Scuba diving and tour in Cuba

“Vibrant both above and below the water, this tailor made tour takes you diving in Cuba's best reefs, then continues across the island to explore its landscapes and culture.”

Highlights

Havana | Viρales | Diving in Maria La Gorda | Diving in the Bay of Pigs | Soroa | Las Terrazas | | Trinidad | Santa Clara | Che Guevara Memorial | Sierra Escambray | Optional night dives | Optional salsa classes

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

Departure information

This trip can be tailor-made and departures can be arranged all year. The sample itinerary below can be modified to your personal wishes including departure date, duration, accommodation used & how long you spend in each destination.
Our top tip:
Stay in casas particulares (homestays) where possible - you'll get a wonderful insight into Cuban life, and make firm local friends.
Trip type:
Tailor made.
Activity level:
Moderate.
Accomm:
Hotels or homestays on request.
Solos:
This tour can be tailored for groups with a tour leader as well as for solo travellers.
Included:
Accommodation, listed activities, diving sessions, guides if requested. Car rental is not included.
Meals:
Breakfasts included if staying in hotels.
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Scuba diving and tour in Cuba

Environment

Scuba diving: In Cuba you are always diving under guidance. Your guides are well trained, speak English, respect the ecological marine systems and will ask the same of you. The operator is a certified PADI Advanced Open Water Diver and can help you with all your questions about diving in Cuba. At Maria la Gorda and Cabo San Antonia you are diving within the National Park of Guanahacabibes, and the fragile ecosystems are even more protected. These beach places are situated in the extreme west of Cuba, are quiet remote, quiet and usually only visited by enthusiastic divers or a few beachlovers. The impact on nature is therefore very minimal. Together with the diving locations at Isla de Juventud they belong to the best diving locations of Cuba and are regarded as the 4th best places of Latin America for diving. In the National Park of Guanahacabibes you can also make guided daywalks to see and experience the flora and fauna of the park with specialised nature guides, and visit some caves where the earliest habitants from the mainland created their living on Cuba a long time ago. On booking you receive a Cuba Manual from us in which we assist the individual traveler to have a perfect enjoyable holiday, that has a minimal impact on nature and has social benefits for the local people that travelers are involved with at their journey.

Community

These Cuba tours are designed & offered by ecological guides who work & live in Latin America, and have been guiding in the Caribbean for many years. They can arrange all details of your travel and design special tailor made travels for Cuba. These Cuba tours give a unique insight into the Cuban nature & culture, and with booking you support a small local operator. This company supports several families with children with clothes, medicaments, books, second hand luxury articles, purchases of their handicrafts, and donations for constructing materials and improving their housing.

On our Cuba tours all walks and treks are guided by local ecological guides and organized by local organizations. A holiday to Cuba off the beaten tracks with local guides brings income to local Cuban people and their families. The Cuban people are very aware that it is important to take care of its beautiful nature, as it is one of the main attractions for tourists, and tourism is the main income nowadays of Cuba. By making use of ecological excursions during your travel on Cuba, you support the people to continue with taking care of their natural reserves. When you visit farmers during your excursion, we ask participants, if appropriate, to donate luxury articles like ballpoints, soap and shampoo, buy some coffee and/or leave a donation. When you make use of local accommodation in the form of casas particulares, you directly support that family and make sure that the income gets ploughed back into Cuban society.

In East Cuba you can collect clothes, shoes and toiletries to donate to a Cuban organization, which supports people from the countryside with no resources. You can also leave clothes, mountain shoes, toiletries or other articles with your local guides after the excursion.

You can compensate the CO2 emmisions of your flights with ClimateCare, GreenSeat, or more cost and travel effective solutions.

Reviews of Scuba diving and tour in Cuba

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 31 Oct 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


There were many highlights from this unique destination, but the most memorable part would definitely be having to change two tyres after hitting a deep pothole and struggling in Spanish to find out how to get it repaired (hint: "hay ponchera acqui?"). Oh, how we laugh about it. Now. First time I have seen condoms used for tyre repairs! All part of the experience and ranks up there along with the beatiful diving at the Bay of Pigs, the stunning scenery at Viρales and the extraordinary hospitality everywhere.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Defnitely brush up on your Spanish and beyond that, just go with the flow!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


To a degree my holiday benefited local people. Staying in casas particulares supports the non-government sector economy (and was a better experience), but I am undecided as to whether this creates the necessary trickle-down effect to all the local people. In terms of conservation, there is clearly a national drive to environmental sustainability and the guided walks were deeply informative but one wonders how much this will be prioritised as the country changes.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent, enjoyable, thought-provoking. So glad we went, but should have stayed longer!

