Jardines De La Reina

Jardines De La Reina, Cuba: Address, Phone Number, Jardines De La Reina Reviews: 5/5

Jardines De La Reina
Situated on the Caribbean, the Gardens of the Queen consist of a vast area with countless islands, reefs, beaches and flats forming a large archipelago of about 200 km long. Over 400 km separate Habana from Jucaro, the harbor with access to the fishing areas. All the sport-fishing species abound in the Gardens of the Queen: bonefish, permit, tarpon, snook, jack Crevalle, barracuda, snapper, etc.
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67 reviews
Very good

W K Van
Singapore, Singapore118 contributions
Mar 2020
Our dive trip to the Jardine de la Reine was about a year and a half in the planning as it involved 8 persons from Singapore and 2 from the USA. So we were very excited when the trip became reality, just before the Covid 19 outbreak took a grip on the world.

The diving did not disappoint. This was one of the few reefs that I have seen that was really pristine and unspoilt. Granted the biodiversity was not as prolific in the Coral Triangle of the Pacific, but what was there was interesting and obviously very different - Tarpons, Atlantic Goliath Groupers, Nassau Groupers, Caribbean reef Sharks, Silky Sharks, Great barracudas . The list goes on.

We were aboard the Avalon II, which was comfortable. The cabins were a bit small but with the empty dive bags deposited in the lounge and a bit of back-pack discipline, it was manageable. We were given 4 dives a day, which was plenty as far as I was concerned. However, dives 1&2 and dive 3&4 were placed too closed together, with about only 1 hr, surface interval. That being said , the dive masters took us on a very safe dive profile. There were always 2 dive masters per group and one of them always acted as a sweeper for those lagging behind to take photo.

Diving conditions were perfect - good visibility, minimal or no current although a bit chilly. A 5mm. wetsuit with a hood solved the problem.

All in all, a once in a life-time experience for divers who hail from the other side of the world.
Written April 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

London297 contributions
Feb 2019
Went with one of the boats January last year (7 days) and the diving was fantastic BUT unfortunately I also had a bad experience
The boat I was on had small cabins for 2 and I was sharing with a very good diver from Switzerland (whom I did’t know before).We were told that for security reasons we were not allowed to lock the cabins but that they had never had any problems so to leave stuff was totally safe.
Well it wasn’t...Call me stupid but I left quite a bit of cash on a “locked wallet” in a locked photo bag and when I left the boat....most (but not all-they were smart) was gone.
I was quite disappointed with the reaction from the diving company who basically yawned.
I had supposed they would be very upset with this information but that wasn’t the case and it all left me with bad taste in my mouth...
So go for the diving but be very very careful bringing any valuables to the boats....they are NOT safe even if you lock it up
Written January 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Upminster, UK4 contributions
Nov 2019
Just come back from having a week on the Tortuga fishing, the staff were absolutely brilliant, couldn’t be more helpful and the food, omg 😮 it was amazing, three cheers to Israel and his helper for a magnificent menu.

