Strategically seating in the Caribbean Sea, Cuba lies awash with marine blessings, as a gift of Mother Nature that keeps luring tourists over and over.
The Caribbean island is surrounded by the main navigation routes in the area, namely the Yucatan Canal, the Old Bahamas Channel and the Windward Passage, all of which add to local tourist attractions.
Cuba’s insular platform stretches for over 70,000 square kilometers, in the midst of exuberant areas of underwater life, hosting over 500 species of fish and other animals.
Not very deep in their sandy bottoms shipwrecks of yore can be found, as well as tunnels and caves and 650 kilometers of coral reef.
Experts consider that there are about a hundred noticeable diving spots in the Cuban archipelago, with María La Gorda International Diving Center, in Pinar del Río province, and Barracuda, in Varadero Beach, standing out above the rest.
With an average water temperature of 24 degrees Celsius and a horizontal underwater visibility of 30 meters and beyond, the local seas are a sure bet for discerning divers.
Another local gem in the Cuban crown is the Isle of Youth, discovered by Christopher Columbus on his second trip to the New World. Coral reefs of astounding beauty deck this island, which hosts the Punta Francés National Marine Park.
Ready to quench anyone’s thirst for these sports, Cuba is perfectly endowed with a dozen marinas stretching along its coastline, where some 300 ships are poised to serve customers.
Nine local marinas are adequately equipped to deal with foreign ships. Of these, six are located on the Northern coast, namely Gaviota Los Morros, Hemingway, Gaviota Varadero, Varadero Dock, Cayo Guillermo and Gaviota Puerto Vita.
Pleasure ships will be allowed to stay anchored in Cuban territory for up to five years, after which extensions will be considered by the marina authorities.
Staff at these facilities -which now render services online, to facilitate requesting sojourn permissions in advance-, take care of the whole process, from mooring and anchoring, to repairs and maintenance, the supply of fuel, goods, water, electricity, migratory and customs formalities, to lodging and recreation.
Marinas also offer rides on yachts and sailboats, as well as fishing and snorkeling and diving, as part of a comprehensive program that includes underwater photography and life on board experiences.