...fish, vintage cars, vernacular towns, and an amazing trip to the flamboyant under water world!
I was in a small - but very eager and excited - group of four during our four-week trip to Cuba that wanted to go for at least one day on a scuba diving trip. In our minds, the perfect place to do just that was the Isla de la Juventud in the south of Cuba. It was described in all of our travel guides as THE spot to go diving. Apparently, it was one of the best places to scuba dive in the entire Caribbean. Well, I wouldn´t know, since we did not get to go. We did make it to the island, which is an entirely different and spectacular story on it´s own, but we never made it into the water. Since we were all four unfortunately beginners and had not scuba dived one single time in our lives, the weather was too bad (too windy they said) for us to be taught properly.
Back in Havanna though, what turned out to be the best thing that could have happened, we contacted a scuba instructor who´s number we had gotten from a friend. Within a day he had organized the most perfect day for us. He took us to the southern beaches, to a little fishing town who´s name I unfortunately do not even remember at the moment since I was too excited at that time to notice where he had taken us. (I should probably look it up some time soon now). We arrived at a casa directly at the water front in a small bay. Palm trees, sand, patio, and even a hammock! The whole scene was so serene and calming, we were already in such a peaceful and happy mood, the rest could only be as great and pleasant. We packed all of the equipment and the bright yellow oxygen bottles and stowed it in our bright blue, old car! And then headed towards our destination where we were taught in a rather short but precise fashion how to properly scuba dive. Once we were ready, we got to see a ship wreck, and the edge of the riff, which was quite nerve-wrecking but extremely awesome. One side was full of fish and corals, the other was just straight down a couple of hundred meters deep! And we went as deep as 20 meters - how cool is that!
The feeling of diving was sensational and something I will definitely never forget. What made the trip so great and rewarding was the personal guide and the fact that for four of us, we had two instructors teaching and helping us. After two sessions of going under water, we had a really, really, really good meal at the casa, including lobster, crocodile, several sorts of fish and soup and salad...it was amazing and delicious. Needless to say, this was one of the greatest days during the entire trip to Cuba.
If you ever want a personal and great planned trip from morning till dawn, I can definitely recommend them both! They are currently working on their website, since they will be offering entire tours of several days or weeks for exclusive diving in Cuba. Not only for beginners. I think, to be honest, they usually guide more experienced divers than our little group! We were lucky, it was phenomenal!
(I will post their website here as soon as they have finished and put it up online)
For now, have a look at the pictures I took during the trip. Unfortunately none of them under water as I do not own an under water camera! That´s something I will invest in the next time around.