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Maria La Gorda Travel Guide, Cuba

María la Gorda (Mary the Fat) is a dive resort located on the eastern part of the Bahía de Corrientes. The resort, comprising a small beach, is situated in the Cuban province of Pinar del Rio.

Although it is a small resort – it comprises two restaurants, a bar, the dive Center and some apartments -, Maria la Gorda receives its tourists in a beautiful location. The dive Center is the perfect place where tourists are tought the secrets of a perfect dive. With specialized trainers, you don’t have to worry about anything. Just relax and snorkel in the Caribbean Sea. There are 55 cabins equipped with amenities where you will prepare yourself before diving into the Caribbean Sea.

The resort is surrounded by a national park that ends into the sea. Tourists from all over the world visit Maria la Gorda because of one of the best sunsets in Cuba and a well-preserved habitat, with 6,500 species of fish and other sea animals.

You will arrive at Maria la Gorda after 4 1/2 hours of driving southwest from Havana. On the way to the resort you can admire tobacco and sugar cane plantations.

The resort, as well as the beach, were named after a Venezuelan woman, Maria. It is said that she was kidnapped by pirates and abandoned on the Cuban shores; here she opened an inn where travelers were offered food and her charms turned them on. Because of her physical features, locals named the territory Maria la Gorda.

While driving to the resort, you will encounter from birds, like vultures, storks to land crabs and lizards. The panorama is extraordinary, with a sandy beach washed by the clear waters of a bay and a string of palm trees. Tourists can enjoy here sunbathing and nautical activities such as diving and snorkelling.

Maria la Gorda is one of the best places for diving in Cuba. There are over 50 sites where those interested in scuba diving can practice this sport. Because of the crystal clear waters, visibility is excellent; you can dive in caves and coral reefs and explore the varied marine life: sponge formations, turtles and tropical fish. Tourists can admire the largest black coral reserve that exists near the Cuban shores at a depth of 14 meters. There are even nightly scuba dives and the dive packages are available.

There is only one hotel that is almost exclusive to dive groups, but there are also specialists that come here in order to explore the Guanacahabibes Biosphere Reserve, namely the fauna and flora that contributed to the turning of this reserve into a UNESCO International Biosphere Reserve.

The accommodation isn’t luxurious, but comfortable, and the restaurants are acceptable. There are not accepted credit cards.

Maria la Gorda is a perfect destination for those who don’t want anything fancy, but enjoy nature and, most of all, the marine world.

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