Explore Cuba

Scuba Diving

The seabed of Cuba's insular shelf is very rich in plants and animals - one of the richest areas in the caribbean.

The main characteristics of these hidden treasures - among which coral formations have an important place - are diversity enchantment. The marvelous underwater world is the habitat of a wide range of marine species of many shapes and colours.

History has added anothr element of greatest interest, for more that 1000 ships have gone down in these waters, including both pirate ships and galleons that were carrying treasures from the New World to the old.

There are more that 1000 species of fish; 200 kinds of sponges (cup, tubular and branch); around 60 varieties of coral; and a large number of mollusks, crustaceans, gorgonians, algae and Common Sea Fans ( Gorgonia spp.) off the Cuban coast.Caves, profusely decorated vertical walls, tunnels, cliffs and channels offer scuba divers unlimited options for both day and night dives - experiences that range from simple viewing to interaction with large fish in an atmosphere of perfect safety.

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Characteristics

Because of the wide insular shelf - 26, 190 square miles ( Just over 67,830 square kilometers) in size - which surrounds Cuba, the water near its coasts is calm, clear and warm, with an average annual temperature that ranges between 75.2 and 83.3 F. (between 24 and 28.5 C.) and with average horizontal visibility of from 65 to 130 feet (from 20 to 40 meters).

Cuba's insular shelf contains around 527 miles (850 kilometers) of coral reefs. The most important one, in the Jardines del Rey Archipelago (or Sabana-Camaguey Archipelago), lies just off the northern coast of central Cuba and is 280 miles (450 kilometers) long - the second largest in the world. The four groups of islands and cays which surround the largest island, Cuba-Colorados, Jardines del Rey, Jardines de la Reina and Canarreos - have exceptionally good conditions for exploring the seabed.

La Habana (76 scuba-diving sites)

Recommended sites; Los Paraguas de Baracoa, Coral Island, Canto del Triton, Cabezo de las Chopas, Canto de Hollywood, Las
Calderas del maine, El Canal de Justiz, La Chalupa, Cabezo de los Perros, Canal de la Chopa, Canal de Viera, Canal de Banes, La
Cueva Chica, Valle de las Gorgonias, Valle de las Esponjas, Las Sombrillas, Cabezo del Medio, Canto Marazul, Herradura, Barrera de
Caleta and Barco Hundido del Comodoro.

Maria La Gorda (50 scuba-diving sites)

Recommended sites; Yemaya, El Encanto, Acuario, La Cadena Misteriosa, El Almirante, Cabezo de Marcel, Las Cuevas de Pedro, El
Jardin de las Gorgonias, El Paraiso Perdido, El Valle de Coral Negro, El Salon de Maria and Moby Dick

Cabo de San Antonio (27 scuba-diving sites)

Cayo Levisa (23 scuba-diving sites)

Recommended sites; El Arco de Ludovico, El Infierno, La Corona de San Carlos, La Poza de los Tiburones, La Espada del Pirata, La
Cadena Misteriosa, El Paraiso Perdido, El Valle de las Esponjas, La Cueva de Lorenzo and La Pequena Gruta.

El Colony (56 scuba-diving sites)

Recommended sites; Punta Frances, El Cabezo Solitario, Centro de las Gorgonias, Cabezo Grande, El Mirador, Cueva Azul, Reino Magico,
La Pequena Pared, Los Barcos Hundidos, Los Mogotes, Corona de la Reina, Cueva del Misterio, Pared de Coral Negro, El Salto and
Cueva de los Sabalos.

Cayo Largo del Sur (32 scuba-diving sites)

Recommended sites; Los Ballenatos, Montana, Canon de Cayo Sigua, Las Cadenas, Laberinto, Tony Point, Albert Point, Acuario I,
Canon de Cayo Blanco, Canal de Espondrilus, Canon de Martin and Abismo

Varadero (23 scuba-diving sites)

Recommended sites; Piedras del Norte Cay Marine Park; Playa Coral, where you can see more than 30 species of coral, some of which
come up to the surface and form channels, passageways and caves which are the habitat for a wide range of marine fauna; Cueva de Saturno,
which has a freshwater lake and two galleries where you can see blind shrimp and fish: Caribe Wreck; Las Mandarinas y Caribe; Morena
Show; Carbonera; Los Cajilones; Ciudadela; and Las Claraboyas.

Bahia de Cochinos y Caleta Buena (39 scuba-diving sites)

Recommended sites; Punta Perdiz 1 and 2, El Tanque, El Cenote, El Jaruco, Las Canas, Los Cocos, El Brinco 1 and 2, La Cueva de los
peces, El Ebano, La Corona de Maceo, Los Canones, El Cabezo-Caleta Buena, El Alto de las Pailas, Barco Roto and La Perra.

Cayo Santa Maria (24 scuba-diving sites)

Recommended sites; the ones near Fragoso, Cobo, Frances, Las Brujas, Borracho, Espanol de Afuera, Los Diablilos, Ensenachos, Santa
Maria and Los Caimanes Cays, all of which have great natural beauty.

Cienfuegos (30 scuba-diving sites)

Recommended sites; Los Tiburones; La Jaula I, II, III and IV; Blue Hole; Las Colorades; Casasa; El Acuario I and II; Media Luna I, II and III;
La Morena; El Perro; and Los Meros.

Jardines de la Reina (33 scuba-diving sites)

Recommended sites; La Cana, Los Meros, Vicent, Montana Rusa, Cabezo de la Cubera, El Farallon, Avalon, Patricia, Pequeno Paraiso,
Gruta del Tampon, Coral Negro I and II, El Penon, Pipin and Cueva del Pulpo.

Santa Lucia (35 scuba-diving sites)

Recommended sites; Poseidon I-VI (Six different sites of coral terraces), Nuestra Senora Virgen de Altagracia (Our Lady of Altagracia),
Mortera, Las Anforas, Las Mantas, Shark's Point (diving with Bull Sharks [Carcharhinus leucas] and Cueva Honda.

Covarrubias (12 scuba-diving sites)

Recommended sites; La Punta, La Cueva Chiquita, El Puente, Los Perros, Acuario and Covarrubias.

Guardalavaca (22 scuba-diving sites)

Recommended sites; Canto Azul, Coral Garden, Cueva Uno, Pesquero de Esponjas, Acuarium, Sirena, Punta Arrecife, Casa Coral, La
Corona, Corona Vita, Canto Bonito and La Cadena.

Santiago de Cuba (68 scuba-diving sites)

Recommended sites; Piedra de las Ariguas, La Pared, La Cueva, Open Water, Morrillo Chico, Guarico, Spring Carol, El Tanque and
El Mandinga Reef.