María La Gorda - 20 photos

This beautiful zone is a paradise for divers. 5 Km of idyllic beaches and stunning sunsets. Diving is the primary reason why most people come here. Good visibility, sheltered offshore reefs and the largest formation of black coral in the archipelago are enough reasons why enthusiasts make the long trek from the east.

The place was named after a voluptuous and beautiful venezuelan who was marooned here by pirates and turned to the provisioning business for the ships and men entertainment, to survive.

The experts consider that María La Gorda marine channel is among the ten more privileged of Latin America due to her abundant marine life and extraordinarily beautiful corals. Experienced plungers stand out the descents through extensive vertical walls to the coralline nests, the exploration of tunnels and caves, and the discoveries of the remains of old Spanish galleons.

The diving area María La Gorda in the Ensenada de las Corrientes is one of the most protected areas in Cuba. It is located inside the limits of one of the best and conserved biosphere reservation in the whole world. Is pleasant to witness the effort that has been made to maintain the local habitat, there are keepers in the access highway to the tourist facilities to protect this magnificent natural reservation. This diving area has its origin in a chain of emerged land, modeled by the waves and the marine current of the Gulf of Mexico. It has astonishing development of coralline reefs located at a very brief distance to the coast. From the 5 meters deep (16 feet) you can see big coral formations with a permanent and abundant fauna, especially gorgonias and more than 20 coral species interacting with many small and middle size fish.

The main exponents of the fauna in María La Gorda area are the typical inhabitants of the sea Caribbean like the barracuda, lobsters, eels, angel fish, crabs, etc. Also other species like sharks, line fish and the turtles can be seen although they are not typical of the area, but in the months of May and June the sandy beaches are populated of turtles coming to build their nests; August and September is the time for the whale shark to take a bath in the bay among big banks of well-known tuna fish, known in Cuba as "Bonitos", also followed by other species of sharks like hammer head shark, nurse shark and blue shark.

Regarding flora we have a great gorgonias variety like Acroporas, Madrasis, Oculina, Diploria, Scolima, and many other, commonly well-known as sea fans they can grow until really enormous dimensions in these waters. María La Gorda is a fantastic scenario and it possesses a marine channel, rich in marine species and with reefs of coral of extraordinary beauty, all of that makes of this area an ideal place for the diving and the ecological tourism.