A diving destination for lovers of wrecks and bullsharks
Playa Santa Lucia is still a neglected (somewhat without reason) destination on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean; it takes slightly over eight hours (700 km) to get there by car from Havana. And just there we have the chance to dive with one of the most astonishing shark in the world - bullshark(Carcharhinus leucas). This shark can also swim in fresh water thousands of kilometres upstream of the river and live in the lakes of those rivers (its African form was once called Zambezi shark and even considered to be fresh-water shark). It can move and attack even in shallow water half a metre deep; and a hypothesis exists that a lot of attacks on people put down to great white shark were actually committed by bull shark. Although bull shark is sometimes considered to be the most dangerous shark for people, in Playa Santa Lucia no attacks on holiday divers have been reported. Besides bull shark, the area is famous for a number of interesting wrecks full of fish.
Bullshark has a typically short but very robust body. It usually reaches a length of about two metres (rarely over 3 metres), and a weight over 300kg (females are usually bigger than males). After one-year pregnancy, a female gives birth up to 13 young ones 50-80cm long, that become adult in ten years.
It mostly preys on fish, tortoise, shellfish, mollusc, smaller shark and dolphin. Allegedly its attacks on birds, dogs, rats or even antelopes have been watched. It likes preying in shallow water with poor visibility. In Playa Santa Lucia we can see it close to the wreck of Nuevo Mortera in a safe depth of about 30m
Mortera was originally a small military steamer built in Havana in 1895. After it had been discarded from the military service, it was rebuilt into a cargo ship and renamed to Nuevo Mortera. In the evening hours on 27-07-1905, Nuevo Mortera crashed into the English cargo ship Pocklington before entering the navigation canal, and sank.
Now the wreck of Nuevo Mortera (max. 30m depth) serves as not only a meeting point with bull shark but mainly as home of creatures living in the depth. Besides various species of fish, you can see there for instance green moray. They are beautiful but don’t stroke or touch them : a few years ago when cuddling with moray, a Czech diver lost two finger segments.
Besides the wreck of Nuevo Mortera, there are, in the water of the Atlantic near Playa Santa Lucia, a lot of others, e.g. Nuestra Seňora de Alta Gracia, Sabinal, and Pizzaro.
All those wrecks are homes of plenty of fish; there we can see schools of snapper, long- spine porcupinefish, angelfish, trunkfish and other creatures of the Atlantic depths.
The base for your diving holiday in Playa Santa Lucia will be situated at one of the local all-inclusive hotels.
The hotels in Playa Santa Lucia, even though they are relatively cheap, remainfor the present in the period of an unprecedented inflow of tourists resulting from the "US OPEN" process - surprisingly not fully occupied.
Playa Santa Lucia is a very interesting diving destination, suitable particularly for divers who prefer the comfort of an all-inclusive hotel to the accommodation on a ship. With its 20km of white beaches and several nice hotels it is even predetermined for wonderful family holidays with diving. Besides the interesting wrecks, you can see - if you are a bit lucky - one of the most interesting shark - bull shark. However, it is necessary to take into consideration that it is a possibility, in no case a guarantee, of seeing this interesting creature. If somebody insisted on a 100% guarantee of diving with shark, they would have to go to Jardines de la Reina...
Guided trips :
The price from 1,370 euro includes two nights at a hotel in Havana with breakfast, transfer from Havana, 7 days of accommodation in a double room in Playa Santa Lucia with a full board, 10 dives, and transfer back to Havana (the prices are in force from 01-01-2017 until further notice, min. 9 divers).