Scuba Diving Cuba
Including Isla de Juventud
Diving Cuba articles, reviews, and reports from Undercurrent
Diving Cuba Overview
While American citizens can visit Cuba, passport warnings advise that it's "not recommended," and American companies cannot legally do business with Cuba because of a U.S. trade embargo. Most trips, therefore, are booked through Canadian or Mexican tour operators. Street signs in Cancun and Playa del Carmen offer four-day trips to Cuba for as little as $300 U.S.... Dive operations are generally well-run, causing resorts on Cayman and Cozumel to shake in their fins at the thought of Cuba opening up to the U.S. dive market....
Cuba Seasonal Dive Planner
Temperatures between summer and winter don't normally vary much
more than five degrees in the Caribbean. The average temperature is about 80°
year-round. Naturally, southern islands tend to be a little warmer than the northern
ones. For example, Curaçao's southern location keeps its summer average
at 83° and winter at 80°, while the northern Bahamas (Nassau) vary from
a summer average of 81° down to a cool 69° average in the winter.
There is a wet and dry season, with most rain falling between
May/June and October/November. However, location and topography, such as rain
shadows created by mountains, can play an important role in local weather conditions.
Keep in mind that those cold fronts in the U.S. that dip down from the north
can keep right on dipping to most of the northern islands, bringing cool temperatures
and rough water in their wake.
Two other important factors to consider in the Caribbean are
tourist season and hurricane season. The off-season for tourism is roughly mid-April
to mid-December. It can mean much cheaper prices (up to 60% less) than in the
busy high season. Although hurricanes can develop any time of the year, the
season is generally considered to be from July to November, with September the
most likely month. Island folklore has it this way:
June, too soon
July, pass by
August, we must
October, all over.
Diving Cuba Feature Articles and Reader Reports
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some articles can be accessed by the public --
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Cuba Dive Reviews
from our Instant Reader Reports
All Availble to Undercurrent Online
Members; Some Publicly Available as Indicated
Diving Cuba Articles - Land Based
|Jardines de la Reina, Cuba , is it the marine paradise Anderson Cooper claims it to be?, 9/12|
Available to the Public
|The Bay of Pigs, Cuba, easy living, easy diving, maybe even for Americans, 4/11|
|Travel to Cuba, 4/11|
|Cuba, Bonaire, Belize... , and a clever thief in Curacao, 1/07|
|The High Cost of Cuban Diving, 3/05|
|Legal Diving in Cuba, Another fish story?, 4/03|
|Real REEF Trips, 4/03|
|Show Me the Money , 4/03|
|Reaching the Reefs of Cuba, the U.S. Government is cracking down, 10/01|
|Cuba's Isla de Juventud, the thrill of diving forbidden water, 1/99|
Cuba Dive Reviews
from our Travelin' Divers' Chapbooks
Editor's Book Picks for Scuba Diving Cuba
Including Isla de Juventud
The books below are my favorites about diving in this part of the
world All books are available at a significant discount from Amazon.com;
just follow the links. -- BD
Reef Life: A Must Have Guide to Tropical Marine Life
by Brandon Cole and Scott Michael
What? Another fish ID book when you thought Paul Humanns and Ned Deloachs were enough? Yes indeed, and while I rarely say this, Reef Life: A Guide to Tropical Marine Life is a must-have for the library of every traveling diver. And if you only want one ID book, this is it.
Click here to order through Undercurrent and you’ll get Amazon’s best price -- and our profits will go to save coral reefs.
A Guide to the Coral Reefs of the Caribbean
by Mark Spalding
This book doubles as a guide to the natural history of the coral reefs and a diver's travel guide. In addition to providing information about some of the most popular diving and snorkeling, it also offers practical suggestions to divers who want to protect these sites. Author Mark Spalding, a coral reef scientist who has worked on coral reefs in over thirty countries, delves into the eco-problems with a focus on what each person can do to protect the reefs. The guide section covers 35 dive destinations with key information on the reefs, marine parks, remote places, and unusual species as well as excellent maps and a photographic field guide of the marine flora and fauna.
Order Now at a reduced price of only $16.47.
