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Scuba Diving in Cuba, Caribbean
Dive Site: Punta Perdiz
Location: Playa Giron, Cuba
Description: Reef / wall
Depth: 37 metres + (122 feet)
Visibility: 15 metres (50 feet)
Punta Perdiz is two distinctive dive sites known locally (and imaginatively) as Punta Perdiz 1 and Punta Perdiz 2. These sites are shore dives and entry to Punta Perdiz 1 is made down some metal steps from the beach on the eastern side of the Bay of Pigs at Playa Giron. Once in the water you can either make a surface swim west towards the drop off, or descend into 4m of water and make the swim underwater. If you elect the latter the first part of your dive could be limited in terms of the visibility (where the sand in the shallows reduces this considerably if there is a surface current). If there is no current this also makes for a great snorkelling area with colourful hard corals littering the shallows and upper slope of the reef wall. After a swim of around 100m west where you descend to around 18m you'll come to the impressive drop-off. If you're diving here in the afternoon the sun makes the water an azure blue as the reef drops away beneath you to depth in excess of 300m. Coral heads and formations jut out from the wall and huge gorgonian fans sway against any current. The upper reef is teeming with fish life and shoals of snappers and lunar fusiliers cruise by. Current is not usually much of a consideration and after a leisurely swim back along and up the reef slope you can exit back to the beach.
The second shore dive at Punta Perdiz is Punta Perdiz 2. As with Punta Perdiz 1 entry is made from the beach on the eastern side of the Bay of Pigs at Playa Giron. Punta Perdiz 2 is located to the north of Punta Perdiz 1. Once in the water it is best to descend into 4m of water and head west towards the reef wall. The sea floor steps down after around 100m from 6m to 12m and then descends into the blue at an ever increasing gradient before dropping away almost vertically to 300m+. In 20 metres of water there are small caverns and overhangs to explore which house sweepers and glassfish. Bannerfish and all manner of butterflyfish cover the reef and we saw a huge pufferfish (the largest I've seen) almost a metre in length nestling in the reef overhangs. Although we didn't see any, the deep blue water off the wall looked perfect for pelagics (marine life which live in open water) and barracuda are common here. Gently swim back up the reef wall for an easy exit to the beach.
Rik Vercoe, BSAC Advanced Instructor
Great dive, the wall is worth the trip. The ladder can be a little tricky when the water is choppy and there is a line up to get in or out. Best to stay back about 20 feet to avoid being slammed into the shore or bottom until it is clear. However once in the water, the small wreck, the condition of the reef and the wall all offset the long drive or anything else. Dive equipment was from the Sandals resort and the equipment was in great shape.
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