Bay of Pigs - Bahia de Cochinos, Cuba
Zapata Peninsula Park UNESCO has declared to be a biosphere preserve, Cienaga de Zapata the largest wetland in the Caribbean is located on the Zapata Peninsula 177 km - 109 mi southeast of Havana, know as Bay of Pigs or Bahia de Cochinos. Isolated and serene is an ecotourism area, the Bay of Pigs is famed for its marine species, coral reefs and the birds. Ideal place to practice snorkeling, scuba diving, off-shore boat fishing, birdwatching and hiking.
Zapata Montemar National Park is well-known for local endemic Cuban crocodile. The main core area of the Biosphere Reserve and the Ramsar, is one of the best birdwatching area in the Caribbean.
Swamps, countless canals and natural watercourses are typical of the rugged landscape of Zapata Peninsula. It is an extensive ecosystem made up of mangrove forests, keys, seagrass beds, coral reef barriers and deep reefs, including the Cazones Gulf, a deep underwater canyon that is the main site of important species such as porgies and groupers. Mangrove forests is the best preserved in Cuba.
If you prefer fresher fishing for such species as Tarpor and Snook, the Hatiguanico River and its tributaries offer you of placid water and modern vessels facilities specialized fishing guides.
Transfers in flat bottomed vessels, you can stay at the Horizontes Don Pedro Fishing Camp or the Playa Larga Hotel, which offer ideal conditions for fishermen. Bring your own fishing gear.
Zapata Peninsula Park is a place where you don’t need a boat to reach the Scuba Diving or Snorkeling areas, because the slope is so close to shore. Ramsar site scuba diving in the open sea and in caves flooded with brackish water linked to the speleo lacustrian system.
Scuba Diving Centers:
• Octupus International Scuba Diving Center, Playa Larga offer 13 diving and snorkeling sites, dives directly from the coast.
There is a wall that drops 131 feet 40 meters down just 328 feet 100 meters from the coast.
Diving sites: Cueva de Los paces, El Cenote and El Brinco.
• Azul Internacional Scuba Diving Center, Giron Beach. Diving and snorkeling sites are similar to those at Playe Larga .
Diving sites: Punta Perdiz, Alejo El Moro and El Ebano.
El Pirata Internacional Scuba Diving Center, Caleta Buena offer 19 diving sites for different levels of diving and depths of
as much as 82 feet 25 meters, with sinkholes and flooded caves, an excellent snorkeling spots.
Recommended diving sites: La Corona de Maceo, Los Canones, El Vabezo Caleta Buena and El Alto de Pailas.
Montemar National Park main core area of the Biosphere Reserve and Ramsar is one of the best birdwatching areas in the Caribbean.
This great variety of habitats provides a wide diversity of birds within a relatively short distance. Hiking through the Zapata Montemar Park is a perfect way to observe the natural fauna and tropical birds.
Coastal habitat around the Bay of Pigs is home to: Zapata Wren, Zapata Sparrow and Zapata Rail. It is also the best site for the Bee Hummingbird, the smallest bird in the world. Other bird specialities of this area include Cuban Green Woodpecker. Warm Climat that Cuba enjoys, in conjunction with its exotic Caribbean location make the peninsula one of the best places in the world for bird watching.