The dive center: Located in the famous Varadero beach area, the Gaviota Varadero dive center invites professional and recreational divers to discover a beautiful underwater world with 16 sites in transparent waters, crowned by an incredible variety of marine flora and fauna, among which you can find schools of fish including yellowtail snappers, snapper, as well as barracuda, spectacular eels and coral. Furthermore, in the Cayo Piedras del Norte Marine Park, the first and only of its kind in Varadero, you’ll discover sunken ships of different types, adding an exclusive touch to this dive center. Dive services operate Monday through Saturday (closed Sundays).
Facilities: Snorkeling in coral reefs, day and night dives at varying depths, international ACUC certification courses, specialties and instructor courses, as well as dive initiation courses in pools and introductory courses.
Cayo Piedras del Norte Sunken Ship Park
The vessels in the sunken ship park are attractive for their characteristics, ideal for dive activities, seducing the professional or recreational diver into this silent world of unparalleled beauty and color, composed of schools of multiple species of fish and coral in their structures, making it an obligatory site for dive lovers. This is the first and only Marine Park in Varadero, situated just 9 nautical miles from the Gaviota Marina in Varadero, just 20-30 minutes by boat, where the average water temperatures are between 25-30 degrees Celsius and the average annual horizontal visibility is 30 meters.
Due to the amount of time the boats have been underwater, most are covered in coral, converting them in artificial reefs, due to the number of organisms that have colonized them. Fish are abundant around and within their structures where they find shelter and protection, offering great color and vitality to the Underwater Park, which together with the excellent lighting and visibility make this area ideal for underwater photos and video. Among the most common fish you can observe are the maidens, yellowtail snappers, angelfish, barbers, and adult specimens of eels, barracudas and other colorful small fish. You’ll also observe the presence of small sponge and coral species that, together with the fish and lobster species, offer a beautiful scene in the Cayo Piedras del Norte Underwater Park and make it an unforgettable adventure for divers.
The sunken ships
A 102-meter long 1500-ton Russian Patrol Ship equipped with double 57mm cannons in the bow, double 76 mm cannons in the stern, two double 30 mm cannons on the sides, antiaircraft missiles with 2 rockets in launch position, and 2 antisubmarine reactive bombs sunk in 27 meters of water with its highest point just 2 meters from the surface, allowing for diving at varied depths depending on the experience and preparation of divers.
La Ciudadela, an oil tanker sunk in 30 meters of water, with its highest point at 16 meters.
The Morenas boat, a steamship which sunk in 1940 in 9 meters of water.
A 300-ton, 29-meter steel tugboat sunk at 17 meters.
“El Patico” and “Mal Tiempo”, shrimp boats sunk at a depth of 10 meters.
Marina Gaviota Varadero Diving
Prices in USD
Dive Reservations/Minimum Booking Requirements:
No Fee: For WoWCuba clients booking hotel, car rental reservations or tour packages. No minimum dive requirement.
Dive packages are priced individually and are non-transferable.
Included: bcd/regulator, wetsuit, mask/fins, weights, tanks, boat, dive guide, transfer Varadero hotel-dive center (RT)
Excludes: add’l equipment rental, meals, gratuities
Requires: presentation of international dive certification and foreign passport. Cuban nationals require previous National Coast Guard authorization to board dive vessels.
Note 1: up to 2 daily dives available in this destination, specific locations pending weather conditions. Gaviota Varadero dive center closed Sundays.
Note 2: If your dive destination involves domestic flight services, WoWCuba suggests keeping in mind that domestic flight schedules in Cuba are irregular and subject to last minute changes. It’s recommended not to fly within 24 hours of your last dive so avoiding planning/programming any diving on your last day in the destination is prudent.
Note 3: WoWCuba cautions travelers to avoid overbooking dive services especially on Cuba’s north shore during the winter months as cold fronts can often negatively affect planned nautical departures. In Varadero when dive departures are cancelled on the north shore, prepaid dive services in Varadero are normally protected on the south shore in the Zapata Peninsula.
Dive Course in Gaviota Varadero
||Prices in USD|
Includes: all theoretical and practical equipment, boat, dive guide, 4 dives, transfer Varadero hotel-dive center (RT).
Excludes: meals, gratuities.
Requires: Presentation of foreign passport, signed medical waiver and 2 1″ x 1″ photos. Cuban nationals require previous National Coast Guard authorization to board dive vessels. Divers completing Advanced (or superior) courses must present their current certification and logbook.
Notes: Total open water/advanced course time is normally 3-5 days, pending weather conditions. WoWCuba recommends a minimum of 4 nights in the destination to avoid disappointment. Take possible inclement weather into consideration when forming your travel plan to avoid disappointment. If the selected destination involves domestic flights, planning for an extra night is wise. It’s recommended not to fly within 24 hours of your last dive so avoiding planning/programming any diving on your last day in the destination is prudent.