Travel Edition of Reef Fish Identification: Caribbean, Bahamas,
by Paul Humann and Ned DeLoach
Today's airline weight restrictions not only limit the amount of dive gear
and cameras you can pack for overseas trips, but also those valuable
prized marine life identification books. And with spotty Internet access
overseas, it's not like you can look a critter of or fish up easily
online. For the divers who still want a book in their hands post-dive to
look up the fishes they encounter, Paul Humann and Ned DeLoach are
offering "Travel Edition of Reef Fish Identification: Caribbean, Bahamas,
South Florida." It's lightweight enough to thrown in your carry-on but
rugged enough to withstand frequent saltwater washings on board.
Click here to buy it at Amazon via our website -- our profits go to save the reefs.
World Atlas of Coral Reefs
by Mark D. Spalding, Corinna Ravilious,
Edmund P. Green, United Nations World Conservation Monitoring Center.
If there is one book that belongs in every traveling diver's library, this is
it. The superb World Atlas of Coral Reefs has everything you want to know
about the reefs from Costa Rica and Cuba to the Coral Sea and Cayman. The information
is specific and up to date. The photos, maps and layout superb. And the price,
for this 424 page, full color, hard bound volume, is a steal at $31.50
The Atlas was released in September by the United Nations World
Conservation Monitoring Center to document and conserve the world's coral reefs.
Clearly written with divers in mind, it's an invaluable resource for global
travelers. Here's what you'll find.
- 94 maps, including global maps of biodiversity and reef
stresses, regional maps showing 3-D bathymetry and high resolution maps showing
reefs, mangroves, population centers, dive centers and protected areas.
- 280 color photographs, showing reefs, wildlife, people and
places, Including 84 photographs taken from space by Shuttle astronauts.
- Text explaining the formation, structure and ecology of
coral reefs; their various uses and abuses at the hands of humans; and the
techniques used in coral reef mapping.
- Detailed texts describing the distribution and status of
coral reefs in every country.
- Data tables listing information on biodiversity, human
use, and protected areas. These include statistics on coral reef area, biodiversity,
fish consumption, and threats.
For example, you can learn about pollution damage to the reefs
at Providenciales and the lack of human impact, as well. Or, where extensive
bleaching took place in Honduras 1998. You'll read that Milne Bay in Papua New
Guineas has the most extensive reef system in that country and where, in Fiji,
the bumphead parrotfish and tridachna clams will not be found, thanks to overfishing.
The Reef Set: Reef Fish, Reef Creature and Reef Coral (3 Volumes):
Paul Humann ID Books
by Paul Humann, Ned Deloach
The three set fish, creature and coral ID books by Paul Humann are the unparalleled sources for information on Caribbean sea life and identification. Paul and his partner Ned Deloach recently released updated and expanded editions of each, with scores of new critters, even better photos, and information unavailable anywhere else. Why, the Reef Fish Identification book, at more than 500 pages, is 20 percent larger than the previous volume, which came out in 1994. Whenever I travel to the Caribbean, I tote all three books and spend my down hours figuring out what I saw and where to look to find rare creatures. Paul's splendid Reef Creature book (420 pages), covers sponges, nudibranchs, octopus, crustaceans, Christmas tree worms and plenty more. His Reef Coral ID book (276 pages) helps you identify all the hard and soft corals, spawning, and even the growth on top of corals, as well as algae and other plant life. Beginners may want to ID only fish, but I'd recommend that all three books be part of every diver's library. And, if you have an old set, by all means replace it. You'll be delighted at the additions and improvements. Each book normally retails for $40, but are discounted when you order here. And the boxed 3-volume set is available now at a bigger discount, up to 30%. You'll get the best prices Amazon.com has to offer, speedy delivery, and the knowledge that a large hunk of our profit will go to preserve coral reefs.
* Reef Fish Identification: Florida Caribbean Bahamas,
* Reef Creature Identification: Florida Caribbean Bahamas, and
* Reef Coral Identification: Florida Caribbean Bahamas
* The Boxed Set of all three (you can save up to 30%)
You might find some other books of interest in our Editor's
Book Picks section.