Discover Cuban Diving and Culture (May 2017)

Cuba Travel Details, May 20 – 27, 2017

Two and a half hours drive southeast from Cuba’s Capital city, Havana, is a tranquil beach town made famous by the failed American attempt to ”rescue” a nation known as the Bay of Pigs InvasionPlaya Giron. This very beach is also one of Cuba’s top scuba diving and snorkeling destinations. Clear, calm, and warm Caribbean waters offer coral outcrops, ship wrecks, abysmal sea walls, and cave dives. The main all-inclusive resort where we are staying, the Hotel Playa Giron, is situated directly on the beach, and just five minutes’ walk to the famous Playa Los Cocos beach. (map)

As an educational non-profit organization, Learn Scuba Chicago (LSC) was granted travel rights to Cuba for the purposes of assessing local diving reef conditions and existing conservation practices. Findings and recommendations will be shared with the local scuba industry in anticipation of an expected mass increase in scuba tourism given the recent availability to the American market.

The Bay of Pigs is a deep water bay. The water temperature is comfortable and shows little surf. Shore entry can be a little tricky. There is a gradual descent for about a hundred yards into about 40 feet, then a sudden wall drop. Visibility is excellent. There is plenty of life including lion fish, grouper, eels, rays, anemones.

Travel Log, Cuba, May 2016
Capt Bob Huff, LSC Founder
Rick Correa, LSC Board of Directors

Traveling in Cuba is like stepping back in time—the prevalence of old American cars makes you feel like you walked onto a movie set of the Happy Days. You will be surrounded by Fords, GMs and even Chryslers from the 40s, 50s and 60s. There will be many other cars around – but the majority of the cars on the road—working –are older than most of our divers! Some are in mint condition – inside and out, most are nicer on the outside than the inside. All of them make great photos.

On the flip side, the image created of Cuba in the movies of a developing nation is exaggerated. From my observations, Cuba is a third world, underdeveloped, country. As we traveled, we were surprised to find no “middle class’’ as we know it. There is poor and very poor. Some of the shacks you will pass do not have indoor plumbing. We have found you nice accommodations, but they are far from the luxurious villas that we usually secure. You will have air conditioning, king or twin sized beds, a full bathroom with hot water, and 110V outlets.