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Dive Review of International Diving Centre/Playa Blanca in
Cuba/Cayo Largo

 
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International Diving Centre/Playa Blanca, Oct, 2012,

by chris Aston, ON, CA ( 1 report). Report 6742.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Roatan, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Playa Del Carmen, Tobermory
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas choppy, no currents
Water Temp 80 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 60 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 2 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics N/A

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]

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 3 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 2 stars
Comments Cayo Largo is an island off the south central coast of Cuba. It is strictly a vacation spot. No fishing village, no colonial architecture, no bars or restaurants like you find in Mexico. The only Cubans there are people who work in the 4 resorts which are all run by the Cuban government.
The one dive shop on the island was started by an Italian company, Avalon, but like most foreign run enterprises in Cuba it was a 10 year partnership with the Cuban government which is now run solely by Cubans.
Cayo Largo is popular mainly with Canadians and some Europeans who come for a week or 2 of cheap fun in the sun.
The diving was fairly good but not worth going out of your way for. Compared to Coz, Roatan and Grand Cayman it was a bit of a disappointment. No problems just not very exciting.
They make a big deal out of the fact that there is no commercial fishing permitted but there still aren't that many fish. Except for lionfish. One of the DMs spent the whole of each dive spearing lionfish and would come back with 12-15 from each dive. By comparison I went to Grand Cayman about 2 months later and in a week I saw 3 lionfish.

The dive shop is well run, the divemaster/instructors are as good as any I've met in the caribbean. The rental equipment was fine and the boats, 2 of them, were good enough.
The dive sites are around 30 minutes away from the marina. All of our dives were 2 tank dives with surface intervals in shallow water but no return to the marina so people could snorkel while waiting for the second dive. On one of these intervals we saw a school of Tarpon.
We did one night dive and it was okay but nothing like the one I did in Coz a year earlier.
Some of the people I was diving with made a video of our dives with GoPro cameras. The link is
[vimeo.com link] /> The other divers were a diverse group of Canadians, Russians, Brazilians, Germans, Italians and even 2 Americans who had gotten permission from their government to come to Cuba
The cost of diving was a bit more than I've paid in Roatan and a bit less than Grand Cayman but was a fun interesting experience all the same.

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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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