Jardines de la Reina is one of the most remote areas of Cuba. It is an archipelago of islands and keys located south of the island, between the municipalities of Ciego de Avila and Camagüey, southeast of Playa Larga. The crystal-clear waters and exuberant environment make Jardines de la Reina a beautiful place to fish, dive, relax and enjoy the area’s natural attractions.
The Jardines de la Reina area is composed of more than 200 small islands and cays that offer a wide variety of marine and terrestrial ecosystems. It is considered one of the largest biosphere areas in Cuba, as it is home to a great variety of animals and plant species, including birds, reptiles, mammals and many, many species of fish.
The name originated in the 16th century when Christopher Columbus named a region in his homage to Queen Isabella of Spain. The name has stuck to this day and the Queen’s Gardens have become one of the favorite diving destinations worldwide. It is also one of the favorite sport fishing destinations in all of Cuba.
What to do in Los Jardines de la Reina?
A boat excursion to the Jardines de la Reina is one of the best diving and fishing experiences in Cuba. The area is made up of a coral reef crisscrossed by channels and bays that are often teeming with marine life. The coral reefs are full of enchanting tropical fish, rays, sharks and crustaceans.
Boat excursion to the Queen’s Gardens
If you go on a boat excursion to the Queen’s Gardens, you can expect to tour the coral reef, stop at white sandy beaches to sunbathe and enjoy swimming. You can spend the day snorkeling the coral reef, exploring the channels, searching for buried treasures in the sands and sport fishing. However, be sure to bring your own snorkeling gear or rent it from the local marina.
To ensure a safe and proper experience, be sure to hire an experienced and trustworthy boat skipper. Also keep your belongings protected and keep in mind that it is preferable not to bring valuables that you cannot carry on this excursion.
Discovering the history of Jardines de la Reina
To complete your trip, visit some of the beautiful historical sites in the area. Jardines de la Reina also has an interesting natural history. The area was inhabited by the Tainos, an ancient indigenous Cuban civilization, until the 16th century.
The Best Cays and Beaches of Jardines de la Reina
This unique destination is one of the destinations recommended by visitors to Cuba. Most people who have visited this natural reserve say that it has been one of the best diving experiences they have ever had in their lives, due to the beauty of the seabed and the great amount of Caribbean fish species they could observe. Below you can discover the best cays of Jardines de la Reina and its beaches:
Ana Maria Cays
The Ana Maria Cays are a group of small islands located in the gulf of Ana Maria, in the province of Ciego de Avila. It is a place full of virgin nature, perfect to enjoy a unique diving immersion, since they offer an indescribable seabed full of unique and beautiful species. Later on we will talk about some of the keys belonging to this group, such as Cayo de Algodón Grande, among others.
Cinco Balas Cays
The Cinco Balas Cays are located near the Isle of Youth. It is a small group of islands perfect for diving and observing the great amount of marine life it offers. It also has some of the best coral reefs in the world. In this area you can find some hotels where to stay, as well as excursions and organized activities to have a great time.
Caguamas Cay belongs to the province of Camagüey and is also part of the Jardines de la Reina Archipelago. It is an island of about 12 square kilometers that has no inhabitants. It is characterized by its majestic coral reefs and the beauty of its beaches, as it has about 5 kilometers of beaches. The key also has refreshing breezes and a wide variety of marine life.
Twelve Leagues Cay
Twelve Leagues Cay, also known as the Labyrinth of the Twelve Leagues, extends to the south of Camagüey, Ciego de Avila and Sancti Spíritus. It is a place with spectacular virgin beaches and is an ideal destination for diving and snorkeling. The dives around the twelve leagues offer the possibility of seeing coral compounds and aquatic life of different species and colors. However, it should be noted that it is somewhat difficult to navigate its waters.
Big Cotton Cay
Algodón Grande Cay is located a short distance from Cayo Anclitas and is characterized by 4 kilometers of beaches, as well as mangrove forests and reefs. That is why it is possible to practice water sports such as marine fauna watching. As we said before, it belongs to the keys of the Gulf of Ana Maria.
Anclitas Cay belongs to the province of Camagüey and is characterized by its enchanting crystal-clear waters, ideal for diving in its warm depths. There it is possible to swim among the corals and see various marine species that inhabit the area. In total it offers an area of about four square kilometers.
Caballones Cay is an enchanting destination for beach and marine species lovers. In this key of about 16 square kilometers it is possible to see a great variety of fish and brightly colored corals.
Granada Cay is a small island with beautiful beaches surrounded by tropical vegetation and the intense blue sky of the region, which makes it an ideal place to relax. You can also enjoy the marine life, such as beautiful colorful wakes, sharks and rays.
Breton Cay is located near Cayo Granada and belongs to the province of Ciego de Avila. It is home to a large amount of marine life, as well as some bird species. The landscape offers almost 7 square kilometers of nature, surrounded by crystalline waters.
The Weather in Jardines de la Reina
Below you can see the weather in Jardines de la Reina live:
JARDINES DE LA REINA WEATHER
Diving in Jardines de la Reina
Diving in Jardines de la Reina is a unique experience, that is why many people around the world decide to dive in this adventure, and never better said. Below you can see a small example of the seabed of Jardines de la Reina:
How to get to Jardines de la Reina
To get to Jardines de la Reina you have to hire an excursion by boat or cruise, which will also include food and all kinds of amenities to spend a dreamlike week observing the seabed.