Reviewed on 21 Feb 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Few days spent in Trinidad. Truly beautiful city, lots of restaurants, good nightlife, and great location for day trips to beaches or mountains. Would loved to have spent more time there.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Always carry your passport. We had to produce it every time we stopped for fuel or use a 50 CUC note.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Staying with families definitely benefited local community.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


8/10

Reviewed on 31 Aug 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Forest walk in Vinales ...the guide had a natural affinity withe local environment and was a charming and gentle man

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Travel light and be prepared for wide variety of weather...

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Tourist revenue is vital for local people. Minimal effect on environmental impact and conservation except insofar as the natural parks need to be visited to
become more sustainable

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


A stimulating adventure rather than a relaxing holiday

Reviewed on 26 Apr 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


So many things... diving in the Bay of Pigs (wrecks, rays, turtles, amazing coral)... by chance being in Vinales during its local festival with street stalls, funfair, live music and dancing...

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Don't be afraid to hire a car. We nearly didn't do it as we'd heard 'horror stories' about the state of the roads, lack of signs, people trying to puncture tyres etc, but in the end we decided to risk it - it turned out fine, and we were really glad we did it, as it gave us so much more independence and flexibility.

OK, so the road surface is very variable (including thousands of crabs in places), there aren't that many signs and people do try to hitch lifts, but if you are prepared for all those things it's fine, you just need to take it easy and keep your wits about you. The fact that there is so little other traffic makes it all much less stressful - you can easily do a u-turn if you go the wrong way!

We would also recommend staying in casa particulares rather than hotels. We did stay in one hotel in Maria La Gorda, as there was no alternative, and we wanted to dive there. It was OK, but quite impersonal (and more expensive). By contrast, the casas were all lovely and totally individual. Our Spanish was pretty limited, and some of our hosts spoke very little English, but we always had such a friendly welcome, great food and a very comfortable stay.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Staying in casas definitely benefited the people we stayed with, as we paid them
directly. But maybe we were just contributing to the growing inequalities between private entrepreneurs and those working for the state??

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


It really was the holiday of a lifetime. We were only there 2 weeks, but managed to pack in so much, but without feeling rushed - diving, driving, culture, nature, music and (of course!) mojitos...

Read the operator's response here:

We are very pleased that this diving holiday has been so great for our clients. We would like to inform travellers to Cuba that we always explain about all the details of a self drive program and driving over Cuba, what to expect and what to avoid. This we do during a briefing by phone or by Skype before departure and via our Cuba manual. Besides that travellers do have a last briefing with our partner in Havana in their hotel or casa particular / homestay on the second day before starting on their round tour.

Reviewed on 14 Sep 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Vinales - fantastic homestay; great walks/ bike rides/ horse ride, and visits (beaches, caves, and the village of course).

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Be clear about the balance between 'active' and 'passive' time.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Probably; homestay families were very friendly.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Great time for all, with a balanced programme that was enjoyed by everyone in our family. The holiday providers were extremely helpful.

Reviewed on 28 Feb 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Very difficult to pick out one part, so many exciting experiences.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Book it know ! Read the Cuba Manual/ info on Cuba carefully!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, by living / eating in private houses our holiday benefited local people

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Wonderful memories, felt like you were participating in a movie from the fifties.

Reviewed on 03 Feb 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The opportunity to meet the Cubans at the casa partiular, in the streets and with local guides. Baracoa area was the most memorable in term of nature and landscape.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


I would not hesitate for a Cuba trip to have it organized by the operator becouse it simplifies everything for us. We had much more time to enjoy our
holiday and not loosing time to book buses or accomodation. The travel agenda they prepared was very informative and we just had to follow it.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Casa Particular owners will certainly benefiting from our 6 weeks visit (one bedroom renting for a day is more than one month salary of a doctor). National Parks visits will help conservation.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Very good on all points.

Reviewed on 04 Aug 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Diving Jardines de la Reine
Visiting Playa Giron museum
Walking Sierra Escambray
Classic car tour
Drinking rum, smoking cigars and listening to music at Buena Vista Social Club

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Do the city tours in the morning if going in the summer. Too hot to enjoy in the
afternoon.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes to the extent we could.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent.

