The Bay of Pigs is on the south coast of Cuba, about two hours from Havana or Varadero in the Zapata Peninsula. The area is famous for the failed American CIA attack on Cuba in 1961 and you can still see the memorials on the drive down. The area is richly diverse with swampland mangroves, coral reefs and underwater caves and nice beaches.
You can drive to the bay from Havana or Varadero or there are land tranfers available from either city. The best places to stay in the area are either Playa Largo or Playa Giron where you can find accommodation to suit your needs.
There are some great activities in the area to get back to nature such as bird watching, fishing or relaxing on the beach. On the road to Jaguey Grande there is a crocodile farm and the Cave of Fish where you can snorkel or dive. Divers will love the diving and exploring the caves in the bay.
You will find a dive centre in Playa Larga, Playa Giron or Caleta Buena or centres will sometimes do trips from Varadero or Havana. There are 12 different dive sites in the Bay of Pigs. Visitbility is usually excellent, between 20-40 metres and the water temp from 22°C in the winter (Dec) and 29°C in the summer (July). You'll find caves and walls, corals, sponges and many fish such as barracuda and groupers.
Wreck lovers can dive the Jaruco, which was sunk on purpose in 1994. Punta Perdiz is a great deep and wall dive, the best in the area. El Cenote in the Zapata Marshes is another limestone sinkhole in the area that is still being explored, so far only having reach 70 metres. There are many reef fish here.
Other sites close to Playa Larga include El Brinco and El Ébano. Just off Caleta Buena you'll find the sites of La Corona de maceo, Los Cañones, El Cabezo-Caleta Buena and El Alto de las Pailas.
Not many people venture to the Bay of Pigs but you'll be pleasantly surpised at the amazing things to see here and experience some very interesting diving.
(By Kelly Luckman)