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Simply Cuba Scuba Photography Tour

A$7,309.00

AUD: Australian dollar (A$)

Are you ready to explore Cuba’s underwater world?

The waters surrounding this island nation are filled with life that has remained untouched by human hands for centuries. This makes it an incredible destination for divers who want to experience something truly unique in the underwater world. The Cuban archipelago is situated in the northern Caribbean where three major oceans come together to form one of Earth’s most unique and exciting habitats. The mixture creates rich environments that create rich and inquisitive nature. And when you’re not diving in crystal-clear waters there are plenty of opportunities to immerse in the Cuban culture through this 10 day trip. Read full itinerary below.

Why should you join us?

  • Your safety is our priority at all times
  • Get the inside scoop on hidden gems from our local guide
  • Reef Diving, Shipwreck Diving, Wall Diving and more
  • Build a stunning photography portfolio with the help of award winning experts

Got any questions before booking? Schedule a call with our expert today!

 

 

 

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Trip Summary

Cuba is a country of many natural wonders, from its gorgeous beaches to bewitching reefs. The water there gives you the chance for some incredible photography and exploration; it looks like an artist’s palette with all sorts colors upon which artists have drawn their paints in order represent what they see through these waters! Underwater creatures dwell within this beautiful painting too - brightly colored coral colonies create vibrant displays against deep blue backgrounds while sunken ship wrecks offer up clues about history unknown even by those who live on land here.

 

Our motto for all our tours, especially our diving tours, is safety first. Therefore, we have chosen diving centres that are certified by the American Canadian Underwater Association (ACUC) as well as Underwater Activities World Federation (CMAS) to international standards. Providing certified diving gear, so you don’t need to bring your own.

Pristine, warm waters with great visibility provide the perfect underwater playground awaiting you to discover it. Each spot will allow you to go between 15 to 30 metres, some areas offer deeper dives for the more experienced. This is a photographer’s heaven; every turn has a near-perfect shot to be taken. The exotic marine life in Cuba is lively and colorful. Parrotfish, balloonfish, and green moray are sighted amidst anemones, untouched sponges and mollusks. On the seafloor, you may see shrimps, Caribbean spiny lobster, batwing and channel clinging crabs crawling. Let's not leave out the cushion star, red heart urchin and sea cucumbers either!

Cuba is amongst the most intact marine ecosystems in the region. It will not disappoint.

Start your exploration of this wonderful country in Havana, picture pastel-colored buildings fronting wide, gracious squares; vintage American autos rolling through streets lined with iron lampposts; street musicians singing and strumming guitars. Wonder through the cobblestone streets of Old Havana, UNESCO World Heritage Site to take in the sights.

From Havana, we make our way to Trinidad, where the time has stopped in 1850 and hasn’t yet restarted. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988, it is Cuba’s oldest and most enchanting ‘outdoor museum’. We will spend 3 days here, each morning, we will head out to the International Diving Centre at Peninsula Ancon, about a 15-minute drive from Trinidad, where you get to collect your diving gear and head out to sea on a boat for your diving spot. There are about 20 sites to choose from, so each plunge will have something new on offer for you. There is an impressive cliff with corals, sponges, crabs, octopus, and various fish species to see. You may even get to discover some wrecks along the way. Having the afternoons off will allow you to wonder through the cobblestone streets, of this well-kept colonial town and soak in its romantic atmosphere with ornate buildings. Enjoy its nightlife dancing up a storm at various night venues.

From Trinidad, we head to the French colonist Cienfuegos, settled in 1819 around the most spectacular and natural bay. We will spend days diving at Faro Luna International Diving Centre. Each morning we head out by bus, which is about a 25-minute drive down the South coast of Central Cuba to the entrance of Cienfuegos Bay. This place offers some of the most exciting diving spots, which is why it is the home of a yearly International Foto Sub Contest. The pristine waters offer an exotic underwater scenery of exuberant corals and fish species in vibrant colors.

The last diving destination is Playa Giron, a small fishing village on the southern Cuban coast, which is part of the Cienaga de Zapata National Park. It is located in the southern part of Bahía de Cochinos (Bay of Pigs). This area is also Cuba's largest wilderness area, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, with various ecosystems of wetlands, mangrove forests, coral reefs and underwater canyons, which makes it a perfect diving spot! It is also the perfect spot for a night dive, that we can arrange as an optional activity.

What you will love about this trip

  • Get to know Cuba on a deeper level than any other tourist can with the help of our local guide
  • Experience a sense of wonder as you explore new places
  • Gain more confidence in your abilities as a photographer with the guidance of our experts
  • Inspire others to protect our oceans and their inhabitants through your portfolio
  • Experience authentic cultural connections
  • Explore the most beautiful underwater paradise
  • Discover sunken shipwrecks, coral reefs and amazing marine life

Is This Trip Right For You?

