Maria La Gorda the Fat Mary, is famed for its clear seabed, which many consider to be one of the richest in the Caribbean. Full of marine species and coral reefs of breathtaking beauty, ideal place to practice Snorkelling and Scuba Diving.
Maria La Gorda hotel is situated at the west end of province Pinar del Rio, 300 km west of Havana.
Maria la Gorda beaches are astoundingly beautiful with calm crystal clear turquoise waters, the hotel is at the end of Cabo Corrientes, which is formed by the long curving Peninsula de Guanahacabibes known as the International Scuba Diving and Snorkelling Center, as well haven for Bird Watchers.
The beach is named from the Venezuelan aboriginal beauty, abandoned here by pirates. Maria allegedly gained quite a reputation for her charms. She's long gone, but the Maria la Gorda’s sunsets are the best in Cuba. The area is filled with legends of pirates that are borne out by the anchors, old cannon and other treasures that lie on the bottom of sea near peaceful Corrientes Cove
The western most tip of Cuba, the Guanahacabibes Peninsula holds a true natural treasure characterized by exuberant vegetation, fauna and flora. Eco tourism enthusiasts can enjoy a wide range of options, trails: "Las Perlas Cave", "Forest Facing the Sea", "La Majagua" and "Hoyo del Palmar".
The Guanahacabibes National Park is Cuba's largest natural reserve, UNESCO declared the region a World Biosphere Reserve. The Peninsula de Guanahacabibes has a remarkable avifauna a haven for bird watchers the National Park is inhabited by 170 species of birds.
Wonderfully, it is possible to see almost all the birds in as little as a week by visiting Peninsula de Guanahacabibes, at the end of the Pinar del Rio province. The best birds watching spots are: Currents Cape in Cabo Corrientes, La Bajada, El Bosque, Hoyo del Palmar, Herbazal de Cienaga.
Hotel Maria La Gorda offer 55 cabins, which are equipped with all amenities demanded by modern tourism, so that they can enjoy their leisure time. Same of the cabins are located right on the beach, with magnificent ocean view.
Hotel facilities: two restaurants and bar, laundry, dive shop and snorkeling, cars and bikes rental.
If you want to get away from city noises this is a good choice. The hotel caters primarily for naturalists looking to explore the flora and fauna of the Guanahacabibes Peninsula.
International Scuba Diving and Snorkelling Center Maria la Gorda, is the best among the Caribbean.
The Scuba Diving and Snorkelling Center has very friendly and experience divers’ team, they provide professional service for experience and inexperience divers, included Open Water Diver courses.
Four species of marine turtles have survived in the Guanahacabibes Peninsula and the coral reefs are in a perfect state. If you snorkeling you can see many species of corals, including the largest colony of Black Coral and large wall studded with grottoes, gardens of gorgonians, sponges, Barracudas, Dog Snapper, Schoolmasters and other kind of Snappers and Marine Turtles.
Maria la Gorda offer fantastic snorkeling, incredibly there are colorful fishes right up to the water edge.
Popular Scuba Diving sites:
• Gorgonian Garden 'Jardin de las Gorgonias' depth: 15 m 50 feet. A shallow garden with an abundance of gorgonians sponges and corals.
• Yemaya, depth: 12 m 100 feet. In the Santeria religion "Yemaya" is the Goddess of the sea. Tunnels purple vase sponges with colorful shrimps.
• Maria's Lounge "Salon de Maria" depth: 20 m 60 feet. The reef formed by a hole in the rock, coral or sponge growth around the cave.
• Vanesa's Patio "El Patio de Vanesa" depth: 15 m 50 feet. Couple of really big gouges in the reef.
• Pirate's Anchor "El Ancla del Pirata" depth: 18 m 60 feet. Wall with wide sandy channels, barracudas, nice corals and spectacular gorgonians.
• Enchant "Encanto" depth: 10 m 100 feet. A wall with lots of tunnels and caves.
• Aquarium "El Acuario" depth: 6 m 22 feet. Relaxing dive patchy reef, shallow depth, as swimming inside a very large fish aquarium.
• Lost Paradise "El Paraiso Perdido" depth: 30 m 100 feet, you can spot many big fishes, a wall dive.