Scuba Diving in Jardines de la Reina

Jardines de la Reina (English: Gardens of the Queen) is an archipelago in the southern part of Cuba, in the provinces of Camagüey and Ciego de Ávila.

It was named by Christopher Columbus to honour the Queen of Spain. Jardines de la Reina was established as a national park (Spanish: Parque Nacional Jardines de la Reina). With a surface of 2,170 km2 (837.8 sq mi), it is one of Cuba's largest protected area.

In 1996, Los Jardines de la Reina was declared a Marine Natural Park. Access is restricted and limited exclusively for Avalon Fishing and Diving Center. Commercial fishing has been banned from all but the outermost edges of the Park. Some divers after been here call it today the “Galapagos of the Caribbean” and come always back again.

The 75 mile long mangrove and coral island system form what is said to be the third longest barrier reef in the world. Certainly, it it is one of the last virgin reefs available to the diving world. Like so much of the Caribbean, the real beauty is below the surface. Extensive flats teem with fish. A chain of coral reefs, very close to the southern shore of the archipelago, is made up of undisturbed and undamaged coral.

Jardines de la Reina Scuba Diving Center

All dives are done in a totally intact environment, being at a top level but technically easy. These characteristic make the Jardines de la Reina the perfect destination for both absolute beginners and those experienced divers who for once are looking for an exciting but not too engaging holiday.

Typical of these depths are underwater gullies and vertical walls rich in cracks and grottos. Very common are lots of medium sized fishes, barracudas, jacks, and turtles. Very numerous are also reef fish of any possible colour: their reaction is typical of those species that haven’t been in contact with human beings yet. They are curious and suspicious but not scared. More rare but entirely possible are, on the other hand, encounters with the big species such as sharks, tunas and cetaceans.

Jardines de la Reina Avalon Diving Center

The Avalon Diving Center is the only operator allowed by law in this entire area and hosts no more than 350 divers a year.

Our Avalón International Scuba Diving Center offers scuba diving courses at all levels, with internationally recognized certificates. 50 dive sites are currently available, scattered over the entire perimeter of Los Jardines de la Reina. Dive sites are well protected from the winds and sea currents

Diving GearDivers Taking a Good Rest

There is no commercial fishing in the Park and the number of inhabitants is zero. Imagine a marine wilderness with blue lagoons, coral walls covered with brightly huge sponges and colorful corals plunging well below the limits of safe diving to shallow reefs filled with both schooling and solitary fish and wrecks (even some of the legendary Old Spanish galleons from the l7th century.)

The Center of our operations in Jardines de la Reina is the Floating Hotel "Tortuga" and is well equipped with new compressors, tanks and weights, some small and two 41-foot and one 33-foot dive boats.

Floating Hotel La Tortuga

The floating Hotel gives the possibility to reach the diving sites in a few minutes by fast and comfortable dive boats and allows to live at close contact with a still wild nature, without having to give up all the comforts that a hotel can guarantee.

Motor Club Yacht El HalconSafari Boat La Reina

Safari Boat “LA REINA” : You can admire on liveaboard this wonderful Natural Park, going on a cruise aboard this professionel Safari Diving Boat, 58 ft., 4 cabins with bathroom/shower, A/C, max.8/9 Persons.

The Motor Club Yacht “HALCON”: The Flagship of the Jardines de la Reina is the Club Yacht “Halcon”. of 75 ft., 2 GM, 450HP, very comfortable, 6 cabins, 3 bathrooms, A/C. max. 10/12 Persons.

Safari Boat “CABALLONES”: Liveaboard on our New build Safari Dive Boat “Caballones” 58 ft., comfortable, 4 cabins with bathroom/shower, A/C. max. 8/9 Persons.

Next to our Safari Yachts Caballones and Halcon there are a few diving boat untill 33ft. So diving is very comfortable and all diving equipment stays on these boats.

Dive tanks are built of stainless steel, so they are heavier than the aluminium ones which are normally used in the tropics: carefully gear up your weights. Remember to bring spares of everything as well as all camera equipment and film, practically unobtainable in Cuba.