  • Be aware! We NEVER use hotels! Our aim is to give back to the community, as such we always use Casas as our accommodation option. Of course, we are aware of western comfort requirements, so as a standard, we ensure pillows, air conditioning, and private bathrooms.
  • In saying that... Do remember that you are in a country with lower infrastructure standards. As such, power cuts, especially in cyclone season are expected. Water pressure may be low and hot water in short supply. This really just adds to the adventure.
  • Previously Cash was king! Some service providers now insist on the use of credit cards to reduce cash handling, but be aware that some cards may not work in Cuba. So have several options available.
  • Internet access is available but is limited. Why not choose this time to switch off and relax? If it is not entirely possible, we will assist you to get connected.
  • Come without expectations, as things don’t always go to plan. And bring your sense of humor, in case you need to deal with things in 'Cuban time'!
  • The roads can be a challenge, whilst we ensure we get you there safely, it may take longer than you would expect in any other part of the world. Please read the itinerary carefully for travel time estimates.
 

Places You’ll See

Havana
 

Further Information About Our Tours

Want more info in preparation for your trip? Our Trip Information page provides further information regarding things you need to know, accommodation transfers, emergencies, passport & visa info, what to pack and more, that you may need to know about this adventure. Click here to read

We also provide you with detailed joining instructions prior to your travel. 😎

Trip Outline

Day 1 – Havana

Welcome to Cuba!

A complimentary transfer from the airport to the guesthouse is included with your trip to ease you into the life in Cuba. You can check in at any time, your casa hosts will be waiting for you. If you arrive early, enjoy your free time till your welcome meeting at 6pm. Depending on your arrival into the country and how you feel there are some options for you to discover Havana. Maybe even get your supply of Wi-fi cards sorted for your stay…

Special Information A complimentary arrival transfer is included with your trip. Please ensure you provide your flight details at least 14 days prior to travel so the transfer can be organised.

Please see ‘Joining instructions’ for more information about exiting the arrivals hall and connecting with your arrival transfer driver who will take you to your guesthouse.

It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let us know.


Day 2 – Havana

UNESCO sure does have great taste, they know a good thing when they see it. Today you’ll start the day by discovering Old Havana, a World Heritage site since 1982. See the glorious grandeur of this dynamic area, one of the Caribbean’s most impressive historical cities.

Wonder through the narrow streets and spacious plazas, admiring the Spanish architecture as you discover the birthplace of Havana – Plaza de Armas, and other iconic sites like Plaza San Francisco de Asis, Plaza Vieja, Plaza de la Catedral, and hear about the love story of Havana before setting out to Trinidad. About 6 hours south of Havana on the glittering Caribbean coastline, it is one of a kind, a perfectly preserved Spanish colonial settlement where the clocks stopped in 1850 and haven’t yet started.

The cobblestone streets, horsing carts, well-kept colonial atmosphere with ornate buildings, and garden terraces give this gorgeous city a romantic, old charm that is hard to beat. Once we settle in our casas in Trinidad you will receive a guided city tour to get your bearings before you have the evening off to discover the buzzing nightlife in Trinidad.


Day 3 to 5 – Trinidad

Get ready for your first dive photo session!

Each day, we will head out to the International Diving Centre at Peninsula Ancon, about a 15-minute drive from Trinidad, where you get to collect your diving gear and head out to sea on a boat for your diving spot. There are about 20 sites to choose from, so each plunge will have something new on offer for you. There is an impressive cliff with corals, sponges, crabs, octopus, and various fish species to see. You may even get to discover some wrecks along the way. For your surface time between the plunges, you will return to the center for snacks, toilets, rehydration, and a little break.

Once your dive is over, we head back to our casas where you can have a nice afternoon siesta before enjoying the afternoon and evening off to discover what Trinidad has to offer. There’s plenty to do!

We can help you arrange anything from salsa lessons to rum tasting, to a visit to the various museums or even the Cave Disco to dance the night away at Trinidad’s nightspots with the local residents who are more than willing participants in dancing to the local live music.. Feel free to ask your guide to help you create an itinerary for your free time.


Day 6 & 7 – Cienfuegos

Cienfuegos, is a French colonist town. If Cuba had a Paris this place would be it. The elegance of the place combined with a feisty Caribbean spirit and lingering Spanish influence earned it not only the nickname ‘Pearl of the South’ but also a UNESCO Heritage Listing in 2005.

