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For Divers since 1975
The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
"Best of the Web: scuba tips no other
source dares to publish" -- Forbes

Your Guide to Diving Cuba
Including Isla de Juventud

All of Undercurrent's information on diving Cuba, including articles, reader reports, Chapbook sections, ...

Diving Cuba Overview

A huge island nation that forms the northern protective barrier of the Caribbean, it has numerous areas that have proved popular with Canadian and European divers during the past two decades. At the western end, Maria la Gorda (Fat Mary) has proved popular, while the Isla de Juventud (Isle of Youth) is devoted entirely to scuba diving with an impressive hyperbaric center. More recently, Las Jardines de la Reina (Gardens of the Queen), an area offshore to the south accessed by liveaboard, has earned the reputation for the best diving in the Caribbean, thanks to pristine reefs and a vibrant shark population. The entire island of Cuba was impacted in some way by twin hurricanes, Irma and Maria, of 2017.

Diving Cuba Reader Reports and Feature Articles

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Latest Reader Reports from Cuba

from the serious divers who read Undercurrent

All Reader Reports from Cuba

All 10,000+
Avalon Report in Cuba/Gardens of the Queen LiveAboard
"Plenty of sharks below; no credit cards above"
filed Dec 4, 2023 by Linda Dunn (Experience: 501-1000 dives, 5 reports, Reviewer )
4 stars

Having been on at least 15 live aboards, this was the first one shared with fishermen, and one brave fisherwoman. There were 39 guests... ... Read more

Avalon Report in Cuba LiveAboard
"Cuba Avalon Live Aboard"
filed Nov 27, 2023 by Lori Price (Experience: 501-1000 dives, 3 reports, Reviewer )
2 stars

The overall quality of this live aboard is so far away from what was advertised that it was close to a fraudulent experience. The reef ... ... Read more

Avalon , cuba Dive center Report in Cuba/Garden of the Queens LiveAboard
"This is the Caribbean 20 years ago, healthy reef and loads of fish"
filed Oct 25, 2023 by Lydia S Segal (Experience: 501-1000 dives, 5 reports, Reviewer )
5 stars

Travel… easy via American Airlines there and back Havana..arranged lodging for a few days via, also places easily availabl... ... Read more

Avalon Report in Cuba/Jardines de la Reina LiveAboard
"Perfectly splendid diving and liveaboard"
filed Aug 23, 2023 by Harvey Cohen (Experience: 501-1000 dives, 25 reports, Sr. Contributor )
5 stars

Avalon has 6 huge liveaboards. Mine was in perfect condition and very comfortable. Service was outstanding on the boat and the dive ope... ... Read more Photos available

Jardines Avalon III Report in Cuba/Jardines de la Reina LiveAboard
"Jardines de la Reina on Avalon III"
filed Aug 10, 2023 by Timothy C Barden (Experience: 251-500 dives, 6 reports, Reviewer )
4 stars

The Jardines Avalon III is a new-ish (2019) boat that can handle 30 guests. Our group of 24 had the entire boat to ourselves for the w... ... Read more

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  Subscribers Can Submit a Reader Report Here
Complete Articles Available to Undercurrent Online Members; Some Publicly Available as Indicated

Diving Cuba Articles - Liveaboards

Avalon IV, Jardines de la Reina, Cuba, plenty of sharks in water too warm, 1/24
For Americans Traveling to Cuba, 1/24
The Caribbean, Hawaii, the Galapagos, Florida, everybody sees sharks these days, 3/22

Available to the Public
Caymans, Cuba, French Polynesia . . ., plus hurricanes, shark dives and two remote sites worth the trip, 11/18
Avalon II, Jardines de la Reina, Cuba, is it the Caribbean’s best?, 3/18
Avalon II, Too, 3/18
A Tax-Deductible Dive Trip, but too good to be true, 10/17
Sick Divers, Macho Divemasters, travels in Egypt, Fiordland, Bonaire, the Bahamas... , 11/16
Cuba, by Land and by Liveaboard, two disparate diving worlds, 7/16

Diving Cuba Articles - Land Based

Available to the Public
Diving in Cuba is Harder for Americans, 7/19
“I Very Quickly Realized It Was a Crocodile”, 1/19
Easy Travel to Cuba, 3/18
Cuba Tips, 7/16
Want To Dive Cuba?, How Americans Do It, 4/16
Castro’s Dodgy Dive Suit, 4/16
Jardines de la Reina, Cuba, is it the marine paradise Anderson Cooper claims it to be?, 9/12
The Bay of Pigs, Cuba, easy living, easy diving, maybe even for Americans, 4/11
Travel to Cuba, 4/11
Cuba, Bonaire, Belize... , and a clever thief in Curacao, 1/07
The High Cost of Cuban Diving, 3/05
Legal Diving in Cuba, Another fish story?, 4/03
Real REEF Trips, 4/03
Show Me the Money , 4/03
Reaching the Reefs of Cuba, the U.S. Government is cracking down, 10/01
Cuba's Isla de Juventud, the thrill of diving forbidden water, 1/99
The Bay of Pigs, Cuba, No Need a Second Invasion, 6/92
Cuba, Anyone?, 6/92
Cuba And Calypso, 11/86
Cuba, West Indies, Four Hours For A Fine Wall, 1/82

