ISLA de la JUVENTUD (Isle of Youth)


Before the revolution, it was known as Isla de Pinos (Isle of Pines), sometimes also Isla de los Piratas (Isle of Pirates) or Isla del Tesoro (Isle of Treasure) - often also just "La Isla" -it is the largest Cuban isle (2,200 square km) with a very colourful history. It was discovered by Cristopher Columbus during his second sailing to the New World in 1494 but it didn’t attract the colonizers’ attention because of its wild rocky coast. But it attracted pirates’ attention (Francis Drake, Henry Morgan, John Hawkins, John Rackham & others), and they were running there their prosperous business until the middle of the 19th century. And it was just this isle that inspired Robert Luis Stevenson to write Treasure Island, a novel made into a film many times.

The southern part of the isle is closed and guarded by soldiers. An entry is only possible with a special permit and with a determined guide; a part of the isle is completely closed to the public - without a possibility of an exception. The protection results from the local rare ecosystems.

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The biggest diving treasures are situated close to the south-western promontory of the isle - in the Punta Francés Reserve. Other interesting diving areas show cemeteries of Caribbean ships - treacherous shallows of Los Barcos Hundidos and somewhat more distant area of Los Indios - with fascinating walls and coral formations.

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As the only base for dives served, for many decades, the legendary Hotel Colony (nowadays slightly rusty), and the local diving area as a whole is sometimes called El Colony


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Along the south-western coast of the isle (between Punta Francés and Punta Pedernales), there are more than fifty diving localities: shallow reefs, deep walls, caves and wrecks.

Je zde k vidění řada zajímavých hlubokých stěn a vraků
isla dive1v The structure of fish is different in various places so we can see schools of tarpon, batfish (Atlantic spadefish), horse mackerel, snapper and grunt. thumb isla dive3v
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You can often see there large grouper, barracuda, ray, tortoise, and, with a bit of luck, we can see there also shark.

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The treasure must be there somewhere!


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