Cuba’s magnificent coral reefs and mangroves teem with marine life, including sea turtles, hundreds of species of fishes, sharks and manatees. While coral reef cover has declined throughout the Caribbean in recent decades, Cuba has one of the most marine ecosystem of the region. A limited coastal development, a restricted tourism, strict controls on commercial fishing, and the establishment of marine protected areas have all combined to safeguard the Cuba archipelago’s underwater biodiversity.
The best snorkeling spots in Cuba are located in Maria la Gorda, Jibacoa, Cayo Coco, Cayo Guillermo and Holguin. In the Bay of Pigs (Bahia de Cochinos), near Playa Giron, many snorkeling spots are accessible from the shore, and are among the most popular in Cuba (Caleta Buena, Punta Perdiz…).
But for the absolute snorkeling must in Cuba, you should set off for the Jardines de la Reina, about 50 miles southwards from the main island. This archipelago, home of magnificent coral reefs, was declared a Marine Natural Park in 1996. Some travelers after been here call it today the “Galápagos of the Caribbean”.
There are two main seasons in Cuba. The dry season, from December to April, is the warmest and sunniest season (with an average of 81°F/27°C, July and August being the warmest months). In the rainy season, from May to October, the weather is wetter and more changeable (intermittent tropical rains and sunny spells), and the air is cooler (an average of 72°F/22°C). The eastern coast is subject to hurricanes from August to October, and the country averages about one hurricane every two year.
We strongly recommend these guides if you want to anticipate on what you will discover on the Caribbean marine life!
More than 220 spots have already been published on Snorkeling Report, but there are still many spots to be added! You too can contribute to populate the map by sharing your favorite snorkeling spots around the world. The more snorkelers will contribute, the easier it will be for you, and other snorkelers, to find sites and enjoy the underwater world!
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Common on all reef spots
Common on all spots; often seen in large groups just under the surface
Common on all spots
Occasionally sighted on all reef spots
Common on spots covered with sea fans
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