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Dive Review of International Diving Centers; Marlin Dive Center/Hotel Colony; Diving Center at Mari in
Cuba/Isla de Juventud & Maria la Go

 
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International Diving Centers; Marlin Dive Center/Hotel Colony; Diving Center at Mari: "Terrific Diving in Cuba", Feb, 2015,

by Jacob Rosenstein, CA, US (Contributor Contributor 12 reports with 3 Helpful votes). Report 8246.

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 N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Diving was terrific on Isla de Juventud. It's a long boat ride to get to the dive sites. Lots of tropical fish and healthy reefs. The highlight was the "Blue Cave", a steep tunnel that ends in 124 feet. Most dives are wall dives, with spectacular views of coral and sponge. Our Dive Master, Henry, graciously shared the marine life, showing us lots of fish and invertebrates. Hotel Colony is basic accommodation. The food is plain and boring. We stocked up on fresh fruit and vegetables from the Nueva Gerona farmers market. We booked 4 days diving, 2 dives per day, but were not allowed to dive on our first day due to windy conditions. We took an island tour instead and, hence the trip to the farmers market, as well as the old prison, crocodile farm, and black sand beach.

I also dove at the International Dive Center at Maria la Gorda. The accommodations were much better, and so was the food. The diving was very good. I saw a Giant Grouper and Sting Rays on the first dive, "El Labyrinto". The dive sites are short boat rides, and return to the dive center afterwords. Dive sites are varied, there are some wall dives with swim thrus, like "Yemaya". The reefs are healthy, with a variety of sponges in large colonies. Lots of fish, one turtle, no sharks. You can get here by taxi from Havana, so no need to hassle with the domestic airline Aero Caribbean. The dive center has a good selection of rental dive gear, and there are up to 3 dives per day.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Caribbean, Costa Rica, Hawaii, Fiji, Indonesia, Palau, Red Sea, California Channel Islands
Closest Airport Nueva Gerona in Isla de Juventud Getting There Aero Caribbean turbo prop takes you to Isla de Juventud from Havana. We were stranded for 22 hours on the Island prior to return to Havana. Airline did not inform us of flight changes and delays.
Getting to Cuba was via Mexico. Booked travel through Responsible Cuba Travel. They made dive resort reservations, and domestic flight and taxi transfers. Highly recommended.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, no currents
Water Temp 79-82°F / 26-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 25-60 Ft/ 8-18 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions We had to stay with the Dive Master, with 5-6 divers in a group.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

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