While talk has been about how Cuba is opening up to the US public, as well as the excitement waiting for visitors in the usual places, there is an area which is only overlooked because there really is the only way to visit, and that is by yacht: Los Jardines de la Reina.
Named by Christopher Columbus, though generally and prosaically called an archipelago, this protected National Park feels like a set of shells scattered randomly by a giant.
It is, in fact, a group of «Cayos» almost entirely uninhabited but desperate to be snorkeled, dived, barbecued upon and admired into submission! Cruise straight down there, spend some time first discovering la Havana and its unique charm. Don’t miss out on its nightlife!
With enough time, you could even go along with north coast to Varadero and discover a well-beaten and worthwhile cruising track; but if not, once you have sampled what Havana has to offer, you need to set a course for the south-east coast via the Isla de la Juventud and Cayo Largo. Depending on your onward itinerary, you should come back here after and spend a few days…However, then take a deep breath and prepare yourself for the start point for the next leg of the trip – Trinidad.
Just the little town itself whisks you away in bot hits history, with its 15th-century origins and smaller scale colonial architecture, and the fun to be had there, with dancing organized most nights in the streets and «main» square.
Rejoin your yacht amidst the mangroves near Playa Ancon and head out to the first cayo – you will not be waiting long to sample your first refreshment in the islands!
Head further into the Gardens of the Queen for the real adventure, and prepare your water toys for exploration and observation, and if possible, fish for your lunch.
There are countless diving spots to explore, acknowledged as being among the best in the whole Caribbean and with no commercial fishing allowed, the 3rd longest barrier reef in the world is worth your time. There are restrictions concerning access thankfully, so your crew can organize authorized RDV dives for you.
Weave in and out of the Cayos, view the vast array of sea life under the water and head out of the Jardines de la Reina on to the next adventure – if Cuba charmed you, head north-west to Cayo Largo and the Isla de la Juventud for a different face of this wonderful place.
Some of the luxury superyachts are available for charter in Cuba: