Diving Jardines de la Reina 2018

CubaDive

The Jardines de la Reina is our planet's last hidden paradise. The reefs have never been touched, and swarm with sharks, schooling fishes, groupers of all descriptions and sizes. The gigantic jewfish (aka the goliath grouper), that have largely vanished from other Caribbean nations long ago are abundantly found here. As are Saltwater Crocodiles.

7 Nights
From USD 3,800Per Person

Itinerary

Departure 01

  • Jan 27 / Early morning departure for Jardines de la Reina.
  • Jan 28 - Feb 02 / Diving Jardines de la Reina.
  • Feb 03 / Depart Jardines to Havana, arriving by 16.00

Departure 02

  • Feb 03 / Early morning departure for Jardines de la Reina
  • Feb 04-09 / Diving Jardines de la Reina.
  • Feb 10 / Depart Jardines to Havana, arriving by 16.00

Highlights

  • Black, Tiger, and the ginormous Goliath groupers
  • Sharks swimming over lush reefs
  • Congregations of Silky sharks in blue water
  • Tarpons also known as the Silver Kings! (Megalops atlanticus)
  • Get up-close with saltwater crocodiles – both above and underwater
  • Spectacular mangrove forests
  • Lush pristine reefs swarming with fishes
  • Friendly Hutia (Capromys pilorides) – endemic to Cuba
  • Possible encounter with the Great Hammerhead

Land Cost

Price per person in USD

  • 3,800 ~ Adult Twin
  • 200 ~ Fuel surcharge and Park Fees
  • 100 ~ Marine Park Conservation Fee
  • 600 ~ Optional Photo Workshop

Deposit of USD 1,800 is due immediately; Balance payable 90 days before departure.

Accommodation

Tortuga

While a guest at Los Jardines de la Reina, accommodations are provided primarily on large liveaboards or on our original 110-foot double deck houseboat, the Tortuga.

The Tortuga is a floating hotel with 8 guest cabins that accommodate 2/3 divers each (16 divers up to 21). Tortuga is a steel houseboat anchored in a protected channel, so it never moves. It is extremely stable, there’s no chance of getting seasick no matter the weather conditions.

There are 7 cabins on the upper deck and one on the main deck; all featuring their own bathrooms with sink, toilet and a good shower with hot water. Each cabin has its own easily adjustable air-conditioning system. On the lower level (main deck), there is a large air-conditioned dining room along with a foredeck and afterdeck, with chairs and tables, perfect for relaxing and taking the sun after a diving day. The foredeck is a very nice place to enjoy our pizza appetizer and drink cocktails or smoke Cuban cigars before dinner. Electricity on board is supplied by generators located nearby and it is available twenty-four hours a day. There are many outlets on board that provide both 110V and 220V.

We have a satellite Internet service with Wi-Fi, making communications with the outside world easy and free for our guests. All you need is wireless capability with your laptop or other devices.

Inclusions

  • Transfers to/from Gardens of the Queens
  • 7 nights twin-share, full board accommodation
  • 15 dives at the Gardens of the Queen onboard the Tortuga.
  • OG photographic expedition package comprising
    • Expert photo advice, providing you with the best photographic opportunities
    • Expedition dry fit tee-shirt
    • Ocean Geographic E-membership

Exclusions

  • All airfare to/from Havana, Cuba
  • Arrival/departure airport transfers at Havana
  • Pre/post tour accommodation, meals, etc., at Havana (we recommend a hotel in the vicinity of the Parque Central Hotel in Old Havana)
  • Dive insurance
  • All optional tours
  • Tipping for dive guides and other service providers
  • Personal expenditure

Trip Dates

Excludes travelling days to/from Cuba

  • Jan 27 - Feb 03, 2018
  • Feb 03-10, 2018

Diving Jardines de la Reina

The Majestic Gardens of the Queens
Awtimate with Michael Aw

Named the Queen's Gardens by Cristopher Colombus for Queen Isobel, this archipelago of 250 islands 95km south off the central coast of Cuba is a remote and untouched dive destination that only a select few divers will experience. At just over 120km long, it is the third largest coral reef system in the world. This is the best place in the Caribbean to dive with sharks and can almost be compared with the Galapagos Island.

The area is and Natural Marine Park and only accessable by liveaboard, which departs from the Jucaro port. Book well in advance as spaces are limited. Commercial fishing has been banned in the park so the sea life is thriving. There are around 80 untouched dive sites so you're in for an incredible diving experience on your week in the archipelago.

This is THE place to dive with sharks and you're almost guaranteed to see one on every dive. Species such as the silky, hammerhead, leopard, bull, black tip and reef and whale sharks have all been spotted on dives here. The walls are covered in corals and sponges, attracting many species of fish to the reef's protection. Rays, turtles, schools of jacks are all common occurances. There is even some cool wreck diving with 17th century Spanish Galleons.

Pipin is the best site to see the Silky Shark and they don't seem to be phased by humans so they might come right up to you. There are canyons to explore and groupers, tarpon and snapper all cruising around the corals. Farallon is another cracker site, with a pinnacle full of cool tunnels and encounters with the Caribbean Reef Shark. Vicente is a great deep dive with a lot of black coral and maybe a hammerhead shark if you're lucky.
Schools of reef sharks can be found at the sites of Black Negro I and II, feel your heart racing as the swarm around you. Look for the rays burried in the sand on this site. Octopus Cave is a small wall where you can find reef sharks or the grey nurse and huge schools of fish and pelagics. We leave the best for last; the site of Cubera Head, one of the best dives in La Riena. Beautiful, colourful corals, loads of fish and sharks to entertain you, it really is a fabulous site.

Above the water is just as interesting so explore some of the islands and look for the diverse amount of flora and fauna that inhabits them. There are no people anywhere as no one lives on the island so it really is nature at its best.

This untouched marine wilderness is a place to put on your diving bucket list, it's probably on of the last virgin reefs left on the planet and will be your ultimate diving adventure.