Diving and Snorkeling in Jibacoa
In Cuba, Jibacoa is the destination of choice if you wish to enjoy good snorkeling from shore. The proximity of the reef from the beach makes it easy to be able to spend as much time as we wish to explore the wonderful underwater world without having to organize and pay for a boat trip.
If you are staying in one of the two all-inclusive hotels (Memories Jibacoa or Villa Jibacoa) and don’t have your own snorkeling gear, it’s possible to borrow a mask, tuba and fins at the Water Sports Center for a period of one hour per day (free of charge). Note that during the low season, they often allow you to keep the equipment for a longer period of time. But anyway, it’s always better to bring your own gear to be able to enjoy more time over the reef and a better fitting equipment.
Right in front of the watersports center at Hotel Memories Jibacoa, there is a small coral patch in shallow waters very close from shore (approx. 3 meters); it’s a great place for beginners to practice. When the sea is calm, the visibility is usually very good and we can easily spot the areas where the corals are located. The reef is rich in marine life, we saw many species of colorful fish, sea urchins, crabs, eels, lobster, etc. At the bottom of this page we listed all the species we identified and photographed in Jibacoa.
One the best spot to enter into the water is in front of the beach restaurant (ranchon) at the Memories Jibacoa. In this area the bottom sea grass strip is narrower and faster to cross before accessing several nice coral patches. In this aerial image look for the area shaped like a maple leaf, this is a great snorkeling and diving spot. You’ll find in this area a nice sea wall (about 10 meters high), crevasses, giant coral heads, and an abundance of marine life. In this picture taken from the center of the maple leaf, you can see the hotel Memories Jibacoa about 170 meters away.
Scuba diving enthusiasts will be pleased to know that Jibacoa is one of Cuba’s cheapest destinations for diving. It's also one of the rare places where it’s possible to go scuba diving directly from the beach, but they also have a boat on-site to take certified scuba divers off-shore to many different diving sites.
Prices (2017) hotel Memories Jibacoa :
- Diving from the beach, equipment inlcuded: 25 CUC per dive
- Diving excursions by boat, equipment inlcuded: Click here to view Price List
They offer free introduction lessons in the pool (at both all-inclusive hotels, Memories and Villa Jibacoa), but no full courses or certification. The Dive Center hotel Memories Jibacoa is located on the beach at the west end of the resort, and in the same building as the gym. Their dive boat usually does two excursions per day.
At the Memories Jibacoa there are two fresh-water showers to rinse your diving or snorkeling gear. There’s one next to the ranchon (beach resrautrant), and another one behind the dive center and gym.
PROTECT THE CORALS!
Everywhere in the world, corals are victims of global warming, but also tourism. Over the years we saw in Jibacoa an increasing number of dead or damaged corals; their latest enemies being: careless divers, sunscreen lotions and pedal boats. Please respect this delicate ecosystem; Don’t touch anything! Don’t stand on corals!.
Avoid riding a pedal boat over the reef during low tide! It’s too risky to touch and break corals which are very close to the surface in many areas! Stay away from fire corals which cause severe skin irritations and a burning sensation. To avoid putting too much sunscreen lotion, which has damaging effects on corals reef, we always were a t-shirt (or dive shirt) while snorkeling to protect our back from sunburns, but don’t forget to protect your neck and legs. Coral safe sunscreen lotions are available on the market.
We also have another website dedicated exclusively to the marine world. You will find in this website pictures and videos of many species of fish, corals and other specimens, taken during our snorkeling expeditions in different parts of the world; as well as information about our underwater digital cameras, and a few tips. It’s our tribute to this wonderful world of color and diversity that should be respected and protected. The address: neptune.destilino.com .
Lily & Normand