Reviewed on 22 Apr 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


There have been several. The diving and the beach at Punta Frances on Isla de la Juventud, the beach and sea at Maria la Gorda, the old part of Havana as well as the views of the valley of Vinales.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Try to get the seaview rooms at Maria la Gorda, visit the Cava Santo Tomas at Vinales and go looking for a Flamenco performance in Havana.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


It is not always easy to get it right but I think so. The accommodation at homestays (the money goes directly to the owners) as well as the many tips we gave supported at least some people.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Very nice with a good organization upfront and on location. I can recommend it without any constraints.

Reviewed on 16 Aug 2012 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Being in Havana, and going to the carnival. Diving with sharks at Jardines de la Reina.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Try to have contact with Cubans, as they are such warm and friendly people. Stay at homestays. Be willing to put up with slow service in restaurants, and you will often be rewarded with the lovely dry wit.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes I think there was quite a good awareness of environmental impact, and staying at homestays benefitted local people. Also the diving clearly gave employment to people who would otherwise have been fishermen. Supporting diving in Cuba helps to keep the marine reserves pristine. They are amongst the best preserved anywhere, especially Jardines de la Reina.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent. Also thanks to having been well-prepared by the operator, we were expecting to encounter some problems, and how to deal with them, and what kind of difficulties can arise (with car hire for example). But it's such a special place. Would recommend that travellers get some understanding of history, communism and culture before they go. It really has everything.

Reviewed on 11 Apr 2012 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The holiday was fantastic as a whole! We had a good taste of the atmosphere in Cuban life. The cities were beautiful, with music on every corner, the rural villages were adventurous and the diving and snorkeling was phenomenal.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Book your stays in casa particulars (B&B's!)

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Partly.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


This operator has provided a perfect service: supported us with our travel itinerary, provided good recommendations, and planned everything carefully. They provided an additional Cuba Manual with very useful tips. Emails or phone calls were always immediately responded to. Due to unforeseen circumstances, we had to reschedule our holiday by six weeks (after everything was already booked and paid for) and the operator rebooked our total holiday without charging any additional costs. I highly recommend this operator!

Reviewed on 08 May 2011 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The most memorable was driving on the road from Trinidad - the road was alive with crabs and we couldn't avoid driving over them, not a good experience. Best experience was Caleta Buena diving centre near Playa Giron - beautiful place and very friendly staff.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Don't travel in the early morning near Trinidad when the crabs are migrating - watch your car tyres. Don't pick up any hitch hikers near Trinidad, we were targeted and had a tyre punctured on purpose also check your spare tyre when you hire a car-ours was virtually flat with about 8 punctures.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


We stayed in Casa's for half the holiday and did 2 walks into the countryside with local guides stopping for lunch at local farmsteads so had a lot of contact with local people. I think if we had travelled by bus we would have had less impact on the environment but it wouldn't have been as convenient.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Fantastic holiday- we would definitely return and we have recommended Cuba to our friends. Most people were very friendly and helpful and the weather helped as we had sunshine throughout our trip. Lots of beautiful photos to remind us of our adventures.

Read the operator's response here:

In the months March & April there can be huge migrations of landcrabs to the Caribbean sea between Playa Larga – up to Playa Giron & close to Trinidad, thousands and thousands of crabs move over the roads to the water. This is a real impressive phenomena, and worthwhile to watch. The only thing is that the traffic continues, many crabs are killed by the traffic and that you will see a huge red carpet on the road. When and where this migration happens no one can really predict, you happen to come across such a migrationary wave of crabs and there is no way out. There are no other ways to avoid driving over the crabs, or you have to go back all the way, in some cases when you are advanced and near Trinidad that might cost one full day extra to arrive at Trinidad via the Sierra Escambray mountain road. It has been reported by other travelers that driving over the crabs may cause punctures in your tyre, so be prepared for some repairs when you arrive in Trinidad.

The other issue mentioned by this traveler that the tyres may have been punctured by hitchhikers close to Trinidad needs some attention. It may have been caused by the crabs it may have been done on purpose, an extensive report of our client shows it may have been the last scenario. Other travelers have reported activities as well from jineteros (involved in all kinds of street business) active in the area around Trinidad trying to deviate tourists to (illegal) homestays other then the official casa particular which has been reserved by us to gain some income, or in this case create income through a punctured tyre for a garage of a friend in Trinidad. Our advice is to avoid taking hitchhikers with you traveling to Trinidad and in/or around the big cities as Havana and Santiago for safety reasons as small robberies have been reported by other operators. Many people on Cuba are standing along the roads waiting for a lift and as a tourist you can help a Cuban family or mother with a small child; taking hitchhikers with you can be a lovely & enriching experience esp when you speak Spanish, but be streetwise and intelligent who to take with you ! We give further advices in our Cuba Manual.

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