Scarlet-breasted Maori wrasse
Underwater Photography



PLEASE NOTE: The location of the dive sites is in most cases estimated and only approximate.

Click to expand the list of all Bahia de Cochinos (area) dive sites. The selected dive site is shown with a red pin on the map.

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Bahia de Cochinos (area), Cuba

Dive Sites Dive Centers etc.


April 2008. The Bay of Pigs (Bahía de Cochinos) is a large bay with excellent dive sites at the east side of the bay between Playa Larga and Playa Girón. The west side belongs to the Zapata National Park, a place especially appreciated by bird watchers. Unfortunately, diving is not allowed there. From Havana, Playa Larga is easily accessed by car (120 km, ca. 2 h trip). Both Playa Larga and Playa Girón are small towns without much touristic infrastructure. There is a simple hotel in each and a number of private rooms for rent. Don’t expect restaurants or shopping beyond the most basic goods. I spent my time in Playa Larga, 2007 in the hotel and 2008 in a private room. The hotel is very basic, the rooms were in bad shape, the swimming pool was broken, and the food really bad. There is a small beach at the hotel with very shallow water especially good for children. This is the only positive point for this hotel, otherwise I can’t recommend it. In 2008 the hotel was closed for renovation, hopefully it will be reopened in a better shape. Private rooms are in general much nicer and cheaper (20 – 25 CUC per room and night), and if you are lucky, the food is excellent (6 – 10 CUC for dinner). The dive center is close to the hotel and pretty well equipped, although some diving equipment looks pretty much used. I bring my own gear, so I don’t care. The dive center even offers nitrox, which is not a bad idea if you plan to do several wall dives per day. The dive guides are friendly and since coming there requires some individual planning it is not at all crowded. Actually, most of my dives were with 2 – 4 divers including the guide. There are more than 15 spots and the guides try to arrange that you see something new on every dive. In most cases I could suggest were I wanted to go. The largest drawback is that there is no boat, that means the bus of the dive center brings you to the various places for shore or cave diving. A nice point is that they pick you up in the hotel or in your private room. Once I was picked up with an old school bus, quite strange, since I was the only passenger. But that is Cuba. The coral reef directly starts at the shore which gives you also nice places for snorkelling. Most interesting is the wall, a huge drop-off along the coast only a couple of meters from the shore and easily accessed swimming. I did not find any information on the depths of this wall, but rumour says it goes down several hundred meters. Wall diving is thus the highlight of diving in the Bay of Pigs with crystal clear water and wonderful underwater landscapes. Here you find little caverns and canyons and everything is covered with a large variety of corals and sponges. Some of the sponges are really impressive huge. There is not too much fish, probably because of over-harvesting in the past. Since a couple of years fishing is not allowed any more, and the dive guides are actively enforcing this. On the other hand, I have even seen goliath groupers twice (unfortunately no picture), different types of other groupers, many large barracudas, and turtles. Just watch the gallery to get an impression. There are several small wracks on the shallow part of the reef which are easily accessed by divers. Another highlight in this area is cave-diving, most popular are the Fish cave and El Brinco cave. At the fish cave you find a little dive center were you can rent your gear. From here you have access to the reef and to the cave. On top you ill see a little pond with coral fish swimming around. At 25 -30 m you can enter the cave. El Brinco cave has spectacular clear, transparent water. Of course, this is only for advanced divers with special training and equipment! Ask Francis Veulens, the head of the Playa Larga dive center, if you are interested. He also offers courses in cave diving from beginners to advanced levels.

Playa Larga
Dive Center Playa Larga
Going diving
Rocky Caribbean beach