La Jardines de la Reina
La Jardines de la Reina, (English; Garden of the Queen) is a group of over 600 Cays and reefs about 50 miles off the Southeastern Coast of Cuba. Christopher Columbus named this area in honor of the Queen of Spain. Sailing this remote archipelago was one of our main reasons for wanting to visit Cuba.
This area is considered one of the words best perserved marine parks for several reasons.
1.) There is not easy access for your normal vacation tourist. There are not ferries running to the area every day because it is located so far off of the coast of Cuba.
2.) There is only 1 floating hotel in the area and from what we were told, the cost to stay at this hotel is over $10,000 a week, per person.
3.) No taking of any species, except for Lionfish, is allowed in the marina park area.
The lack of tourism can clearly be seen because of how healthy the reefs are and the abundance of sea life everywhere!!! The water on the outside of the reef is some of the clearest water we have ever seen. You can clearly see the bottom in water over 60′ deep. In anchorages, 10+ pound lobsters are literally walking around under our boat!!! Anyone who knows Rich knows how difficult this is for him not to take them. I keep reminding him that he does not want to end up in a communist prison.
People can sail here on their own vessels, but surprisingly in over a week, we have seen only one other cruising boat and it was from New Zealand. It’s unbelievable that more people are not sailing here. Yes, the area may be remote and uncharted, and that may keep some people away, but for those who like pure untouched nature, the beauty here is unlike any place else in the Caribbean.
The drone footage we are getting of the area is incredible, we can not wait to share our videos.