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Weekly report on Cuba's tourism industry
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Cuba: Tourism under Water

The Cuban archipelago, full of tourist attractions in several modalities, treasures a vast wealth under water that attracts diving enthusiasts.

Located in an excellent geographic area, the archipelago offers diving as an option to be enjoyed throughout more than 70,000 kilometers of insular platform and along some 5,000 kilometers of coasts.

In fact, nearly 6,500 species of fish, crustaceans, sponges and mollusks, as well as several species of corals, turn Cuba into one of the best-preserved underwater ecosystem in the Caribbean region.

Three dozens diving centers operate throughout the country, where tourists can take initiation courses and diving tours in the coral reefs and caverns, under strict international standards for that activity.

In addition, underwater photography in Cuba benefits from well-preserved seascapes and leisure at hotels that meet the demands from sea lovers.

The sea bottoms provide additional elements, due to the country's history and traditions, which are also present under water.

Scuba diving
Sea bottom

More than 500 diving zones have been identified and studied in the Cuban archipelago, taking into account the seascapes, exotic areas, caves, vertical walls and tunnels.

For diving, experts recommend Isla de la Juventud (Isle of Youth) and Cayo Largo del Sur; María la Gorda, in Pinar del Río; the area off Havana's north coast, and Varadero and its underwater artificial park.

They also suggest the Zapata Peninsula for cave diving, as well as the coastal area in Cienfuegos, which holds the coral known as Notre Dame, which is six meters high, among its wonders.

Diving also benefits from an average water temperature of more than 24 degrees Celsius, in addition to a horizontal visibility of more than 30 meters most of the time.

In eastern Cuba, Esmeralda and Guardalavaca combine their beach offers with the attractions of the underwater world, in addition to the exclusive option provided by the Bahía de Naranjo Natural Park, while in Santiago de Cuba, divers can visit the remains of the Spanish Armada that was sunken in the late 19th century.

In Cuba, a medical emergency system guarantees divers' safety with a network of hyperbaric chambers in hospitals and extrahospital facilities.

Archeology also offers particular attractions, as the remains of ships can be found on the sea bottoms, as an example of the active commercial activity in the region for centuries, military events and accidents, among other causes.

In addition, coral reefs are a few meters from the coast, thus protecting Cuba's beaches and creating attractive seascapes for tourists

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