Caribbean largest island Cuba is probably known by most people. What may not be as well known is that here you will find the region's absolutely best-preserved, healthy and thriving coral reefs. Diving in Cuba is generally not remarkable at all. But on the southern side there is an inaccessible archipelago that is absolutely fantastic. The Queen's Gardens or Jardinas de la Reina are completely closed except for divers who are allowed to come here on one live board. It's about a 6-hour transfer from the capital, Havana, to get here. To make sure you get your luggage and avoid problems in case of possible flight delays, you need two hotel nights in Havana first. This amazing city has lots of attractions and amazing old colonial architecture remains here. Along with old cars, puffing cigar smokers and good food, this city is more than worth a visit.

Jardinas de la Reina

Once outside at the queen's gardens, about 5 hours boat ride straight out into the sea in the direction of Cayman Islands you are completely alone except for a few other liveaboarders. Mangrove forests thrive out here and you can even meet crocodiles inside the mangroves here. It is, of course, usually an exciting experience. The diving takes place directly from your liveaboard and the visibility here is usually fantastic. Large fan corals, giant sponges, caves, tunnels and ravines, wall dives and coral gardens form a wonderful labyrinth here. A mosaic of color and shapes and everywhere is teeming with marine life.

Large groupers up to a couple of meters can be seen here, Caribbean reef sharks, tarpons, silky sharks, lemon sharks, large stingrays and nurse sharks are all common to encounter here. If you're lucky, there's a chance to see whale sharks, hammerhead sharks, tiger sharks and bull sharks here too. To this a spawn of fish and if you finish the dive in shallow water there is the possibility of seeing small beautiful blennies. It is amazing to watch them play or wave their dorsal fins to attract attention. Especially in the afternoons, they are active and then you often also see large shoals of squid in shallow water.

On board you enjoy wonderful service, good food and good standards on the liveaboards. As the diving here is so spectacular, it is important to book well in advance and every year many divers come here to take the chance to experience the best coral reef in the Caribbean by far.

Travel information Cuba

  • Time zone: -4 GMT
  • Currency: Cuban Peso (₱)
  • Language: Spanish
  • Water: It is generally possible to drink tap water and ice made from tap water, but bottled water is available for purchase.
  • Visa: Required for travelers from EU countries and must be arranged in advance
  • Health: Contact your nearest vaccination clinic for advice. 
  • Pressure chambers: There are six pressure chambers in Cuba. Treatment in chambers is an expensive story so make sure you have insurance that covers this. 
  • Country code: +53
  • Electricity: Standard 110 volts and 60 Hz but several new hotels have 220V. Many different sockets are available, bring an adapter. (A, B, C, L)