The Bay of Pigs is something of a secret destination, even by Cuban standards, but that might be changing as more people hear about the amazing diving that’s on offer here, as well as a number of other fascinating attractions. Here’s why you should plan a visit to the Bay of Pigs in 2018.
It’s undiscovered by most tourists
The Bay of Pigs is found in a rarely visited area on the south of Cuba, and that is part of its appeal. There are hardly any other tourists here, so you’ll be able to dive and relax without being swamped by other people.
It has great diving conditions
You won’t have to worry about the cold at the Bay of Pigs. Water temperatures reach 29°C in summer, and drop to 22°C in winter, with air temperatures similarly balmy.
You can dive to a precipice that runs between the towns of Playa Largo and Playa Giron, which makes for a very dramatic sensation.
Dive the Jaruca wreck
In 1994, locals deliberately sunk the Jaruca to provide another interesting dive site for visitors. If you’ve never dived a wreck before, this is a good place to start.
Dive El Cenote
This limestone sinkhole is found in the Zapata marshes. It has been explored to 70 metres (230 feet), but no one knows how deep it is.
Around 12 kilometres (7 miles) south of Playa Larga lies this tiny sandy beach surrounded by forest. Come early in the morning and you might well have the place to yourself.
Visit the Bay of Pigs invasion museum
Playa Giron and Playa Larga were the main landing sites for a failed 1961 invasion that aimed to depose Fidel Castro. A museum in Playa Giron tells the story of the United States-backed invasion and the battles that took place here.
Head into the Parque Nacional Cienaga de Zapata
This national park is home to manatees, crocodiles and more than 1,000 species of plant, bird, mammal and reptile. It’s easily accessible from both Playa Larga and Playa Giron.
Cueva de los Peces
‘Fish Cave’ is found at Playa Larga, on the east coast of the bay. Visit this inland cave filled with fresh water for a refreshing change from the sea.
Marvel at a crocodile breeding centre
In La Boca de Guama you will find a breeding centre for Cuban crocodiles, which is an endangered species. You’re better off seeing them here than in the wild.
Relax on the beach
When you’re not diving, you can chill out on some of the great beaches in the area and hang out with friendly locals. Those who like to fish can throw a line out, too.
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