The journey through the marine attractions of the province of Pinar del Río proposes you to admire natural treasures of western geography.
The aquatic beauties and the practice of nautical activity, together with the wealth of traditions and magic of the landscapes of the Guanahacabibes Peninsula, are the ideal pretext for a visit. Site that holds since 2005 the management category Protected Area of Managed Resources, the national and international recognition of the Biosphere Reserve in 1987 and that of the Important Area for the Conservation of Birds (IBA), also treasures the Guanahacabibes National Park, of 39 901 hectares and two nature reserves, Cabo Corrientes and El Veral. It has an area of 156 201.82 ha, of which 54 257.52 are marine. It has a climate of dry tropical type and is characterized by a temperature regime that ranges between 21.5 ° C and 29.3 ° C.
The Guanahacabibes Peninsula shows a high biodiversity, represented by the main marine and coastal habitats and its good environmental status.
In the waters around the peninsula there are important stocks of spiny lobster (panulirus argus) and red snapper (Lutjanus campechanus).
The south coast is rocky, of coral origin and cliffs in some sections, only interrupted by small beaches and sandy coves, excellent places for the nesting of chelonians, such as the loggerhead (caretta caretta l.), The green turtle (chelonia mydas l. ) and the hawksbill (eretmochelys imbricata l.). The coral reef ecosystem is one of the best preserved in Cuba and one of the most diverse in the Caribbean. Experts consider that 4 of the 7 species of sea turtles that inhabit the planet have survived in these properties.
Each year the “run” of thousands of red land crabs, geocarcinus lateralis (freminville), when they go to the sea to spawn, impacts visitors.
Mangroves and seagrasses are two other well-represented habitats in the peninsula, the latter consisting mainly of turtle grass (thalassia testudinum konig). From microscopic polychaetes and mollusks to giant manatees [trichechus manatus (l.)], They all seek refuge and food in seagrass beds.
In the marine sector, 17 underwater archaeological sites associated with shipwrecks between the sixteenth and twentieth centuries have also been identified. Steam associated Crown Prince, whose wreck is preserved is a significant attraction in the diving area in the Ensenada de Corrientes.
Currently, the presence of the exotic species of lionfish (pterois volitans) in coral reef ecosystems has been confirmed. There are 201 species of fish in this area, 20 species of anemones, 27 species of gorgonians, 39 of sponges and 42 species of corals, 75 species of crustaceans and 773 species of marine mollusks, the great majority with planktonic larval development, which makes it in the center of emission of larvae to the Gulf of Mexico and the keys and continental coasts of North America, increasing its value as a protected area.
Here, in this region, the Cabo San Antonio International Marina is located, which has 4 berths and a depth of 2.4 meters. It has potable water service, electricity at the dock, VHF telephone communication channel 16 channel and solid waste dumping service, which consists of an incinerator that allows to cremate the waste coming from the boats.
Within the facilities have ship chandler shop, snack bar, point of supply of regular diesel fuel and special gasoline for boats and cars, service of port authorities with entry and exit clearance, visa sales and travel insurance and medical services .
Pinar del Río has the International Maria La Gorda Diving Center, where introductory diving courses are offered in the following modalities:
Cuba diving courses (1st level) in English and German.
Open water course
There are three available for diving activity. You can make up to three daily dives, two in the morning and one in the afternoon, plus night immersion.
This installation is selected every year to celebrate the International Underwater Photography Event: “IMASUB” during the month of June. The best exponent of this genre of visual arts, it delights the participants: foreign and national photographers, prestigious figures of the underwater world, the press and television, both national and foreign, with attractive proposals related to the wonders of the marine world. (Gaviota Group)
Cayo Jutías, with four and a half kilometers of virgin beach and white-creamy sands, coexist there, in total harmony with man, species of the most diverse colors, types and sizes, from the dogfish (lachnolaimus maximus), surgeons (acanthurus coeruleus), and black cachamas (pomacanthus caru). The most abundant corals are: the orejón (acropora palmata), fire (millapora complanata), digital (porites porites) and brain (colpophyllia natans).
Cayo Levisa, a small island almost intact that invites you to believe that paradise exists. There are plant and coral formations such as: star coral (montastrea annularis), cacho e venao (acropora cervicornis), and sea fans (gorgonia ventalina). The insular platform describes a total of twenty-three sites for diving inviting to receive initiation courses. Holds International Certification SSI (Scuba International School). In addition, in the edge of the veril the walls reach up to forty meters, fascinating to immerse yourself in the practice of snorkeling in the coral reef
Water sports are practiced in the Villa Cabo San Antonio, (which is located 75 km from María la Gorda) as snorkeling, with 40 teams, paddle kayak, with capacity for 3 people and sport fishing.
Villa María la Gorda has services such as: 103 rooms, two restaurants, a beach bar, a “Coral” lobby bar, shop, security services, laundry, massage and nursing services.
Tel: (53) 48 758131/ 441243 /75 7656-57,
email: Reserve here
In Pinar del Río, sport-recreational fishing can take place in Cayo Levisa, Cayo Jutía, Laguna Grande and Cuyaguateje River. There are possibilities to perform different modalities such as trolling, gigging, spinning, bottom and fly, due to the abundance and variety of fish in the area. All species have migratory cycles and, consequently, move with marine currents. Among the species that we find in Pinar del Rio are the dorado, the bonito, the tuna, the breastplate, the barracuda, the sierra. The method that is most practiced and promoted in Cuba is that of marking and release (Tag and release).
Excursion by boat to Cayo Mégano
Operator: Marlin Marina Hemingway.
Paradisiacal place, located only 4 miles from Cayo Jutía, offers possibilities for snorkeling in coral bottoms of unparalleled beauty.
Services: Nautical transfer, snorkeling instructor, picnic.
Journey: 2 hours
Information for reservations:
Telephone: 7 204 6848
Turtle spawning observation
Operator: Grupo Gaviota.
Services: Land transfer to turtle camp, specialized guide service, exchange with students involved in the monitoring and protection of turtles and their nests, participation in activities
Departure Time: 9:30 a.m.
Stroll with snorkeling
Operator: Grupo Gaviota.
Services: Departure by boat to snorkeling site with specialized guide.
Departure Time: 3:00 pm
Operator: Grupo Gaviota.
Services: Boat trip with snorkeling (optional) in coral reef, observation and enjoyment of the sunset.
Departure Time: 6:00 pm
Excursion to Cayo Levisa
Operator: Grupo Gaviota.
Services: bilingual guide service, return and return transportation by air-conditioned vehicle and transfer by boat; Welcome cocktail on arrival, snack or lunch.
Departure Time: 7.30 a.m. from Pinar del Río and 8.30 a.m. from Viñales (1 hour by bus, 1/2 hour by boat)
Journey: 10 hours