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Isla de la Juventud overview



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Jibacoa and Sparta, Cuba dive site

Jibacoa and Sparta, Cuba dive site

Jibacoa and Sparta, Cuba dive site
Jibacoa and Sparta, Cuba dive site

Scuba Diving in Isla de la Juventud, Cuba, Caribbean

Dive Site: Jibacoa and Sparta

Location: Isla de la Juventud, Cuba

Description: Two wrecks

Depth: 9 metres max (30 feet)

Visibility: 20 metres (65 feet)

Rating: ****

Jibacoa and Sparta are two wrecks that lie in very shallow water with the stern of Sparta lying at about a 100° angle to the bridge of Jibacoa. Jibacoa is the wreck of a cargo ship and Sparta was a military ship; both were sunk intentionally in the late 1970's to use for military target practise. Jibacoa nearly breaks the surface and most of it lies in 4 to 5 metres of water. You will see huge boilers amidships and the propeller lies in place, slightly buried in the sand at the stern. There are no real penetration opportunities on this wreck. Sparta lies upright and as you swim alongside it you will see some holds that you can dive down into that have passages leading off of them into the upper level corridors. The penetration is very straightforward and there is plenty of light inside so you will not even need a torch. There are also many ways in and out of the wreck should you decide not to go from one level to the other.

Jibacoa and Sparta make a lovely dive site that you can spend well over an hour on due to the very shallow depth. There is some coral growth encrusting the wrecks, but it is not that prolific. There are also not as many fish as at the dive sites at Punta Frances, but having said that there is still plenty to keep your attention, especially as the wrecks themselves are interesting to look at. Quite a few barracuda were hanging out at the surface and on the wrecks there were butterflyfish and grunts. In some debris at the side of Sparta and under a rock there were a couple of sizeable lobster and as we were ending the dive a balloonfish swam past and hid in the wreck. To get to this site you will have to pay 10 pesos (regardless of the number of divers on the boat) in addition to the diving costs because the site is further than the rest of the dive sites. You may also have to do a fair bit of arguing with the crew in order to actually convince them to take you there!

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