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Cayo Piedra Underwater Park

Cuba
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Cayo Piedra Underwater Park

Hola

Not sure how up to date this site is

cubanacan.de/cubanacan/bilder/tauchen/DIVING…

But it seems this underwater park is getting more and more advertised.

Wondering if anyone has been to the site to dive or snorkel.

I would love to do a 3 hr hobiecat to this site and snorkel (worth it??)

Not much of a diver for various reasons and phobias ... LOL

Mardi

Havana, Cuba
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1. Re: Cayo Piedra Underwater Park

I think this link might be what you're looking for gen info on diving in Cuba:

www.nauticamarlin.com/index.php…

If you mean the place in Varadero where they had deliberately sunken a plane and some other relics for divers, I believe this particular site was destroyed in the 2008 hurricanes, at least according to what I've been told by the local dive centers. The last time we were diving in Varadero they took us to the Russian patrol boat.

Frankly, there are lots of places with much better diving than Varadero in Cuba. But for a beginner it's OK. Even for some experienced divers they like it since the quality of the diving in Cuba relative to destinations, for example, in the north is just so great that it's fine for a short-term dive holiday. Corals, varied fish species, etc.

Once you get started diving, you'll never want to stop! My husband was very confident that he'd be just fine snorkelling for the rest of his life until he tried a resort course. When he came up from his first dive, his first question was where to buy the equipment. He's gone on to become an advanced diver since then and it's such an excellent activity for learning exercise, doesn't hurt that Cuba's got so many excellent places to dive....

Edited: 08 July 2010, 11:26
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2. Re: Cayo Piedra Underwater Park

Hola

Thanks

That site is similar to the one I posted.

I like sailing so part of the fun would be the hobie cat out to the island and then some snorkeling.

Thought it might have to do with them not wanting tourists near this island yet and only on set excursions. Mardi

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3. Re: Cayo Piedra Underwater Park

The only thing with the link that I provided, it's the one that goes directly to the Marlin which is the actual operator of most of the dive centers in Cuba. I think the info on the cubanacan.de site is a little older - I remember a couple of years ago that we offered some similar split-type packages that we contracted through the Cubanacan travel agency but in the end had very few bites since the terms were a little complicated (# of nights in each center, etc).

We kept a 26' Hunter sailboat in the Tarara marina for a few years but sold it to a couple of Russians a couple of years ago. Not missing it too much, to be honest! They say that the 2 happiest days for boat owners are the day you buy the boat, and the day you sell the boat....

Edited: 08 July 2010, 11:57
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4. Re: Cayo Piedra Underwater Park

Thanks

And yes I've heard that one before as well.

Guess my question is more questioning why they nhaven't developed and / or rebuilt this as a possible dive/snorkel site in Varadero as you know they need something better.

The Catamaran/dolphin swin excursions go to a channel between two islands for the snorkeling which is mildly OK. The 3 hrs hobie cats tend to go to the same or similar spots and avoid the Cay so was wondering why.

Many places like Jamaica, DR and Mexico have the booze cruise type trips with BBQ and snorkeling to small island (Cayo Blanco is like that but as I said the snokeling is marginal, food and atmosphere as well. Just thought this could become an option.

Mardi

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5. Re: Cayo Piedra Underwater Park

Mardi, I don't know if it's even worth it to bring this up, but there are, of course, certain areas in Cuba that are protected (wildlife parks, marine parks, etc) where diving (for example) is only permitted with a guide in order to best preserve the natural environment.

Snorkelling is another story though, and I can't really think of any reason they wouldn't let you take a catamaran in Varadero and go where you want, but best to check with the hotel's nautical post where you'd presumably be renting the equipment just to see if there are any places you can/can't go. And if they have a time limit on equipment use.

You may already be aware of this, but restrictions regarding nautical departures for Cubans on national vessels have relaxed considerably in the last year. Not necessarily on topic, but a related tidbit.

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6. Re: Cayo Piedra Underwater Park

I was trying to edit my typos when you posted ... LOL

Could be a future item then ...

Cubajack has a great photo of the island and lighthouse taken from the end of the peninsula. (Iberostar???)

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7. Re: Cayo Piedra Underwater Park

Nautical departures on Cuba's north shore are frequently adversely affected by winter cold fronts. For experienced divers, Varadero isn't their preferred destination. Some of the better dive sites in Cuba can be found in Maria la Gorda, Colony, Cayo Largo, Jardines de la Reina, and of course in Santiago de Cuba there are lots of treasures to be found. I think they're opening up the galleon sites this year.

Some great snorkeling and diving can be done in waters as shallow as 15 meters. This is where you'll see the majority of fish usually. But the key is to find coral areas where they hang out, so it means getting further away from the sandy beaches. Hope this info isn't too elemental, just not sure where you are in terms of experience with this sport.

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8. Re: Cayo Piedra Underwater Park

Actually, Mardi, my picture was taken from just between the Blau Varadero and Melia Las Antillas, with my zoom lens. Next trip, I hope to walk down to near the end of the peninsula and get a closer picture. With the zoom, I should be able to fill the whole frame with the lighthouse.

Regards,

Jack

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9. Re: Cayo Piedra Underwater Park

Knew it was from somewhere up that way ... thanks

Edited: 08 July 2010, 15:42
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10. Re: Cayo Piedra Underwater Park

sure did like the snorkeling off jibacoa thanks to fish fanatic's excellent pics a few years back! carol e. still looking for the mother lode! carol e.