Cuba Sections from Our Travelin' Diver's Chapbooks

Reader Reports filed for that year

Cuba Liveaboards

For Members Only

2024 2023 2022          

For Public

2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2002

Land Based Dive Resorts in Cuba

For Members Only


For Public

2020 2019 2017 2016 2015 2013 2012 2010
2009 2008 2004 2003 2002 2001    

Editor's Book Picks for Scuba Diving Cuba
Including Isla de Juventud

The books below are my favorites about diving in this part of the world All books are available at a significant discount from; just follow the links. -- BD

Travel Edition of Reef Fish Identification: Caribbean, Bahamas,
South Florida. Travel Edition of Reef Fish Identification: Caribbean, Bahamas, South Florida
by Paul Humann and Ned DeLoach

Today's airline weight restrictions not only limit the amount of dive gear and cameras you can pack for overseas trips, but also those valuable prized marine life identification books. And with spotty Internet access overseas, it's not like you can look a critter of or fish up easily online. For the divers who still want a book in their hands post-dive to look up the fishes they encounter, Paul Humann and Ned DeLoach are offering "Travel Edition of Reef Fish Identification: Caribbean, Bahamas, South Florida." It's lightweight enough to thrown in your carry-on but rugged enough to withstand frequent saltwater washings on board.

Click here to buy it at Amazon.

World Atlas of Coral Reefs
by Mark D. Spalding, Corinna Ravilious, Edmund P. Green, United Nations World Conservation Monitoring Center.

If there is one book that belongs in every traveling diver's library, this is it. The superb World Atlas of Coral Reefs has everything you want to know about the reefs from Costa Rica and Cuba to the Coral Sea and Cayman. The information is specific and up to date. The photos, maps and layout superb. And the price, for this 424 page, full color, hard bound volume, is a steal at $31.50

The Atlas was released in September by the United Nations World Conservation Monitoring Center to document and conserve the world's coral reefs. Clearly written with divers in mind, it's an invaluable resource for global travelers. Here's what you'll find.

  • 94 maps, including global maps of biodiversity and reef stresses, regional maps showing 3-D bathymetry and high resolution maps showing reefs, mangroves, population centers, dive centers and protected areas.
  • 280 color photographs, showing reefs, wildlife, people and places, Including 84 photographs taken from space by Shuttle astronauts.
  • Text explaining the formation, structure and ecology of coral reefs; their various uses and abuses at the hands of humans; and the techniques used in coral reef mapping.
  • Detailed texts describing the distribution and status of coral reefs in every country.
  • Data tables listing information on biodiversity, human use, and protected areas. These include statistics on coral reef area, biodiversity, fish consumption, and threats.

For example, you can learn about pollution damage to the reefs at Providenciales and the lack of human impact, as well. Or, where extensive bleaching took place in Honduras 1998. You'll read that Milne Bay in Papua New Guineas has the most extensive reef system in that country and where, in Fiji, the bumphead parrotfish and tridachna clams will not be found, thanks to overfishing. Order now.

Reef Fish ID Reef Creature ID Reef Coral ID

The Reef Set: Reef Fish, Reef Creature and Reef Coral (3 Volumes):
Paul Humann ID Books
by Paul Humann, Ned Deloach

The three set fish, creature and coral ID books by Paul Humann are the unparalleled sources for information on Caribbean sea life and identification. Paul and his partner Ned Deloach recently released updated and expanded editions of each, with scores of new critters, even better photos, and information unavailable anywhere else. Why, the Reef Fish Identification book, at more than 500 pages, is 20 percent larger than the previous volume, which came out in 1994. Whenever I travel to the Caribbean, I tote all three books and spend my down hours figuring out what I saw and where to look to find rare creatures. Paul's splendid Reef Creature book (420 pages), covers sponges, nudibranchs, octopus, crustaceans, Christmas tree worms and plenty more. His Reef Coral ID book (276 pages) helps you identify all the hard and soft corals, spawning, and even the growth on top of corals, as well as algae and other plant life. Beginners may want to ID only fish, but I'd recommend that all three books be part of every diver's library. And, if you have an old set, by all means replace it. You'll be delighted at the additions and improvements. Each book normally retails for $40, but are discounted when you order here. And the boxed 3-volume set is available now at a bigger discount, up to 30%. Click below to buy them at Amazon:

* Reef Fish Identification: Florida Caribbean Bahamas,
* Reef Creature Identification: Florida Caribbean Bahamas, and
* Reef Coral Identification: Florida Caribbean Bahamas
* The Boxed Set of all three (you can save up to 30%)

Coral Reefs of the Caribbean A Guide to the Coral Reefs of the Caribbean
by Mark Spalding

This book doubles as a guide to the natural history of the coral reefs and a diver's travel guide. In addition to providing information about some of the most popular diving and snorkeling, it also offers practical suggestions to divers who want to protect these sites. Author Mark Spalding, a coral reef scientist who has worked on coral reefs in over thirty countries, delves into the eco-problems with a focus on what each person can do to protect the reefs. The guide section covers 35 dive destinations with key information on the reefs, marine parks, remote places, and unusual species as well as excellent maps and a photographic field guide of the marine flora and fauna.
Order Now at a reduced price of only $16.47.

Diving Southeast Asia There's a Cockroach in My Regulator
by Undercurrent

The Best of Undercurrent: Bizarre and Brilliant True Diving Tales from Thirty Years of Undercurrent.

Shipping now is our brand new, 240-page book filled with the best of the unusual, the entertaining, and the jaw dropping stories Undercurrent has published. They’re true, often unbelievable, and always fascinating. We’re offering it to you now for the special price of just $14.95.

Click here to order.

You might find some other books of interest in our Editor's Book Picks section.


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