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Dive Review of Gourlan/AirBnB in

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Gourlan/AirBnB: "My heart is in Havana", Jan, 2019,

by Giorgio Bonmassar, MA, USA (Reviewer Reviewer 4 reports with 4 Helpful votes). Report 10857 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments I was reading that most of the Cuban reviews are from liveaboards in the Jardines De La Reina, which I am sure are awesome, but I like to also get to know the people, the local food, traditions, history, etc. so I decided to write this short blog. Before my departure, I had a lot of questions, most of all due to the travel restrictions, but I read carefully read reviews online and US citizens can travel to Cuba to visit the country even without a tour operator under “support of the Cuban people.” ([ link]). You need to choose this option when you book an Airbnb and the flight. Casa popular or Airbnb is recommended so I decided to stay away from Hotels and instead I went for a room smack in the center of the old city called LAS MERCEDES-HAVANA JUNIOR SUITE and it was better than many Hotels I stayed in the US: super nice, super clean and very comfortable. Also, I found a very cheap flight direct from Boston to Havana with JetBlue – awesome flight! The key is to make sure that you only spend money at establishments run by Cubans citizens and that you genuinely make contacts with locals, so this is what I was able to do in my trip. Anyway, Carlos of the Airbnb organized everything and I was able to experience diving in Havana and in Playa Larga, 3 hours from Havana.
The other question that I had was in regards to dive equipment and safety of the operators, so I decided to see how it went but ready to abort the dives if I felt uncomfortable. In reality I never felt so comfortable, I have been diving for more than 20 years so I don’t really need too much assistance, but in both dives I had my personal dive instructor, checking constantly everything including air, which never happens to me in New England (!), so it was really relaxing! Also, all the equipment was from Europe but all state of the art, so no complaints there either. The instructor in Havana was Gourlan (74847) and we dived together in two boat dives: Cabezos Buratos and Canto Buratos, off the splendid Havana Club (bar, restaurant, golf, swimming pool, tennis, etc.). Both great dives, we saw lobsters, Caribbean fish and a large school of yellowfin, corrals (brain, pillars).

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Whitsunday Islands, Palau, Venice, Cozumel, Palmarola, Cancun, Honolulu, British Virgin Islands, US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Bahamas, La Paz, Florida Keys, Isla Coronado, San Diego, Cape Cod, Cape Ann (MA), Newport (RI), Torre Lapillo (Puglia, Italy)
Closest Airport José Martí International Airport (HAV) Getting There Extremely easy: direct flight from Boston with JetBlue

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 77-78°F / 25-26°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 50-75 Ft/ 15-23 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions travel restrictions to Cuba due to a 30 years old embargo.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]
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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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