Scuba Diving in Cuba

Cuba is a country that can be found in the northern part of the Caribbean Sea. It includes an island of the same name, which is a part of the Greater Antilles, Juventud Island and other smaller islands.
The southern coast of Cuba is washed over by the Caribbean sea, the north-west is bounded by the Gulf of Mexico, and the north-east coast overlooks the Atlantic Ocean.
The water here is beautifully clear, with horizontal visibility exceeding 40 meters, and the coastline is nearly 6,000 kilometers long.
Divers are lured to Cuba by its deep water gulfs and abundant bays. Apart from this, the island is surrounded by a great many reefs and other coral formations humming with marine life.

Reasons to Visit

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This part of the Caribbean sea is a home for a large majority of warm water species. The rare ones are protected by various nature reserves and national parks. The colorful meadows covered with sponges, curved tunnels and channels, and the sheer amount of coral gardens make Cuba a true diving paradise.
One of the highlights of the island of Cuba is the vast number of islands and coral reefs scattered around. Together, they create a barrier, which is about the size of the Great Barrier Reef. That is why there are no strong currents and there is excellent visibility. The island's underwater world is also real coral gardens, available for diving not only during the day but also at night.
Diving in Cuba is not only exciting, but it is also a year-round adventure. Even though the island is soaked by rain from May to October, the water temperature (+24... +28 ˚С) is always comfortable. The water is so warm because of all the reefs protecting Cuba from strong currents. For that same reason, the corals hide many exotic underwater creatures. So it is not for nothing that Cuba is known as a diver's paradise.
Apart from diverse flora and fauna of Cuba's underwater world, there are many wrecks, that is, the remains of sunken ships. For instance, there are Spanish battleships from the 19th century, which crashed during the battle of 1898. Or Santiago de Cuba, one of the most extraordinary and, because of this, very popular wrecks. There was a bridge collapse in 1895. The bridge, along with the train, fell into the water 12 meters deep, and a ship hit this wreck later on.
The islands of Cuba attract divers through the diversity of its flora, fauna and underwater landscapes. La Isla de la Juventud, the second largest island of Cuba, offers an exceptional opportunity to dive through tunnels with sides covered with corals. The place regularly hosts an underwater photography contest. Cayo Santa Maria is a small island that belongs to the Jardines del Rey Archipelago nature reserve.

Diving Destinations in Cuba

The island of Cuba itself is the most attractive place for fans of underwater adventures. You can explore various coral species and meet tropical fish living there. And once you dive deeper, you will see Sargocentrones and Blue Marlins.
The island of Cayo Largo offers a unique nature reserve full of marine fauna and an exceptionally beautiful coral reef. And La Isla de la Juventud is known as a diver's mecca- this is where you just want to stay in the water all day long.

Memo Notes
Currency CUP - Cuban peso
Languages Spanish
Timezone UTC -5
Phone code 53
Emergency Help 242811
Electricity

Type A - 110 V, 60 Hz

Type B - 110 V, 60 Hz

Dive Shops in Cuba

Cuba has many dive shops, which offer rental diving equipment and organize night and day dives. The largest diving centers are located in Cienfuegos, Trinidad and in the Bay of Pigs (Spanish: Bahía de Cochinos).

Сlimate & Seasonality
Spring

Early spring is pretty windy in Cuba, especially by the ocean. The water warms up to +26˚С, and the air temperature reaches +17... +23˚С. The rainy season starts in late May, and tourists leave the island.

Summer

Summer is the low season in Cuba. The country is soaked by tropical downpours so much that even streets get flooded sometimes. Strong winds and storms accompany the rain in the evening. The air and water temperatures warm up to +31... +34˚С and 29°C respectively.

Autumn

September in Cuba is as rainy as August, with the air temperature between +30... +32˚С. The rain calms down in October, but it is still hot here. The seawater temperature reaches +23 ˚С. The new tourist season starts in late October.

Winter

Winter is the peak diving season in Cuba. The air temperature of +24... +26 ˚С is perfect for getting a smooth tan. As a rule, the water is warmer than the air, but reaches +26 ˚С on average.

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The Best Dive Sites

Varadero is considered to be one of the best Cuban resorts. One of the most popular local attractions is the Ojo del Mégano cave with diameter of 70 meters.
There is a white coral beach in Havana (Spanish: La Habana), and the deep waters hide various sea dwellers- swordfish, turtles and sharks.

Health & Safety

You don't need any specific vaccinations to go to Cuba, but health insurance is a mandatory requirement for entering the country. The healthcare quality here is slightly different from that in Europe, but you can always count on emergency medical services. And if you need more treatment, you may see a private doctor- it's not expensive here.
Generally, Cuba is a rather safe place for tourists, but it is not recommended to leave your belongings unattended. It is also better not to take large sums of cash with you.
And do not swim by 'wild' beaches because it is dangerous.

Dangerous Marine Life

Try not to swim by wild beaches if you want to stay safe, and watch your step to avoid cutting yourself on corals or stepping on a sea urchin. Also, beware of sea snakes (all of them are deadly venomous here) and moray eels, who are not afraid of humans.

Eat & Drinks

Cuban cuisine is a mix of Spanish, Creole, Chinese and African traditions. Make sure to try creole ajiaco soup (thick soup), a national Cuban dish. It is cooked with pig trotters and a pig's head in a large pot, stewed and complemented with vegetables. Picadillo a la habanera (Havana-style ground meat) is also worth a try.
The locals' favourite soft drinks are black coffee, guarapo (sugarcane juice) and lemonade with lime juice. Cuban rum is the most popular alcoholic beverage here. It is served with ice, or added to various cocktails.
It is best to drink only bottled water.