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Dive Review of Avalon in
Cuba/Jardines de la Reina

October, 2012, an Instant Reader Report by Graham McGregor, Kilmacolm, GB
Sr. Contributor   (24 reports)
Report Number 6729
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Galapagos, Maldives, Sipadan, Malapascua, Red Sea, Caribbean, Hawaii,
Florida, Spain
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
choppy, no currents  
Water Temp
30   to 31    Celsius  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
15   to 30    Meters  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
All dives were guided but you could pretty much stay dowwn as long as you
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
4 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
4 stars   
5 stars    
Jardines de la Reina is mangrove/coral chain about 65 miles off the south
coast of Cuba. It has been a marine park for about 20 years. Given that
diving is limited to about 700 divers each year, the reefs are in very good
condition, significantly better than most other parts of the Caribbean.

Avalon Divers are the only operator in JDR. They have a couple of
liveaboards but they were not in iuse during our stay. We stayed on their
"houseboat" - Tortuga and dived off a skiff. Dive sites were
within 10 to 20 minutes away. There were only 8 of us on Tortuga, so we all
had a room each. The rooms accommodate 3 or 4 people in sinles/bunks.
There's plenty of room if only one in the room - it would be a bit tight if
the room is full! Separate small bathroom/shower in each room. Hot warer
was plentiful.

Tortuga was a good base. The food was great, fresh seafood/fish at lunch
and dinner. After the last dive each day you return to a complimentary
Mohito and pizza - fantastic.

This is one of the places to go to experience shark action. We had many
sharks on virtually every dive - Caribbean Reef sharks or Silky sharks. We
also saw Nurse sharks. Avalon take a small bait box down on some dives (not
all), which means a plethora of sharks. It's not a shark feed as such but
there are loads of sharks around, extremely close. This is not a location
for the nervous or feint-hearted. Avalon have three dives a day in their
standard package but we paid an extra 35 Euros per person for a 4th day
dive each day. Well worth the money.

It is a bit of a journey to get to and from JDR. You have to overnight in
Havana and then its a 5/6 hour coach trip across Cuba, followed by a 3 hour
boat transfer. Is it worth it - definitely.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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