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Maria la Gorda /the fat Maria/ is one of the best spot on Cuba for diving and snorkelling. 

Maria la Gorda and more precisely the San Antonio Cape /Cabo San Antonio/ is the westernmost point in Cuba. According to the International Hydrographic Organisation of San Antonio Cape, Maria la Gorda divides the Caribbean Sea to the south from the Gulf of Mexico to the north. The access is through a quite bumpy road from Pinar del Rio. However, when I first got to Maria la Gorda I realized that the uncomfortable ride was worth it. The place brims over with iguanas, savage beaches, and coral reefs starting just a few meters off the coastline… Heaven! Make sure you have a pair of aqua shoes, though, especially if you are a snorkeling fan.

TO-DO LIST in Maria la Gorda:

  • If you go diving you will see shipwrecks, coral gardens, sea canyons, and natural tunnels every now and then. Don’t miss underwater reefs such as Yemaya and the Maria’s Hall Cave. If you visit the district in August or September you might encounter whale sharks. Barracudas, eels, lobsters, angelfish, turtles, and many other sea inhabitants will be your companions all year round. Find out more about fishing in Cuba here. 
  • Another good reason to visit Maria la Gorda is the vast beach coastline of around 1000 sq m, which is part of the six biosphere reservations in Cuba under the protection of UNESCO. You will see a lot of savage breathtaking views here – birds, crabs, turtles, reptiles…
  • For accommodation, I suggest Villa Maria la Gorda, which has Information deks with more than 50 spots for diving to 35 m depth. The divers can watch coral formations, turtles, seaweed, devil-fish, moraine, glasseye snappers, and countless other kinds of sea fauna. Find out more about fishing in Cuba here.

An now, who is the “Fat Mary” – the godmother of this place? The locals say that the Fat Mary /tha last princess of Cambridge/ moved here and traded food and goods with the pirates and the corsairs passing by. However, there are no actual witnesses to prove the legend…

Another popular place for diving in Cuba is located in the Gardens of the Queen archipelago. Find out more here.