Thanks Mark Ellwood
Written December 10, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Bristol, UK4 contributions
Feb 2019
My partner and I have wanted to dive the Jardines de la Reina since visiting Cuba for the first time in 1997 but the diving package and flights were just too expensive for us. However having reached our sixties and finally tying the knot after 40 years we thought we would splash out. Absolutely worth every penny. Stayed on a live aboard boat with Avalon. It was great with separate small dive boats to take us to the sites, great people, great food, great cocktails, even a jacuzzi on the top deck. Could not fault it at all. Best holiday ever!
Written September 9, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kelly C
USA43 contributions
Jan 2019
Did a live aboard with Avalon and it was great. The dives were great and were the dive masters. The entire boat crew was great.
Written April 13, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Hong Kong, China778 contributions
Nov 2018 • Solo
The Avalon is a comfortable boat with nice beds and bedsheets, though it’s a bit dated. The dive masters are knowledgeable and know where to find the sharks and marine animals, be it crocodiles, iguanas or turtles. The rental equipment is in reasonable conditions. You stay on one boat and dive from a smaller one which takes you to different dive sites in the total 22 dives. The breakfast is from 6:45-7:30am. The boat leaves at 7:45am for the first dive. The two Saturdays when you board and disembark you have no dives. Then on the last whole day - Friday, you only have two dives. There were two night dives in this trip but there wasn’t much to see in the night dives. The food is reasonably good with varieties such as fish, pork and beef and salad and fruit every meal. The bed sheets and towels are changed once on Tuesday. The downside is the crew run this liveaboard experience as if it were a military training. The schedules were really tight with 20 min only for you to shower after the last dive, then it’s dinner time. You had hardly finished the food, they were already asking if they could take the plate. You felt that they were in a rush to finish work and it was no good to eat more or stay at the dinner table longer. The light on the deck and the corridors were switched off at 8:30pm and you had to go back to the room if you wanted to read etc. Absolutely no other entertainment except diving. It’s a diving trip after all. The air-con rooms and corridors that led to the rooms were really cold and it’s really uncomfortable when you were wet and you had to brave the way into the room to change. The tips they requested were 300usd in total and the last day (Saturday), the breakfast was 4:30AM and they really preferred you left as early as you could although in my email confirmation the disembarkation and checkout time was 9:30AM. They sent those who used their car transfer service at 5AM on the Saturday they left the boat. If you book via padi travel, the transfer is 95-100usd. But the last day they take you back to Havana in one big bus (not private transfer according to the flight time), no matter you have a flight that day or not. In my group, only one couple has 4pm flight and the other 4 groups didn’t have the same day travel, we still were woken up at 4:15am and got shoveled onto the bus at 5am. I didn’t pay for the transfer but they were so eager to send me away by providing it free for me so I do leave at 5am, I guess they want to tidy up the most for the next group... Overall it was a nice diving trip in which I could see lots of silky and carribean sharks in a small group (only 8 divers in this group), see most of the fish varieties including really big groupers in extremely clear water, though it was a bit repetitive in the morning with sharks only every first dive, and there was a lot of pressure throughout the week and I certainly need a few days to relax after this 7-days.
Written November 30, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Paris, France13 contributions
Jun 2018 • Couples
The place is great. There is only one company which is allowed in Jardines de la Reina. We were on Tortuga (for diving), which is a nice hotel in the middle of the mangrove. The staff is really friendly and helpfull, a pleasure. The place itself is beautiful, in and out the water.

But in the other hand, many behaviors observed during our diving trip was not so good:

-Diving staff touched wildlife. Thanks god, not so often but we felt really bad when a guide was trying to catch an crab on some coral - at one point, I really thinked he was going to crush him.
-One guide (actually the director of the diving activity) broke a massive block of coral, trying frenzily to get some pictures of a Goliath grouper. Which was really stressed, chasing in a fissure by him and another divers.
-As they touch wildlife, they cannot say anything to their guest ; and so many people began to touch fishes, catch crabs and touch sharks.
-They basically feed everything: sharks, groupers, crocodiles, even a big specie of rodents called "hutia". I'm not confortable with that as they completely change their behavior in order to please the tourists. I know that for sharks, some studies said that it has not really any impact on their migration behavior - so ok, why not but we need more studies about it, I think. But for other species, is it really necessary and healthy/sustainable for them? Especially when they play with a croc, attracting him with a chicken and driving him nuts just for an American who wanted some spectacular pictures (trying to make him jump, taking a boat in order to make him moving, etc)

I think this place needs more strict regulation - and join the international Guidelines for responsible diver (Longitude 181 - FFESSM). Especially for those 3 points :
"-Avoid contact with fixed plants and animals
-Do not bother the animals (If they take refuge in their hiding-place, do not force
them out – they are already stressed enough. Wait without moving until they calm down and come out again)
-Do not feed the fish. You change their behavior and unbalance the ecosystem"
Written September 10, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Danny H
Houston, TX15 contributions
Jul 2018
After a 7 days tour of Cuba in the summer we were ready for some diving. The boat ride from Juarco was 5 hrs but comfortable. We stayed on the Tortuga which is a moored hotel barge. Accommodations were adequate and comfortable. The crew on board Tortuga were very attentive. The dive operation is extremely well run. Highly experienced dive masters with many years diving the same sites. No Nitrox on Tortuga! Amazing untouched coral and great populations of marine life including sharks, turtles, rays, and, many species of fish. You must dive Cuba to appreciate the potential of the Caribbean.
Written August 6, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kurt W
Carlisle, PA104 contributions
Aug 2018 • Friends
Spent a week aboard the Jardines Aggressor II sailing out of Jucaro, Cuba. The Oceans for Youth Foundation facilitated this P2P program for our group of 5 Americans. Can't say enough good things about the entire experience. The vessel, crew, diving conditions and arrangements were all first class. The scuba diving was simply awesome. Every dive was a shark dive. Exceeded our expectations on every level (which were high already, having done other Aggressor liveaboards). If you like to dive, you must go to Cuba!
Written August 6, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kevin Berglund L
6 contributions
Mar 2018
Exceeded all expectations. Can't wait to go back! Avalon II was amazing and the crew and guides were second to none! Simply put... paradise!!!
Written May 14, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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