The Cuban archipelago, one of the fastest-growing tourist destinations in the Caribbean region, boasts an exuberant nature that attracts thousands of foreign vacationers who visit the island every year.
Cuba offers dozens of kilometers of excellent beaches, and centuries-old traditions, culture and history, in addition to a wide range of nautical activities, including scuba diving and snorkeling.
The Caribbean Island also offers more than 70,000 square kilometers of insular platform and some 5,000 kilometers of coasts, which are bathed by the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.
Nearly 6,500 varieties of fish, crustaceans, sponges and mollusks, and an 850-kilometer coral reef in perfect state of preservation turn the island into one of the best-preserved underwater ecosystems in the Caribbean region.
In addition, the sea surrounding Cuba is rich in sunken ships from Spanish colonial times, when the island played a major role in transferring the American continent's wealth to Europe.
Diving also benefits from an average temperature of 24 degrees Celsius (75.2 degrees Fahrenheit) and underwater visibility that often exceeds 30 meters.
One of the best dive sites is on Isla de la Juventud (Isle of Youth), where extraordinarily-beautiful coral reefs run parallel to the islet's south coast, where another attraction is the Punta Francés National Marine Park.
Precisely, that breathtakingly-beautiful area is near the Hotel El Colony and runs along six kilometers of coast, between Punta Pedestales and Punta Francés.
Experts say the best dive sites in the region are Pared de Coral Negro, Túnel del Amor, Cueva Azul, El Pasaje Escondido, Cueva de los Sábalos, Piedra de Coral, El Salto, Ancla del Pirata, Paraíso de las Levisas and Pequeño Reino.
Another excellent dive site is that of Sunken Ships, where boats from the Spanish colonial period are 6-9 meters deep and are inhabited by large schools of fish.
Three dozen diving centers operate throughout the country, where divers can take initiation courses and dive in coral reefs and caverns following international standards for that nautical activity.
María La Gorda is in the Guanahacabibes Biosphere Reserve, in Cuba's westernmost province, Pinar del Río. It is an excellent place for diving enthusiasts because of its crystal-clear and warm water, and 39 dive spots. In addition, divers can also watch the largest black coral reserve in Cuba.
Cayo Largo del Sur, Varadero, Santa Lucía, Jardines del Rey and the northern keys off Villa Clara province are also excellent places to dive and enjoy Cuba's underwater natural wealth.