Jan 15, 2017 - Cuba 2016-2017 - Marine Life
For 2016-17's visit to Cuba, in addition to seeing Havana, it was also a priority that the chosen resort have snorkeling directly from the beach. Research on TripAdvisor helped to select Memories Jibacoa and the location turned out to be perfect.
From the beach, you can walk in up to your knees, and launch into the water and immediately be treated to amazing sights. Closer to the shore are grasses and coral stone, and the farther out you go the more diverse things get.
The photos in this post were shot with a Lumix waterproof camera. It's not as complex a camera as my others, but with a Leica lens and snorkel mode to adjust white-balance, it worked remarkably well and was easy to manage.
When snorkeling in this location, I typically spent 1.5-2 hours of swimming at a time, and you are only 500-700 meters from shore. There is a lot of coral structure to explore, and once you get out there flipping, it's very easy to just stay out there, relaxing and seeing what's around the next corner. Without fail my fingers were wrinkled every time I returned.
The farther you got out from the shore, the more coral there was to see. At one point was a coral barrier, and when you got past that the water dropped off to a depth of 30-40 feet. It was such a great experience to swim around for hours in this area, observing all the life there was to see.
If you're looking for a great beach and a place to snorkel within easy reach of all your hotel amenities, I'd highly recommend Memories Jibacoa. It checked all my boxes as far as peace & quiet, beach, swimming, snorkeling and access to nearby Havana.