On Cuba’s coral reefs, divers and snorkelers can get up close and personal with thousands of vibrant underwater species, fabulous topography and unusual wrecks. That’s why diving & snorkeling at world-class dive sites, equipment and instructors combine to make the Cuban underwater experience one to revisit again and again. Jacques Cousteau thought so, too—when he filmed Cuba, Waters of Destiny.
Highlights of Cuba’s underwater world
Much treasure lies beneath the unpolluted waters of the Cuban archipelago, which offers through-water visibility of 30 to 40 metres. Home to more than 500 varieties of fish, crustaceans, sponges, mollusks and coral, Cuba’s ecosystem is one of the most treasured in the Caribbean. And the wrecks of several 17th- and 18th-century Spanish galleons carrying valuable cargo provide treasure-hunting of a different sort.
Today, Cribub, a Cuban marine archeological organization, charters salvage tours of such sites around Cuba. One well preserved wreck that went down more than 100 years ago near Santiago de Cuba is the 6,800-ton El Cristobal Colon, once the pride of the Spanish navy. The wreck is also home to colourful underwater life that is either attached to the hull or weaves playfully in and out.
Main dive sites
Los Canarreos Archipelago: Has 56 designated dive sites at Puertosol Colony International Scuba Centre and Cayo Largo del Sur. Guanahacabibes Peninsula: Access to more than 50 dive sites from María La Gorda International Scuba Centre. Santa Lucía: An extensive coral reef just off this beach resort has 34 designated dive points and numerous shipwrecks.