Maria La Gorda - Fat Mary is famed for its clear seabed, which many consider to be one of the richest in the Caribbean. Full of marine species and coral reefs of breathtaking beauty, ideal place to practice Scuba Diving and Snorkelling.
Maria la Gorda is a lovely beach and the resort on the end of Cuba, situated at the Cabo Corrientes, which is formed by the long, curving Peninsula de Guanahacabibes, known as International Diving Center or haven for Bird Watchers. Loceted at the west end of the province Pinar del Rio, about 189 miles / 300 km west from Havana.
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The beach is named from the Venezuelan aboriginal beauty, abandoned here by pirates. Maria allegedly gained quite a reputation for her charms. She's long gone, but the Maria la Gorda’s sunsets are the best in Cuba. The area is filled with legends of pirates that are borne out by the anchors, old cannon and other treasures that lie on the bottom of sea near peaceful Corrientes Cove. Cuba's westernmost tip, the Guanahacabibes Peninsula, holds a true natural treasure characterized by exuberant vegetation, fauna and flora.
The territory also treasures the imprint of Cuba's first inhabitants, who named the region Guanahacabibes.
Eco tourism enthusiasts can enjoy a wide range of options, trails: "Las Perlas Cave", "Forest Facing the Sea", "La Majagua" and "Hoyo del Palmar".
The Guanahacabibes National Park is the Cuba's largest natural reserve, UNESCO declared the region a World Biosphere Reserve. The Peninsula de Guanahacabibes has a remarkable avifauna a haven for bird watchers the National Park is inhabited by 170 species of birds.
Wonderfully, it is possible to see almost all the birds in as little as a week by visiting Peninsula de Guanahacabibes, at the end of the Pinar del Rio province.
The best birds watching spots are: • Currents Cape in Cabo Corrientes • La Bajada • El Bosque • Hoyo del Palmar • Herbazal de Cienaga.
Hotel Maria La Gorda offer 55 cabins, which are equipped with all amenities demanded by modern tourism, so that they can enjoy their leisure time. Same of the cabins are located right on the beach, with magnificent ocean view.
Hotel facilities: two restaurants and bar, laundry, dive shop and snorkeling, cars and bikes rental.
If you want to get away from city noises this is a good choice. The hotel caters primarily to divers, although it's also a good base for naturalists looking to explore the flora and fauna of the Guanahacabibes Peninsula.
International Scuba Diving Center - Maria la Gorda, is the best among the Caribbean.
Diving Centers offer 39 diving sites of high level diving, some are still not named, all of them are less than hour cruise, some at even a few minutes away. The International Scuba Diving Center, has very friendly and experience divers’ team. They provide professional service for experience and inexperience divers, included Open Water Diver course.
Four species of marine turtles have survived in the Guanahacabibes Peninsula, Maria La Gorda coral reefs are in a perfect state. Snorkeling Cuba Here, you can see many species of coral, including the largest colony of Black Coral in Cuban waters, gardens of gorgonians, sponges, a large wall studded with grottoes, and Barracudas, Dog Snapper, Schoolmasters and other kind of Snappers, Marine Turtles. Maria la Gorda offer also fantastic snorkeling, incredibly there are colorful fishes right up to the water edge.
Popular diving sites:
• Gorgonian Garden "Jardin de las Gorgonias" depth: 15 m 50 feet. A shallow garden with an abundance of gorgonians sponges and corals.
• Yemaya, depth: 12 m 100 feet. In the Santeria religion "Yemaya" is the Goddess of the sea. Tunnels purple vase sponges with colorful shrimps.
• Maria's Lounge "Salon de Maria" depth: 20 m 60 feet. The reef formed by a hole in the rock, coral or sponge growth around the cave.
• Vanesa's Patio "El Patio de Vanesa" depth: 15 m 50 feet. Couple of really big gouges in the reef.
• Pirate's Anchor "El Ancla del Pirata" depth: 18 m 60 feet. Wall with wide sandy channels, barracudas, nice corals and spectacular gorgonians.
• Enchant "Encanto" depth: 10 m 100 feet. A wall with lots of tunnels and caves.
• Aquarium "El Acuario" depth: 6 m 22 feet. Relaxing dive patchy reef, shallow depth, as swimming inside a very large fish aquarium.
• Lost Paradise "El Paraiso Perdido" depth: 30 m 100 feet, you can spot many big fishes, a wall dive.