Diving and Snorkle, Varadero
There are around 32 diving sites-including one at the Piedras del Norte Cay Underwater Park-between the Bay of Matanzas and the western tip of the Jardines del Rey (Gardens of the King) Archipelago. Three marinas-the Chapelín, Puertosol Dársena de Varadero and Gaviota-offer you the means for scuba diving: appropriate vessels, trained personnel, courses in scuba diving, a hyperbaric chamber and the transportation required for handling emergencies. The water at Varadero is so clear that you can see for 100 feet (30-40 m) under water. The temperature almost never falls below 75.2º F. (24° C.), even in the winter.
Punta Perdiz is a top diving and snorkelling spot, but its just one of those unmarked drives off the main road, with nothing to indicate where you are (maybe there was a small sign, but nothing like a bar or anything).
This site is located in the Bay of Pigs, in the Caribbean Sea and you can swim up to it from the coast. It is one of the most spectacular wall diving sites, since the ecological conditions in the area have favored the development of a typical and exuberant underwater ecosystem which accompanies divers right from the coastline down to the very edge of the wall, at a depth of scarcely 10 meters, then drops off sharply to over 300 meters.
Cueva de los Peces is a cenote, a naturally occurring hole in the ground, half salt, half fresh water - 70 meters deep. There are hammocks, palm trees, lush vegetation, lizards, birds, crabs, and best of all the water itself - all the fish in the sea in a smaller area.
There's a restaurant where they serve excellent crocodile and lobster dishes..
This was our second dive excursion with the Barracuda Dive Club from Varadero beach - 2 tank Wreck Dive (Caribe and Neptuno).
Both were shallow dives at 10 and 11 meters respectively, kind of good introduction dives for newly wannabes certified divers.
Remains of and old German merchant ship sunk in 1943. There are many angel fish few barracudas , groupers, lobsters...One of the speial treats is the greenish yellowish moray eel of up to 2.5 meters long which is fed from the divers hands with a texture completely disgusting....
You can reach this coral barrier from the beach. There are over 30 species of coral, some quite developed that come up to the surface, interlinking to form channels, passages and caves, the habitat of a peculiar and fascinating fauna.
Who can resist that cute face? ( and I don't mean the one in the West Ham shirt ).
Just a couple of hundred metres from Beaches Hotel was the Dolphinarium. To swim costs 65 Pesos ( £1 = 1.7 Pesos) and you get about 30 minutes in the lagoon and it's worth every penny.
They photograph ( 8 Pesos ) and video ( 35 Pesos ) you and they are very professional, you can view before you buy.
Awesome experience that everyone should try.
The Varasub is a semi-submersible boat with a glass bottom and it gives an opportunity to see the marine life for those who don't want to dive or snorkel. It takes very close to the reef, so the view is perfect. Inside is quite claustrophobic and by the end of the trip the air isn't really fresh.
These spotted goatfishes were phographed by Patrick Noel. More of his great photos can be seen at http://perso.wanadoo.fr/pnoel/index_US.html