Playa Santa Lucia, Cuba


Playa Santa Lucia is a golden sand beach surrounded by shallow, crystal clear waters. It is located around 112 km – or an hour’s drive – north east of Camaguey. At around 20 km long it is one of Cuba’s biggest beaches. Beyond the beach lies a turquoise lagoon that is home to huge flocks of pink flamingos – as well as clouds of mosquitos. A few kilometres offshore lies the real attraction of Santa Lucia – a beautiful and easily accessible coral reef. The reef is famous for its spectacular and unnerving shark dive – where divers hand feed bull sharks as they circle around a sunken wreck. This is not one for the faint hearted!

Average rating: 4.0 (very good)

Average spend per person: –

Number of reports: 1

Best time to visit: January – December

Typical activities: scuba diving

Wildlife in Playa Santa Lucia

According to reports submitted to WildSide, the species visitors most want to see here are as follows:


Wildlife in Playa Santa Lucia, WildSIde, World Wild WebThe Shark Friends Dive Centre located on the beach by Hotel Brisas and Gran Club Santa Lucia is the main dive operator in the area. They are famous for offering the chance to get in the water with bull sharks on a breathtaking shark dive. Divers swim to the bottom of a sunken wreck and wait for the sharks to arrive. One of the dive masters then holds out food on a stick and the sharks rush in to snatch it. The sheer power and weight of these three metre giants takes your breath away as they approach – and there is nothing between you and them.

It is important to note that bull sharks are considered to be one of the most dangerous sharks in the world. According to the International Shark Attack File (ISAF), bull sharks have been responsible for at least 100 unprovoked attacks on humans, 27 of which have been fatal. And it is likely that they have been responsible for many more. Shark attacks in Cuba are rare although there was one incident at this particular dive site when a dive master was bitten during the feed. Since this incident the protocol is now to use sticks to feed the sharks. No other attacks on divers have been recorded. WildSide recommends that you make sure you’re comfortable with this risk before deciding whether or not to dive.

Flamingo – 100% of visitors (1/1) reported sightings

Wildlife in Plata Santa Lucia, WildSide, World Wild WebThe turqouise salt water lagoons behind Playa Santa Lucia are home to the spectacular American flamingo. These ethereal birds congregate in flocks around the shallow pools of water where they use their specially adapted bills to filter out algae and plankton from the water. You can walk there from most of the hotels in the area but it is a fairly long and fairly hot walk! Bikes make it much more accessible and can be easily hired. Avoid the area at dusk when the mosquitos come out in their thousands!

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