Trip to Playa Larga: an adventure through the reefs
A friend called my house early. He was interested in making a trip to Playa Larga in the province of Matanzas. They had given him good references and he was not going to miss the opportunity on this visit to Cuba. The invitation was attractive, so I made the necessary arrangements and we went on a tour of the Bay of Pigs.
We had several options to access Playa Larga: on a Víazul company bus that left from Havana to the Ciénaga de Zapata, then continued to Cienfuegos ending in Trinidad; We could also get to Jagüey Grande where almost all the buses stop and take a taxi to Playa Larga (it’s cheap); or choose an ASTRO bus that leaves Havana to Playa Girón on alternate days. We decided on the first one and started the tour.
The idea of taking a tour to the Bay of Pigs is excellent because the area has magnificent funds for diving and snorkeling, not as renowned as that of María la Gorda, but of great quality and transparent waters. They explained to us that there are more than 30 dive sites, with access from the shore so we do not need to rent a boat. Less than 50 meters from the coast, we were able to observe large coral formations with caves, precious corals and the remains of shipwrecks.
The underwater areas impressed us a lot, especially the colonies of black coral, gorgonians and sponges. The underwater caverns belong to the Montemar speleolacustre system. We made many friends in Playa Larga who, seeing our interest in diving, recommended that we explore the Cueva de los Peces, El Cenote and El Brinco.
At the Octopudos International Diving Center, we were offered several alternatives: snorkeling, night diving, open water diving or receiving introductory diving courses. For this they have 13 diving points and direct immersion from the coast.
The offer was tempting so we stayed at the hotel and continued the adventure. The next morning we learned that Playa Larga is a small town of around 2000 inhabitants, in Coletón. There are about 200 houses. In addition to the Diving Center, they have a central office for the Ciénaga de Zapata National Park and an International Bird Watching Center. We wanted to get to know its residents up close and we stayed at Motica y Santico’s rental house, in the Zapata Swamp. Accommodation that we recommend, they are very friendly people.
During the day we make new dives. Immediately appeared elkhorn corals (Acropora cervicornis), brain (Diploria spp.), Leaf corals (Agaricia agaricities), star corals, sea fans (Gorgonia spp.) And various species of fish.
When we reached the stream, about 100 meters away, we found the wall that the fishermen had told us about, with a depth of approximately 40 meters. The hours passed and the seascape never ceased to impress us. This adventure was a magnificent decision.
Have you visited Playa Larga?
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