating La Tortuga Lodge, a converted barge. In theory diving is possible all year, although there is a risk of hurricanes around October and the rainy season is from June to October. It can add difficulty to the dive. Sea temperatures vary from around 22°C in December to 29°C in July. Anyone, from those born with a wet suit on to those who have never seen an oxygen tank, should be able to have an unforgettable experience diving in Cuba.

Geography and climate

Cuba is the largest Caribbean island, between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean. It lies 145 km south of Key West, Florida, between the Cayman Islands and the Bahamas, to the west of Haiti, and northwest of Jamaica. The nation consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Cuba enjoys a pleasant subtropical climate with temperatures varying little throughout the year. Average air temperatures range between 26°C and 32°C, with two seasons: the rainy season in the summer (May to October) and winter's dry season (November to April). Hurricanes can occur between June and November, with the worst storms usually arriving in September and October. Summer water temperatures average about 28°C. Winter water temperatures average 24°C. The seas may be slightly rougher in winter, but diving is done year-round.

Entry requirements

A passport and tourist visa card (visa de tarjeta del turista) are necessary for travelers from most nations. The card is valid for thirty days and can be renewed for up to six months. Tourists will need proof of hotel reservations. To leave the country by plane, there is also a departure tax of CUC 25, to be paid in cash.

Health and safety

Only the yellow fever vaccination is needed to enter Cuba, if arriving from South Africa. Few travelers are likely to experience more than an upset stomach and sunburn, which can be easily avoided. Also, mosquito repellent is a must. Cuba has several hyperbaric chambers available to divers.

Time zone

The time zone is UTC -5 and DST.

Communications

Cuba is one of the most expensive countries in which to communicate. Incoming phone calls to Cuba cost about €1 /minute, even through services like Skype. Outgoing calls from Cuba are similarly expensive, and can be as high as €5/minute when roaming with your cellphone from overseas. In many cities the only way for tourists to access the internet is through the government's communications centers "ETECSA", which stands for Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba S.A. ETECSA also has internet stations in some of the larger government hotels and resorts.

Power and Electricity

110V/60Hz or 220V/60Hz (North American or European- type plug).

Other Informations

Other than for use at ATMs and banks, there are generally no facilities for making payments with plastic in hotels, shops and restaurants, necessitating the use of cash. ATMs are rare in Cuba, with only a handful found in Havana. Finding medication is often difficult and expensive, as is toiletries such as shampoo, conditioner, razors, tampons and condoms, so stock up before you leave.

Scuba Diving locations in Cuba

Which are the best scuba diving locations in Cuba? Below, you will find a list of all locations of Cuba, organized by regions, in which you can dive and snorkel.

Scuba diving locations and photos from each location in Cuba

Which locations in Cuba have underwater photos? Below, you will find the list of locations from Cuba and for each location a list of underwater photos.

Marine Species and photos of each species in Cuba

Which marine species can I observe in Cuba? Below, you will find the list of marine species and the photos for each species.

Underwater Photographers and photos from each photographer with photos taken in Cuba

Which photographers have taken underwater photos in Cuba? Below, you will find the list of underwater photographers and their photos in Cuba.

Scuba Diving centers in Cuba

Which scuba diving centers can I dive with in Cuba? Below, you can see the list of scuba diving centers in Cuba. Click on “more info” to find out more about each scuba diving center.

There are no diving centers available

Liveaboards in Cuba

Which liveaboard can I dive with in Cuba? Below, you can see the list of liveaboard in Cuba. Click on “more info” to find out more about each liveaboard.

There are no liveaboard available

Accommodation in Cuba

Which accommodation can I rest after my dive in Cuba? Below, you can see the list of accommodation in Cuba. Click on “more info” to find out more about each accommodation.

There are no accommodation available