Hotel Maria la Gorda
Villa María la Gorda is located in the westernmost part of Pinar del Rio, Cuba, in the Great Natural Park Guanahacabibes, declared a UNESCO Natural Biosphere Reserve. While the hotel is located on a nice beach, the main attraction is its world class scuba diving. Most dive sites are located within a 10 minute boat ride and the furthest is about 30 minutes away. María la Gorda also has its own International Dive Center and dive boats depart the hotel wharf three times daily. If you prefer to snorkel, the wharf provides a great opportunity with plenty of tropical fish and some coral within easy swimming distance.
Hotel rooms are equipped with accommodations in twin single beds (~ 10 triple rooms available in the 20 newer wooden bungalows which are set back slightly further from the sandy beach), private bath (shower only), satellite tv and mini-fridge.
Divers at this property can expect to see shipwrecks, cannons from Spanish galleons, lots of coral with canyons, tunnels and caves, and even black coral with 100-meter long walls. Coursework is available here, including referral courses for beginners looking to make the most of their precious holiday time in Cuba. Services at Maria la Gorda are basic but many experienced travelers recognize this property as a gem for its off-the-beaten-path charm and the pristine natural surroundings. A sea turtle conservation program takes place nearby, manned by university students studying marine biology.