Cuba lies between the Atlantic to the North and the Caribbean to the South. It has traditionally been quieter than many Caribbean islands because of the difficulties of getting here from America.
There are many diving areas along Cuba’s 5646 km of coast. The Isle of Youth (Isla de la Juventud), for example, is a marine reserve which is sheltered from the prevailing South East winds. It has caves, drop-offs and wrecks. Some of the best diving though is at the Jardines de la Reina archipelago, which you reach by liveaboard.
November to April is the dry season; May to October the rainy season. The best time to dive Cuba is between December and April, although prices will be higher then. The average water temperature is 77 degrees. January to March have the coolest water – it reaches its maximum temperature in July to October. In the colder months you will need a 5 mm wetsuit, but 3 mm is often enough in summer. The East coast is subject to hurricanes from July to November. In general Cuba experiences one hurricane every two years.
Jardines de la Reina – Gardens of the Queen – is an archipelago extending 150 km along the coast of Cuba. In the 1990s Cuba designated the gardens as a marine reserve. Now a national park, activities here are restricted. Only several hundred divers are allowed each year and the site has abundant and healthy sea life.