All the diving on Isla de la Juventud is arranged through the Marina Siguanea (daily departures at 8.30am, returning at 5.30pm; 46 39 8438), which offers five-day training courses, plus single dives (or a range of dive packages) for certified divers.
There are over fifty dive sites along a 6km strip of coast between Punta Francés and Punta Pedernales, at the western tip off the island’s southern coastline, and close to Cayos Los Indios, about 30km out from the hotel, where there are two shipwrecks. The following sites are among the highlights.
El Cabezo de las Isabelitas
5km west of Playa El Francés. This shallow site has plenty of natural light and a cornucopia of fishes, including goatfish, trumpetfish and parrotfish. An uncomplicated dive, ideal for beginners.
2km west of Playa El Francés. Reaching depths of 42m, this site takes its name (“the blue cave”) from the intensely coloured water. Although there are several notable types of fish to be seen, the principal thrill of this dive is ducking and twisting through the cave’s crevices.
4km west of Playa El Francés. You’ll be provided with a lamp to explore this dark, atmospheric cave where Christmas tree worms, tarpon and a wealth of other fish species take refuge.
Los Indios Wall
5km from Cayos Los Indios. A host of stunning corals, including brain, star, fire and black coral, cling to a sheer wall that drops to the sea bed, while you can see stingrays on the bottom, some as long as 2m. There’s a $10CUC supplement for this dive and you need a minimum of five people.
Pared de Coral Negro
4km northwest of Punta Francés. The black coral that gives this dive its name is found at depths of 35m, while the rest of the wall is alive with colourful sponges and brain corals, as well as several species of fish and green moray eels.