Not sure if you have read our blog on Why diving Cuba is a bucketlist item…. If you haven’t, I’d recommend you go back there and have a squizz as to what is on offer, as there are just so many things to enjoy. Have to say, the first thing that wins me over is the balmy and calm, crystal clear waters. Followed by the second largest coral reef, that features long drop-offs, what locals call “the Grand Canyon”. Then there are over 50 species of coral, bright colorful corals in various shapes and sizes on the reef, on shipwrecks, on walls and more. And if the untouched, plentiful reefs with spectacular marine life wasn’t enough, there are caves in the sea, and ones that come out in beautiful cenotes. Want more? You can even dive with sharks, plenty of them and not just one kind, as Cuba offers the best shark diving there is.
If this doesn’t all convince you that diving in Cuba is a must, I am not sure what would?
Let’s face it, getting there, especially to dive and photograph could potentially offer a challenge. So what should you consider when you are preparing for your Cuba scuba trip?
When is the best time to visit Cuba?
One of the biggest reasons people dive is to see the breathtaking marine wildlife. The thing about wildlife – especially of aquatic variety – is that they are very nomadic and often unpredictable. If that wasn’t a big enough challenge, the weather is also something you need to consider as it can affect your visibility.
Let’s consider the wildlife first. If there is something specific you wish to see on your diving trip to Cuba, drop us a line. Yunior is an enthusiastic diver, with great connections and insights, so we can give you an idea as to what time of year to visit to give yourself the best opportunity to see the animal your heart is set on. It’s never 100% guaranteed on any given day that you will succeed, but buy getting insider knowledge you are giving yourself the best possible chance to create the most magical moment of spotting the creature of your dreams.
As for the weather, technically speaking, you can dive all year round, but due to the large number of cyclones that hit Cuba in October and November we advise you against traveling that time, and with our safety first approach, we also do not run diving tours at this time.
For best visibility and most comfortable swimming temperatures, December to April is the optimal time.
This is an infamous query, there isn’t a straight forward answer we can give you.
There are several logistical questions to answer to start with, how far do you have to travel to get to Cuba? Will your luggage go straight through? How long are you staying for? How many dives are you planning on doing – if you travel with us, there will be quite a few!. What is the cost of equipment rental, again when you travel with us, this is already included. Is the diving centre reputable? Do the have relevant accreditations and experience? DO you have enough luggage space and the list goes on…
So here is what we recommend, as a very bare minimum, bring your masks! As whilst we will provide these for you , we cannot guarantee the perfect fit, and there is nothing worse and annoying than water seeping in as you are trying to enjoy the sights below water level.
Another point for consideration is that diving is a high risk sport, and whilst we go through diving centres with relevant qualifications and experience, you may want to consider to have your own diving computer and regulators. That way you can have 100% peace of mind that everything is in as good a condition as you’d like to have them.
How are you getting to Cuba?
I’d say 99% of the time, this will be by plane. Ok you may tell me that I am stating the obvious! However, air travel affects our bodies, whether you realise it or not, so as a diver, this is not something you can overlook.
Even though commercial airplanes have pressurized cabins, divers still are at risk for decompression sickness. As much as airplane cabin pressure work for the average human, for a diver the cabin pressure is still lower than ground-level atmospheric pressure. Effects can be the same when you ascend from your dive too quickly. Sufficient to say that if your body has been diving, you will want to make sure you have sufficiently off-gassed before you board your flight. True, there are a few reputable dive organizations that have different dive-fly recommendations, each one hinging on; the number of dives, depth, and decompression dives, erring on the conservative side and leaving ample buffer between your last dive and your flight home is all part of smart dive planning.
Lucky for you, we have planned the itineraries of our dive tour to ensure that we do not take you to or even through high altitudes after diving, and that you have at least 24 hours off diving before you head to the airport! Safety first is something we take seriously.
In Cuba there are certain cave dives that can be scary and tough on even the most experienced divers, if you are a beginner, do not risk going in there. Not only put yourself at danger, but others who are in your group also.
Do your research of your diving sites, if you are unsure, ask the questions before your dive.
Plan your trip around your dives
No lucky for you, if you come on a small group tour, it is easy to plan! Each diving day, we will head out to the sea in the morning and will have the afternoon/evening to explore Cuba!
We have arranged some activities around your dives and even on days where we haven’t you have your local tour guide on hand who knows the place like the back of his hand. He can help you create some fantastic experiences, anything from salsa dancing, to cooking classes, to attending museums, markets, cave discos and more. All you need to do is tell him what you would be interested in and he will get you sorted – Cuba Photography Tours.
Also, if you are joining us on our diving photography tour, you can take this time to learn more from our experts, like how to process the pictures you have just taken under water? The options are limitless really, it’s your choice how you want to make the best of your experiences.
It is important to understand what is included in your dive trip. Often marine fees are an additional charge, and sometimes a dive guide is not included. So when you travel independently or even with some tour companies, it is something you will have to account for. When you choose to travel with Simply Cuba Tours we already included your dive fees, ensured that you have a dive guide and on occasions, you may even have your tour guide diving with you. Yunior is a diver himself and has prepared his dream dive trip for you.
I hope the above has given you some pointers on how to prepare for your next dive trip. If you have more questions, please feel free to venture over to our FAQs to find the answer, and when you are ready to venture on your next dive holiday to Cuba, make sure you check our diving tours out!