Gardens of the Queen Description
Gardens of the Queen itinerary dives Cuba's spectacular national park. 60 miles off the Cuban coastline, this is the jewel in Cuba's diving crown. More than 600 cays make up the gardens. It is famous for the pristine corals and vast clouds of schooling fish, alongside a healthy reef shark population. But there is more than just diving! As well as 7 nights on board your Cuba liveaboard, you will enjoy 2 nights in the soulful city of Havana, including activities with Cuban scientists and marine experts about ocean conservation and cultural exchanges.
Before you begin the diving adventure, you have 2 nights in Havana, staying in the elegant 5 star Iberostar Parque Central hotel. This is an action packed programme, with time spent getting to know more about Cuba's marine conservation works and visiting the city's cultural highlights. The tour is fully escorted by experts throughout, including Dr Julio Baisre. Havana is a lively city with some superb street photography opportunities and genuine interactions with the Cuban people.
Diving in the Gardens of the Queen
Jardines de la Reina or 'Gardens of the Queen' was named by Christopher Columbus to honor Queen Isabel of Spain. It is located 60 miles off the southern coast of Cuba and is one of the largest marine parks in the Caribbean and known to have the healthiest marine ecosystem.
The Gardens of the Queen is made up of 250 virgin coral and mangrove islands, extending along 75 miles of pristine coastline. The national park was created in 1996 and enjoys active protection. As a part of your packge, a park fee and conservation fee is prepaid. The walls and coral gardens are largely untouched by divers and mass tourism. From drop off to gentle bombies, the topography is diverse. Vast schools of fish swirl around the corals and sponges, whilst large grouper, sharks and turtles are commonplace. Nurse, black tip, lemon, silkies and even great hammerheads all patrol the waters.
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