We will spend the days diving at Faro Luna International Diving Centre. Each morning we head out by bus, which is about a 25-minute drive down the South coast of Central Cuba to the entrance of Cienfuegos Bay.

This place offers some of the most exciting diving spots, which is why it is the home of a yearly International Foto Sub Contest. The pristine waters offer an exotic underwater scenery of exuberant corals and fish species in vibrant colors.

This amazing diving center offers world-class gear and facilities as well as the most experienced dive masters in Cuba. Again your surface time between plunges will be back at the diving center.

Diving will be in the morning, so you can rest and relax in the afternoon. Remember your guide can offer you and help you arrange optional activities to create an amazing holiday! Feel free to ask…


Day 8 & 9 – Bay of Pigs

Playa Giron, a small fishing village on the southern Cuban coast, is part of the Cienaga de Zapata National Park. It is located in the southern part of Bahía de Cochinos (Bay of Pigs). It was one of two beaches invaded by US-backed exiles on April 17, 1961. The invasion is famous because it culminated in a victory for the army and Cuban militias.

This area is also Cuba’s largest wilderness area, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, with a varied ecosystem of wetlands, mangrove forests, coral reefs, and underwater canyons, it’s home to a massive variety of colorful birds and tropical fish, which makes it a perfect diving spot for a few more fun days to come in the water!

There are a couple of International Dive Centers here 15-30 minutes drive from our base offering highly experienced Dive Masters making your experience all that better. Here, you won’t have to take a boat to head out to the diving spots as the center has a 200m platform leading you to an amazing coral reef – a perfect paradise underwater. It is also the perfect spot for a night dive, that we can arrange as an optional activity.


Day 10 – Havana

It’s time to say goodbye to this amazing island. We have not planned any activity for you today so you can rest and relax.

Your check-out time is 12pm. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we loved showing it to you!

This is where we depart, yet would strongly recommend that you stay a few more days to explore this unique city. If you would like to take this opportunity, please let us know and we can arrange extended accommodation for you for an additional fee.

 

Trip Inclusions

Meals

9 Breakfasts 8 Lunches 9 Dinners

Accommodation

Standard Guesthouse (9 nights)

Transport

Private Vehicle

Included

  • Local Tour Guide
  • Underwater Photography Expert
  • Old Havana Walking Tour
  • Trinidad the best-preserved colonial city orientation tour
  • Diving at Trinidad’s exuberant coral reefs (6 plunges)
  • Cienfuegos the Paris of the Caribbean orientation tour
  • Diving at Faro Luna, enjoy the scenery like no other (4 plunges)
  • Diving at Bay of Pigs, discover sunken shipwrecks (4 plunges)

 

Our Photography Experts

Shane Gross

Ten years ago he decided to dedicate his life to telling the ocean’s story through photography. The ocean is home to the most stunning creatures, great and small and it also tends to be the first place impacted by the modern, human way of life. Shane’s goal is to show both sides in as powerful and emotional way possible to help inspire change.

Over the last decade his commitment to marine conservation photojournalism has only strengthened. Shane hopes to be able to do this for rest of his life. With your support he can take more and better images. Shane can spend his time working in the field and be free to fight for the ocean.

Thank you for your support. Shane cannot begin to tell you how grateful he is. He strongly believes that together we can make a real difference.

Hear what Shane has to say.  

Jono Allen

Australian born and raised, for over a decade Jono’s been devoted to searching for unique wildlife encounters, this pursuit has led him to extraordinarily wild places across all corners of the planet. While the location and wildlife consistently change, the motivation and drive behind these expeditions remains the same, the pursuit of connection.

Jono strongly believes the difference between merely ‘ticking a box’ and having a life changing experience purely comes down to our connection with nature. The difference between simply seeing a whale underwater compared to having one you’ve connected with spin around you in bursts of joy is incomparable.

Along with engaging wildlife to evoke powerful encounters and photography, Jono possesses a deep love for capturing the relationships between individual animals and uncovering their unique personalities. No matter how often you encounter wildlife, nature has an infinite amount to teach us, all we need to do is learn to listen and understand.

 

Kerri Burow

After a childhood filled with swimming and lifesaving, Kerrie first started diving while living in Asia in the mid-1990s, taking the sport up again six years ago on a trip with scientists tagging dwarf minke whales off the outer Great Barrier Reef – a journey filmed in a David Attenborough documentary.

Kerrie is now a technical and CCR diver and a multi-award winning underwater photographer. She loves documenting her underwater adventures in cold to temperate to tropical waters, and particularly enjoys adventurous travel and diving in remote locations.

In 2021, Kerrie was named one of Australasia’s Top Emerging Photographers for her shipwreck photography.