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Weekly report on Cuba's tourism industry
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Cuba: A Paradise under Water

The largest Antillean island, full of history, traditions and culture, also possesses a true paradise under water, thanks to its privileged geographical location and the beauty of the seabed surrounding the island.

Diving, a true complement to the leisure industry, can be practiced along more than 70,000 kilometers of Cuba's platform, with some 5,000 kilometers of coastline, bathed by both the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.

Nearly 6,500 species of fish, crustaceans, sponges and mollusks, as well as many species of corals, turned the island into one of the best-preserved underwater ecosystems in the region.

On many occasions, immersions take place directly from the coast, where divers can enjoy colonies of species such as sea fans, elk horns, leaf mountainous stat and bride's bouquets.

Some 30 specialized diving centers operate throughout the territory of the Caribbean island, with facilities for initiation courses and immersions in coral reefs and caverns, following international standards for that activity.

Diving also benefits from an average water temperature of 24 degrees Celsius (75.2 degrees Fahrenheit), along with a horizontal visibility that often exceeds 30 meters.

Sea bottom
Lobster
Sea bottom

In Cuba's westernmost province, Pinar del Río, the María La Gorda International Center provides up to 40 diving spots, as well as one of the largest colonies of black coral in the waters surrounding the island.

Moreover, in a zone between the Bay of Matanzas and the western region of Jardines del Rey, 32 diving spots are waiting for diving lovers, with singular attractions such as the Ojo del Mégano Cavern and the Cayo Piedras del Norte Marine Park, the only one of its kind in the Cuban archipelago.

The flooded caves in the Zapata Swamp are an interesting chapter for cave diving, while Cienfuegos, in the central part of the island, treasures a famous pillar coral known as Notre Dame, which is six meters high and resembles the well-known cathedral in Paris.

The world's second largest coral reef, which runs 400 kilometers parallel to Cayo Sabinal, Cayo Guajaba, Cayo Romano and Cayo Cruz, gets closer to Cuba's coastline at Santa Lucía, offering a fascinating world inhabited by 200 species of sponges, 500 species of fish and even the remains of 27 sunken ships.

Also in eastern Cuba, Esmeralda and Guardalavaca combine their offers of beach and sun with the attractions of an underwater world, as well as the exclusive option that is the Bahía de Naranjo Natural Park, while in Santiago de Cuba, divers can visit the remains of the Spanish fleet sunken in the late 19th century.

Weather conditions on the island, which is surrounded by warm waters, favor diving as a complement to traditional tourism, offering visitors a breathtaking beauty that cannot be reached without submerging into the depths of the Caribbean sea.

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