International Diving Center Jardines de la Reina
The Jardines de la Reina Archipelago is extended through all the Southern area of Ciego de Avila and Camaguey provinces to 80 km (50 miles) from the coast. Its narrow and long keys emerge from the Caribbean Sea, covered by a very typical forest such as dense and green mangrove forest and small palms which are the habitat for diverse species of sea birds, jutias and iguanas. In the South they are limited by beaches which are the natural place for thousands of sea turtles arriving on the nesting season every year.
This Archipelago is surrounded by sea bottoms full of any type of underwater creatures. The coral reef emerges very near to the keys Southern coast, forming a colorful labyrinth where life develops in all its beauty populated by a diverse bentonic fauna represented by thousands of species of corals, sponges, gorgonians, echinoderms, crustaceans and mollusks.
Fish living in these coasts are the main attraction of the zone, because here you can find the big and docile jewfish “sleeping” peacefully while small fish remove their parasites, sucking lobsters skillfully from crevices for food, or gathering in groups for reproduction in certain times of the year.
You can also find the whale shark (known as pez dama or damero in Cuba) with schools of tuna fish, eating lots of small fish vertically, mainly during the spring season. There’s a daily show with sharks, which belong to the Carcharhinidae family, that live near the reef. You can also see jacks, tarpons, spadefish, big barracudas, parrotfish, snappers, groupers and many others species that swim in the reef.
There is only one diving center in this wide and virgin zone located near Cayo Caballones, where there is also a small floating hotel offering 11 rooms with air conditioner, private bathroom, restaurant-cafeteria and other facilities for divers and fishers. There are also two boats available with lodging capacities.
Dive Zone: Cayo caballones, Archipiélago Jardines de la Reina, Júcaro, Ciego de Ávila.
Dive Boats: 2 yachts, with capacity for 12 pax.
Compressors: 3 BAUER (KAP-14, KAP-15)
Bottles (Luxfer and Cressi): 40 steel 15 liters (106 pies cúbicos).
Hyper baric Chamber: Hospital de Cárdena a 379Km. (237millas)
Description of the bottom: The waters around the Cuban archipelago are characterized by their gentleness – mild tides and no strong currents -, their warmth over 24°C all year round, their virgin conditions – no pollution and well – preserved bottoms -, the diversity of its underwater flora and fauna, and the total absence of aggressive animals.