With its 5,700 km of coastline, partly protected by a coral reef, and some 1,600 islets, the island of Cuba is an ideal destination for exploring the seabed. This is all the more true since the country has more than five hundred scuba diving spots, some of which are considered by scuba diving enthusiasts to be the most beautiful in the world.
It must be said that in Cuba, the waters are crystal clear and the coral reef is particularly well preserved. Put on your mask and snorkel! You should come across an abundant and very diverse aquatic fauna, all in water whose temperature never drops below 24 degrees. Paradise!
For lovers of the genre, the Cuban seabed abounds with galleon wrecks dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries, sunk by Caribbean pirates. Beginners can easily learn to snorkel in Cuba and enjoy the seven hundred species of fish and five species of sea turtles present in the island’s waters. Blue surgeons, schools of sergeant-majors or Caribbean angels, the spectacle should be breathtaking.
Are your mask and snorkel ready? Here is the list of the 12 most beautiful diving spots in Cuba.
Maria la Gorda Beach
Main island of Cuba, Maria Gorda is well known by amateurs as one of the most beautiful diving spots in Cuba. Nearly 50 spots are waiting for you! It will take you almost four hours drive from Havana to reach this little corner of paradise, at the bottom of the Guanahacabibes peninsula. In the coral reefs, you will be able to observe tubular sponges, but also schools of snappers or angel fish. The area is great for snorkeling, although the depths are really worth the detour.
Among the many sites in the area, the spot of Yemaya is particularly appreciated. To reach it, you will have to descend a vertical wall and enter a cave, where you will certainly come across gorgonians and black corals of remarkable beauty.
Punta Perdiz Beach
This is the perfect place to snorkel in Cuba. In the south of the island, only ten kilometres north of Playa Girón, Punta Perdiz offers a reef more than a hundred metres offshore and calm waters with weak currents.
You will admire multicoloured fishes, corals and numerous tree gorgonians.
Located in the famous Bay of Pigs, on the southern coast of the island of Cuba, Playa Girón has some of the most accessible diving spots in the country.
The presence of numerous cenotes explains the popularity of this place, considered one of the most beautiful diving spots in Cuba.
In all, twenty-four sites are accessible from the beach. You will be spoilt for choice.
Rendez-vous one hour from Havana to discover one of the most beautiful diving spots in Cuba.
To get there, you can take the four-lane road, the Via Blanca, or the famous Hershey train.
The reef is easily accessible from the beach and ideal for beginners.Punta Francés Beach, Isla de la Juventud, Cuba
Welcome to Pirate Island! It is here, on the island of the Juventud, the second largest in Cuba, that they came to hide their booty and treasures.
Numerous wrecks can be seen on the fifty-six dive sites on the island of La Juventud.
Among them, the beach of Punta Francès, named after a Norman pirate, is ideal for those who are discovering diving or just want to snorkel.
Further offshore, the paradisiacal seabed will make your experience memorable.
Still on the island of La Juventud, Cueva Azul is an unmissable diving spot.
Situated in a cave, at a depth of forty metres, the azure-coloured cave is lined with cleaning fish with iridescent reflections and tarpons with large silvery scales.
You will observe giant corals, huge “sugar loaves” and many species of fish. A spectacular dive, reserved for the initiated.
Jardines del Rey
Uninhabited, this small archipelago is a true marine sanctuary.
With its perfectly preserved coral reefs, the site of Jardines del Rey is undoubtedly one of the best diving spots in Cuba.
Giant sea lions, barracudas, rays and reef sharks, you will take your breath away.
For shark lovers, the site of Avalon is perfect. At a depth of only 25 meters, you will observe more than twenty reef sharks. Impressive!
The little extra: it is possible to stay in a floating hotel!
Isla Media Luna
It is not by chance that Hemingway, in person, fell under the spell of this small island north of Cuba.
Its coral reef is a veritable natural aquarium. A diving spot not to be missed during your trip to Cuba.
Playa Santa Lucia
On your way to Playa Santa Lucia, you can admire one of the largest coral reefs in the world.
Deep-sea enthusiasts flock to the thirty-four sites on the island to swim with the bullsharks and bulldog sharks, which are not very shy.
They also appreciate being able to visit the wreck of the Mortera, which sank off the island.
And if you come across a few flamingos, don’t think you’re a victim of deep-sea intoxication!
These amazing pink birds can be found on the island’s beaches all year round.
Ojo del Megano Beach from Varadero
Varadero is located in the north of the main island of Cuba. Its dive sites are very popular, especially because of the many wrecks that have been washed up on its sandy bottom. Don’t miss the Neptuno wreck, sunk in 1943.
Many giant moray eels have taken up residence there and come to eat out of your hand.
Among the many spots, Ojo del Megano is considered one of the most beautiful in Cuba.
At only ten meters of depth, many barracuda, cernas or snappers evolve in this incredible space.
Take a good look at the cave walls. They are covered with lobsters and other coral fish.
Boca de Calderas in Havana
If you don’t want to leave Havana to dive, the site of La Boca de Calderas should delight you.
It is one of the most important diving spots in Cuba.
Located at a depth of only twelve meters, the spot of La Boca offers you a real garden of corals, sponges and gorgonians. Thousands of tropical fish have made their home here, to the delight of divers.
Take the direction of La Mula, 100 kilometres from Santiago de Cuba.
You will plunge into the heart of astonishingly well-preserved colonial wrecks.
Only six meters from the coast, you will find bullets, shell casings and many other remains.
A dive out of the ordinary in Cuba.
Diving in Tiburones Toro, Cuba
What is the Best Time for Diving in Cuba ?
Between December and April, the water is calm and there is little risk of being surprised by a shower. You will be able to observe sharks, groupers and colourful corals and fish.