gardens of the king - saltwater Fishing

Cayo Santa Maria is popular for the migratory tarpon fishing from March to August/September, you can also find some bonefish, permit, ´cudas, jacks and other saltwater species. The quality of the fishing has increased due to the exclusive new management of a unique operator in the area.

Trip Overview

The Jardines del Rey (Gardens of the King) Archipelago lies just off the northern coast in the North of Cuba. Some of its cays are larger than some countries of the world, and its intact nature outstands making it one of the most precious spots in the Cuban Caribbean. To the north it is surrounded by a coral wall of about 248 miles long. There are canals among the cays and islets, whose origin dates back to millions of years ago when they used to be ancient riverbeds.

This area had been known as the "tarpon paradise" of the North Coast of Cuba, a world class destination for tarpon on the fly, where the trophy fish is just at the next cast.

This fishing base is placed in the North-Central section of Cuba, right in “Cayo Las Brujas”, Villa Clara, as a part of the attractions of the beautiful countryside. It is an excellent and privileged area of marine life.

Cayo Santa Maria is one of the cays part of Buenavista Bay Biosphere Reserve of UNESCO since the year 2000. Popular for the migratory tarpon fishing from March to August/September, you can also find bonefish, permit, ´cudas, jacks and other saltwater species. The quality of the fishing has increased due to the exclusive new management of a unique operator in the area.

Package

The typical itinerary is the following:
Day 0: Arrival to La Havana. Airport reception. Night in 4* hotel in La Havana.
Day 1: Transfer (air or ground depending on group decision) to Cayo Santa María. Accommodation in a 5* Hotel all inclusive.
Days 2 to 7: Full fishing days.
Day 8: After breakfast transfer back to la Havana Airport.

Accommodation

The lodging is in the all inclusive Iberostar Ensenachos Resort. The Iberostar has 2 sides, one is the “Park” side which is family friendly, and the other is the “Spa” side, which is adults only. Both sides have swim up bars, and they both share the buffet in the main building, and the a la carte restaurants on site. There is also a Grand Village section, which is completely separate. The fishing program is in the Spa Suites sector and for an additional charge you can upgrade to the Grand Village. If you're traveling with your family the park Side is always available.

Tackle and Flies

Rods: Complete saltwater fly fishing tackle: #8 Wt; #10 Wt and #12 Wt. It is advisable to take at least one tackle for line #8 and two #10; a second # 12 Wt rod as a back up is recommended. 1 (one) spare line WF 8 F and WF10 S. Sinking line for tarpon is highly recommended.

Flies for Bonefish: Crazy Charly; Gotcha; Bonefish Special; any kind of Shrimp; Clowser Minow.

Flies for Permit: Merkin´s Crab; Rag Head Crab; Nick´s Casablanca; AVALON's Fly; Kung Fu Crab.

Flies for Tarpont: Black Death; Purple Death; Cockroach; Stu Apte; Seaducers; Sea Streamers; Tarpon Toad.

Some poppers.

Others: Leaders for Bonefish 9 feet and 13,2 pounds; for Tarpon butt 50 or 60, and 80 or 100 lb. fluorocarbon shock tippet. Spools with 12, 20, 40, 60 and 80-pound fluorocarbon tippets. Silicone to clean the lines. A pair of pliers to remove hooks and pincers to cut steel. Steel line stretch for Barracuda and Shark. Hook sharpener. A wide-brimmed hat, with neck protection. Polarized glasses. Neoprene boots with rubber soles for sea-wading. A light water-proof jacket. Sun block, SPF 40 or higher. Medicine for headaches, stomach aches, anti acids, etc. Insect repellent. A valid passport.

Crab Fly Peterson´s Spawing Crab # 1, 2, 4, 6 Crab Fly Long Legs Crab # 2, 4, 6 Bonefish Fly Mousan Shrimp # 4, 6, 8 Bonefish Fly MOE Bonefish # 4, 6, 8 Bonefish Fly Mousan Shrimp # 4, 6, 8 Wet Fly Clouser Minow # 4 - 2 - 1 - 1/0 - 2/0 Wet Fly Black Death # 2/0, 3/0, 4/0, 5/0, 6/0 Bonefish Fly Boogle Head Perl # 6, 8 Wet Fly E. Puglisi Brown # 1 - 1/0 - 2/0 - 4/0 Crab Fly Avalon Fly # 1, # 1/0 Crab Fly Calvo Crab # 4, # 2 Wet Fly Parrot Bunny # 1/0 - 2/0 - 3/0 Wet Fly Red and Black Bunny # 1/0 - 2/0 - 3/0 Wet Fly Yellow Bunny # 1/0 - 2/0 - 3/0 Wet Fly White Bunny # 1/0 - 2/0 - 3/0 Wet Fly Toad Wet Fly Toad Crab Fly Kung Fu Crab Anzuelo #4 y #2

