Favored by a pleasant climate and its strategic geographical position, Cuba is surrounded by a transparent sea. It has 5,746 kilometers of irregular coastline which includes more than 200 bays and some 600 kilometers of beaches. All 300 natural beaches are characterized by warm, crystal-clear waters and sands of varied texture and color. Interestingly, Cuban beaches and keys have a characteristic that sets them apart from others in the Caribbean. In most cases, they are protected by coral reefs, which such protection facilitating the practice of water sports. Many of these great beaches are located on virgin keys and islets.
In the waters that bathe the island and its four surrounding archipelagos, temperatures hover between 23oC and 30oC (73oF and 86oF). With horizontal visibility varying from 20 to 30 meters, there are ample possibilities for enjoying Cuba's captivating underwater beauty.
All this creates a great setting for the enjoyment of water sports.
Diving is one of the most popular water sports on the island. On the insular platform (70,000 square kilometers), more than 500 varieties of fish, crustaceans, sponges, mollusks, and a large number of coral species all live together. Consequently, Cuba has one of the most precious ecosystems in the Caribbean. Awaiting you are dives during which you can explore coral reefs, along slopes, in caverns, navigation channels and tunnels. Among all these wonders you will always be surrounded by numerous fish. Certified divers can descend as deep as 40 meters, day or night. Most sites have been declared protected areas by the Cuban governement.
Diving centers provide everything you need to fully enjoy your favorite activity. This includes all the equipment and resources required for diving, exploration, life on board vessels and lifesaving gear. The diving equipment meets international standards. Courses for beginners and experienced divers alike are available, along with a full range of diving specialties. Medical care, including a hyperbaric chamber, is also available at these centers. The professional instructors providing services have been trained by PADI, SSI, NAUI, ACUC and CMAS and are recognized by the World Confederation of Subaquatic Activities .
Certifications issued by diving schools and supported by the Recreational Scuba Training Council (RSTC) are accepted by all Cubans diving centers.
Every year the Hotel Colony on the Isla de la Juventud hosts an international underwater photography contest (Fotosub).
There are 15 scuba diving zones in Cuba.
More on diving locations
Updated August 20, 2000
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