Scuba Diving In Varadero Cuba {Review}

Scuba Diving In Varadero Cuba {Review}


Post Last Modified – October 15, 2020

Outstanding Scuba Diving In Varadero Cuba

One of the things I still love to do when taking a tropical vacation, is to spend a day scuba diving. I’ve had the pleasure over the years of diving in many parts of the world, and spending a day Scuba Diving In Varadero Cuba was excellent!

Our Scuba Diving And Snorkeling Tour

 

My wife is not a scuba diver, but does enjoy snorkeling and coming along while I’m out on the water on a diving excursion. Many of the dive shops in and around Varadero offer excellent dive packages where non divers can join the fun, for a reduced price.

➡   I selected a popular dive package with Atlantis Varadero Dive Shop, as it seemed perfect for the two of us which included;

➡   A 2 tank reef and wreck dive by boat;

➡   Snorkeling for non divers;

➡   Buffet lunch at Cayo Blanco Island;

➡   Dolphin Experience;

➡   Transfers to and from our hotel.

As I only dive now when traveling, and because I’m not as young as I used to be, I enjoy diving at comfortable depths to 100 feet maximum. This dive was perfect for this and the wreck we were going to dive on, was at about 80 feet maximum.

Prices (at time of post):
Buceo Plus – Certified Divers – 99.00 cuc
Snorkeling Plus/ Companion –  79.00 cuc

A Look At Our Scuba Diving And Tour Excursion

Hotel Pick Up And Drop Off

With all our tours taken while in Varadero, our scheduled pick up times were as planned. This was no exception and our driver was right on time! It was just a few minutes ride to the small marina where our boat would be departing from.

After arriving, filling out the required forms and getting my dive gear and wetsuit prepared. We did have to wait for at least 30 to 45 more minutes for our boat to arrive at the dock. This gave me a chance to meet and have a picture taken with the manager of the Dive Shop I made our booking with.

2 Excellent Boat Dives

We were then on our way to our first dive location, at least 30 minutes away. This gave us time to relax, enjoy the view and meet our fellow divers who had joined the tour.

The two dives were excellent!  Water was crystal clear, warm and lots to see. The wreck dive was just fabulous. It was an old steel tug boat, no acting as an artificial reef with an abundant of marine in and around the submerged vessel.

Two wonderful dives that were just perfect for beginner or intermediate divers. Or experienced divers like myself, that prefer not to deep dive any longer.  

My wife really didn’t get an opportunity to snorkel at these locations, because of the depth we were at and the seas were quite choppy as well at the time.

This was a little disappointing, as we were told there would be great snorkeling for her at these sites.

If you are booking a dive / snorkel package, make sure you’re going to a dive location where snorkeling is easily accessible and shallow enough for them to enjoy.

Lunch At Cayo Blanco

After our two excellent dives, it was then off to the Island of Cayo Blanco for our buffet lunch.

Located about thirty minutes by boat from the Varadero area peninsula, this island is a very popular and extremely touristy destination.

This is where the catamaran tour excursions and up, making the island very crowded with tourists. We only had to time for lunch, so we didn’t really have a chance to explore the island for what it’s known for … Pristine white sand beach and crystal clear waters!

As for the buffet? Well, not quite what we expected. It’s an open buffet for all the tours arriving to the island, not a lunch exclusive to us. The food was disappointing to say the least. Hot dishes were cold, canned vegetables, limp salad … I’m sure you get the jist.

There was an open bar with cold beer, so that was a bonus! 🙂

Huge loud music speakers were on the beach outside the buffet, so if you’re coming for peace and quiet and looking for a small island paradise, don’t bother. This is more of a party type atmosphere with lousy food, but an open all inclusive bar which seemed to be the main attraction! 🙂

The Dolphin Experience

After lunch and just across from the island, was the dolphin experience. There’s an enclosed dolphin pen where you get an opportunity to get up and close with the dolphins and watch the trainers show.

The short show and feeding was quite entertaining and it appeared the dolphins were well looked after in their enclosure. A nice way to finish off our dive package excursion.

Pros:

➡   Pick up at our hotel was as scheduled;

➡   Dive equipment supplied was in good shape. We did bring our own masks, snorkels and fins with us;

➡   The dive sites chosen for our dives were excellent. The dives were not deep, the marine life and the wreck we dove on were great;

➡   The dive boat was an older deep sea fishing vessel. Comfortable, but crowded with divers, crew and equipment;

➡   Staff were friendly and supplied a cooler with cold water;

➡   Dolphin experience was entertaining.

Cons:

➡   After arriving at the dock and fitted with wetsuit and equipment, we were kept waiting for up to an hour standing around for departure in the hot sun;

➡   Dive master did not go over any safety procedures with us prior to entering the water on our two dives. There were no instructions as to where we were diving or what we were going to see. This could have made novice divers a little uncomfortable, not knowing what to expect or not having a safety briefing;

➡   The boat was not equipped with a proper ladder for divers, making it extremely difficult climbing back up into the boat after each dive;

➡   The dive sites selected were not appropriate for snorkeling as was mentioned to us. The water was too deep for my wife to enjoy her time in the water to snorkel and see and marine life or reefs.

➡   Lunch on the island was poor, but the beer was cold! 🙂

➡   After arriving back to the dock, we had to wait at least 30 minutes for our shuttle bus to take us back to the hotel.


 

For me, the dives were very enjoyable and the equipment supplied was in good condition. It was a fun outing on the water for the two of us, but things certainly could be improved overall for a professional dive shop in Varadero.

This is our personal experience and feedback on our day spent on this dive tour. I would definitely recommend checking our reviews on TripAdvisor and other review sites before booking your dives.

I’ve listed the Official Cuba Tourist Board’s link below to their website for your convenience. It’s filled with excellent information to assist in your travel planning to this beautiful island in the Caribbean.

✈   Cuba Tourist Board

 

Safe and Healthy Travels! 🙂

Did You Know …

“The Daiquiri cocktail was invented in the historic La Floridita Bar in Old Havana, Cuba.”

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