Image Gallery

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Rates

2018 - LOW (September to March & August) US$ 3,640.-

~ Per person on double basis. ~

Rates include: Reception at Havana airport. Night in 4* hotel in La Havana. Air or ground transfer La Havana - Cayo Sta Maria - La Havana. 6 full fishing days with guide and skiff. 7 nights accommodation all inclusive in IBEROSTAR ENSENACHOS 5* RESORT. Fishing license.

Rates do not include: International Airticket. Transfer IN/OUT Havana Airport. Cuba visa voucher, personal health insurance, extras in Havana, fishing equipment and flies, guide gratuities.

Notes: For groups from 1 to 4 anglers there's an extra cost for the transfer La Havana - Cayo Sta Maria - La Havana of US$ 150.- per person. Larger groups are excent of this extra payment.

2018 - MID (March and July) US$ 4,460.-

~ Per person on double basis. ~

Rates include: Reception at Havana airport. Night in 4* hotel in La Havana. Air or ground transfer La Havana - Cayo Sta Maria - La Havana. 6 full fishing days with guide and skiff. 7 nights accommodation all inclusive in IBEROSTAR ENSENACHOS 5* RESORT. Fishing license.

Rates do not include: International Airticket. Transfer IN/OUT Havana Airport. Cuba visa voucher, personal health insurance, extras in Havana, fishing equipment and flies, guide gratuities.

Notes: For groups from 1 to 4 anglers there's an extra cost for the transfer La Havana - Cayo Sta Maria - La Havana of US$ 150.- per person. Larger groups are excent of this extra payment.

2018 - HIGH (April to June) US$ 5,320.-

~ Per person on double basis. ~

Rates include: Reception at Havana airport. Night in 4* hotel in La Havana. Air or ground transfer La Havana - Cayo Sta Maria - La Havana. 6 full fishing days with guide and skiff. 7 nights accommodation all inclusive in IBEROSTAR ENSENACHOS 5* RESORT. Fishing license.

Rates do not include: International Airticket. Transfer IN/OUT Havana Airport. Cuba visa voucher, personal health insurance, extras in Havana, fishing equipment and flies, guide gratuities.

Notes: For groups from 1 to 4 anglers there's an extra cost for the transfer La Havana - Cayo Sta Maria - La Havana of US$ 150.- per person. Larger groups are excent of this extra payment.

Fishing report

July 2017

Good month with tarpon landed up to 90 lbs.

Testimonials

Me sorprendió un permit. / A permit surprised me.

By: Tim Brown - July 2017

Dear Daniel,

We had a good time in Cuba. There was a good variety of fishing. Mainly tarpon caught: always something every day and several takes which did not hook up.
With 2 of us fishing in the boat on one occasion we each had one fish on. A nearby boat had a good view as each fish jumped at the same time. On the last day we decided that one fish tried to take our 2 flies at the same time!

One morning I landed a good Tarpon of about 60 lb. We went to a different site in the afternoon, the guide had warned us earlier on in the week 'sometimes we see Permit there; they feed near the surface of the water showing their tails even though the depth is 3-4 meters'. As we fished I had a good strong take just like a Tarpon [well I did have a black and red Tarpon fly on the end of my line], it ran taking out the backing but it did not jump at all. A strong fish, and as it came closer to the boat the guide was as excited as I to see a good size Permit eventually measured at 87 cms. We raced off to the flats to find a bonefish for the grand slam!

I hope you and Marta are well. It was a pleasure meeting you again and your wife.

Regards,
Tim Brown

Volveremos / We'll come back

By: Johan y David Galka - Julio 2017

Hi Daniel,

Here?s a short week report from our trip to Cayo Santa Maria form 15 to 23 July.

We had a great stay with a very good guide called Ulises. Our skiff jumped 37 tarpon, of which 13 were landed with a top fish of +80 lbs. In addition to tarpon, we had many strikes and caught 6 jacks, 7 snappers of varying sizes.

The accommodation at Iberostar Ensenachos Resort was first class and the transportation etc.. worked very well.
Thanks for a great trip, we are already looking forward to the next one.

Tight lines!
Johan & David

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