Welcome to Cuba
Location, Type of Fishing:

Jardines de la Reina, or “Gardens of the Queen”, is a massive National Park some 60 miles off the southern coast of Cuba. An archipelago of cayes and islands that parallel the coast for nearly a hundred miles, the area is characterized by an expanse of inshore flats found in a pristine environment over half a million acres in size. Given its name by Christopher Columbus while exploring the southern coast on his second trip to the new world in 1494, the island chain has been left largely uninhabited. Far-flung from the main island, it was spared intense fishing pressure in modern times, and was once Fidel Castro’s favorite place to fish. Most recently, the entire Marine Park has been named fly fishing-only, and is regulated by catch and release for all tarpon, bonefish and permit. On the flats of the Jardines de la Reina, you are likely to fly fish for just about everything you may encounter, like a variety of sized tarpon, bonefish, permit, snook, barracuda, jacks and shark, for example. Visitors will stay on one of four live-aboard yachts that enjoy unlimited access to the park, or aboard a large floating hotel, La Tortuga which is permanently stationed at the center of the islands with very good flats fishing all around it. The fishing at the Jardines de la Reina is one of the most varied saltwater fly fishing programs in the world, and the outfitter operating in the area is the only one approved by this highly guarded government to access the nation’s second largest marine park.



  • Season: Mid-October through August
  • Species: Bonefish, Permit, Tarpon, Snook, Jacks, Barracuda, Shark
  • Rods: 8-12 wt. Saltwater, Fast-Action
  • Rates: 7 nights/ 6 days fishing $4400.00- $6350.00 (La Tortuga)




What Makes It Special:

In the Jardines de la Reina, there are well over a hundred miles of inshore flats where it is very unlikely that you will see another angler while out fishing. With a seemingly endless opportunity to wade for bonefish on sandy, hard-bottom flats, and miles of shallow water that can be poled from the skiff in search of cruising permit and tarpon, there are few places that can compare to the selectivity of this massive backcountry preserve. It is like the fly fishing in the Florida Keys once was, except that it is vastly more exclusive with only a couple dozen skiffs available for an area only slightly larger in size and considerably less-pressured. Annually, there are fewer than a couple thousand anglers visiting the Jardines de la Reina to fish, which does not compare to any place in the Caribbean. You will also be able to fish more hours for more species than at any other destination in this part of the world. How far the guides can run in search of good fishing is limited only by how much gas they can carry with them in the boat, and you can expect to cover a large extent on the days where you decide to spent more time on the water. Fly fishing in the park is being managed to sustain the highest quality program for all who visit this pristine region, and the impact on the ecosystem has been limited so that it remains vibrant for many years to come. An unspoiled paradise for inshore flats fishing, the Jardines de la Reina will continue to be a fiercely guarded asset, even as the country opens-up to just about anyone with a fly rod.



Fly fishing in the Jardines de la Reina is mainly sight-fishing for tarpon, permit, bonefish and snook from the poled skiff or while wading the shallow flats. One of the main reasons the fishing for all four inshore slam species is so good, is because of improvements to conserve the fishery and keep the fishing pressure low. The protection that these fish enjoy, and the enforcement of regulations by the guides have shaped the park into a truly special place for grand slams and super slams, a distinct possibility for anglers every week of the year. Permit are arguably the more difficult of the four to catch, due to their overall wariness, good vision and incredible sense of smell. At times, nervous and fickle while feeding on the flats, getting connected to one on a fly rod is more than within your capabilities with a high concentration of fish found on the flats throughout the season. Migratory tarpon is a close second for selectivity, and they can be very large at times, too. Both tarpon and permit in the Jardines de la Reina are typical of the size of fish that is big enough to make your knees quiver when you see them chase the fly. If permit and tarpon are the most selective, then bonefish are arguably the least selective fish to swim in these waters. Large and uneducated, they will aggressively attack a shrimp pattern that is presented well-enough to get their attention. A wonderful place for diversity, the Jardines de la Reina is rich with opportunities for several other species on the fly as well, enabling you to catch up to seven different species in a single day, which is sure to make for an interesting and unique experience.



Guests to the Jardines de la Reina will be provided deluxe accommodations aboard one of several large, luxury yachts or a completely-renovated 110-foot steel houseboat. A massive floating-hotel with two decks that accommodate seven luxurious staterooms, the houseboat provides comfortable lodging with a range of amenities and plenty of storage for all your fly fishing gear. Each air-conditioned cabin securely sleeps two guests, and features its own private bath equipped with toilet and a shower. On-board there is a large dining room and kitchen, with opportunity to lounge on two spacious decks, fore and aft. Permanently moored in a channel of one of the islands in the archipelago, it never moves and is very stable, regardless of wind or weather. Electricity is supplied by generators located nearby and is available 24/7. Outlets on board provide 110V so you won’t need a special adaptor, and there is satellite Internet and WiFi available on a Hot Spot network. The atmosphere aboard the yachts are designed to provide guests with an experience of a lifetime, one that is both very lavish and stylishly designed. All the luxury yachts feature double staterooms, private baths, air-conditioning, and one skiff for every two anglers. If you are a group of 4-8 anglers, you may wish to reserve one of the smaller yachts to take you to the more remote parts of the preserve. This allows for the flexibility of having the live-aboard move around the islands, greatly reducing the runs to the fishing grounds. Fishing takes place each day aboard 16-foot Dolphin super skiffs equipped with 60HP Yamaha outboard motors. All the guides have a minimum of 15 years experience, and are experts in these waters, highly attuned to the subtle tendencies and habits of all the species you will fish for during your stay.




