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Dive Review of Avalon Dive Centers/Tortuga in
Cuba/Jardines de la Reina

 
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Avalon Dive Centers/Tortuga, Nov, 2013,

by Scott O'Born, ON, CA ( 1 report). Report 7397.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling 4 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments This was my second trip here in 3 months, awesome place.....a real divers paradise. If shark action is what you are looking for check this place out - Silkies, Reef, Lemons and Nurse are the most prominent, but sightings of many other species are quite common. The coral gardens are some of the best I've seen anywhere, reef fish galore.

Surface intervals may be back on Toruga or one of the many small Islands where you are greeted by many iguanas and Hutias looking for a handout. At least once during the week you'll get the chance to snorkel with the small (5-6ft) Crocs that somehow come when called.....cool.

Accommodations on the floating Hotel Tortuga are very good by liveaboard standards with a great crew ready to assist with anything you need. Food is excellent and daily fresh fish always part of the meals.

The only bad part of this trip is getting there.....fly into Havana, wake up for 4:30 am bus pickup, 6 hours by bus to Jucaro.....wait an hour while paperwork is completed......3 hours by boat out to "Jardines de la Reina" and the floating Hotel Tortuga. If you are staying on one one liveaboards t will probably take you 5 or 6 hours to get out there.
Websites Avalon Dive Centers   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Cocos Island, French Polynesia, Thailand, Cozumel, Belize, Bahamas, Galapagos.....
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, cloudy Seas calm, choppy, no currents
Water Temp 78-81°F / 26-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50-100 Ft/ 15-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions Discuss plans with DM and should not be a problem. 45 - 55 minute dives on average depending on profile.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks 1 or 2
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 5 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Avalon has a number of boats and the floating Hotel Tortuga, diving is conducted using smaller boats that accommodate 8 divers. Too many divers with large gear might get crowded. Lots of room on main boats or Tortuga for setting up and cleaning gear.

Snorkel with the small (5-6ft) Crocs for some awesome shots!!
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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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