An amazing fly fishing adventure wouldn’t be complete without some truly remarkable food and authentic drinks to go along with the kind you’ll find when you visit the Jardines de la Reina. A fusion of Cuban, Italian and American cuisines, expect to see a rotation of seafood, including lobster, crab, grouper and snapper among the varied entrees rolling-out of the small galley of the ship. The extraordinary chefs on-board do such an incredible job handling the never-ending supply of food being served, you might wonder when it is they find time to sleep. Meals are served family-style around a large table in the dining room with all the guests invited to dine together, sharing stories and talk of the day. A full bar is attended to by a friendly bartender with a complete selection of fine wines, beer and liquors, as well as soft-drinks and bottled water. The house specialty is the Mojito, and ice-cold Cristal is the locally-brewed Cuban beer served. All meals are included in your fishing package, and while there is a complimentary cocktail served each day after fishing, alcohol is not included. It may be purchased at reasonable prices on-board at the bar, or you may bring your own, if you like. At dinner, there are 2 to 3 entrees of fresh seafood and a meat dish served every night with a vegetarian option, as well. After dinner retire to the open-air deck up top with excellent stargazing possibilities, and indulge in a Cuban cigar while salsa music rhythmically drifts on the air from the nightly party taking place on the lower decks below.

How to Get There:

Your fishing package to the Jardines de la Reina begins with your arrival to the José Martí International Airport in Havana (HAV). Fishing aboard the yachts runs from Saturday to the following Friday, or Saturday to Saturday, depending on the specific program of the different ships. Due to the remote nature of the destination, you will need to arrive in Havana at least one day ahead of your scheduled trip. This is an excellent opportunity to see some of the rich culture and nightlife that the city offers before heading out very early the next morning. The overnight stay at a five-star hotel in Havana is included in the package, and a representative of the outfitter will be at the airport to meet you after you collect your gear and clear customs. While travel to Cuba is not as difficult as it sounds, getting to the Jardines de la Reina, on the other hand, takes a bit more travel, as you must first transfer by bus to the port town of Jucaro, about a 5-hour drive from the Capitol. Jucaro is the starting point for all the tour operations within the Jardines de la Reina, and your destination is located another 60 to 80 miles further by boat, depending on where you will wind up in the park. Transfers from Jucaro to La Tortuga on the island of Cayo Anclitas can take a minimum of 3 hours to reach. However, you will arrive with enough time to participate in a half-day fishing, as your day began early enough to get you there by the early afternoon that first day. Plan on fishing the morning of your departure day as well, before making the journey back across sea and land to Havana.



Typical Day:

Arrange to start your day by having a fresh-brewed cup of coffee delivered to your cabin as a gentle, wake-up call. What time you choose to get up is totally at your discretion, as there is no set schedule aboard the ship. Breakfast can begin as early as 7:00 am, and will be served in the dining room. There are house specials, like a traditional Cuban Tostada with scrambled eggs and bacon, or you can fill-up with made-to-order, hot meals including eggs anyway, bacon, potatoes and toast. You may also choose to dine on a selection of lighter items like fresh fruit, yogurt and cereal. Be sure to order a Café con Leche, or espresso with steamed milk, if you want a truly Cuban experience. The guides will be ready to depart for fishing by as early as 7:45 am. Build a lunch to be taken in the boat, or return at lunchtime and enjoy a meal and midday siesta in the comfort and shade of the mothership. The outfitter will provide complimentary ice-cold beer, sodas and bottled waters in the boat while out fishing. After lunch, return to fishing in the afternoon for as long as you like. A highpoint of the program, Italian cheese pizzas and appetizers are served at happy hour on the open-air deck every day, where you are likely to be witness to an amazing sunset. This is an excellent time to order a Cuba Libre, also known as a Cubata. A refreshing drink of cola, rum and lime, it is perfect for socializing as you comfortably move about the open floor plan of the main deck. There is no set agenda for dinner, but you’ll hardly even notice the time, as there’s always an abundance of food being served on the ship in the evenings.

What’s Included:

Reception at the airport in Havana, 2-night accommodations at a 5-star hotel (on arrival and departure days), 6 nights on one of the live-aboard vessels (based on double occupancy), 6 days of guided fishing (2 anglers per boat), land and sea transfers to/from Jardines de la Reina, and 10 beers per day (plus water & soft drinks). Not included: fly fishing equipment (there is a small store for purchases and equipment may be available for rent), alcohol, transfers from the airport to the hotel in Havana (arrival and departure days), and gratuities for the staff and guides.



©2016-2019, 2 Salt Travel, Steamboat Springs, CO   |  Companies we work with

©2018, 2 Salt Travel, Steamboat Springs, CO