One of Cuba’s newest and most exciting offerings
The Canarreos Archipelago to the south of Cuba’s mainland comprises 350 islets and is almost the same length as the Florida Keys. Within the archipelago sit two of the country’s best known destinations; the Isla de Juventud (Isle of Youth) and Cayo Largo. During the spring season these destinations are fished separately, but from July to February each season one mothership will cover the full archipelago in what is one of the most exciting new operations in Cuba, Canarreos. It offers anglers the perfect combination of great fishing for bonefish and tarpon, along with tailing permit, cubera snapper and other flats species all from a comfortable liveaboard vessel.
Cuban fly fishing at its best
From 2022, the Canarreos fly fishing programme has been developed to combine the best of both the Isla de Juventud (Isle of Youth) and Cayo Largo fisheries from a single liveaboard yacht. These trips will operate between July and February (for the spring season look at the specific Isla de Juventud and Cayo Largo trips). With this new undertaking anglers will be able to enjoy a huge variety of fishing opportunities to satisfy the most discerning of interests.
The cays of Cayo Largo are uninhabited and apart from those you fish with, the only people you will see are a few commercial lobster fishermen. Cayo Largo is therefore an ideal habitat for bonefish, tarpon and permit. It comprises a series of cays, mangrove lagoons and flats that run for some 50km. The flats tend to be white sand interspersed with turtle grass, ideal for those who want to wade. Around the cays are mangroves and the wading can be a little trickier, so fishing is primarily done from the skiffs. Most days you will have the option of either fishing from the skiff or wading.
Through the flats and cays you find deeper channels that provide perfect areas for tarpon to feed on the bountiful shoals of sardines. When the tides are right you can see them move onto the flats providing great sport. On the slightly deeper parts of the flats you will see schools of permit and will feel that a Grand Slam is seemingly moments away. There are some areas that have still not seen a fisherman or a fly, and part of the fun will be finding new and productive areas.
The Isle de Juventud represents the western part of the Canarreos Archipelago, a large area of marine park providing a pristine environment similar to that of Jardines de la Reina with a combination of marl, sand, and turtle grass. A perfect environment for fly fishing from a skiff. The focus for most fly anglers heading to Isla de la Juventud is the year-round world-class tarpon fishing, and whilst it fishes best in the spring and summer season, the Canarreos programme will offer fantastic baby tarpon fishing in the mangroves, channels and flats for fish between 10 to 80lb.
Aside from the numerous tarpon, these flats are also home to big bonefish and good numbers of permit too. For anglers who like to wade there are some great hard white sand flats where you can easily spend a few hours hunting tailing bonefish and permit. In addition to the tarpon, bonefish and permit, Isla de la Juventud also offers some fantastic sight fishing for snook and barracuda. Around the drop offs and mangrove lined edges you will also find plenty of other Caribbean species such as mutton snapper and jack crevalle.
Explore the wonders of the Canarreos Archipelago on a purpose built vessel
While you are on the Canarreos Archipelago, accommodation is provided aboard the purpose-built, comfortable, liveaboard vessel, Jardines Avalon I.
Jardines Avalon I
JA-I has exceptional cruising capabilities allowing you to access the most remote areas of Cayo Largo and Isle de Juventud during your week. There are ten cabins, one of which features a queen size bed and single bed, the other nine have two single side by side beds. Each state room is equipped with its own private bathroom, toilet, shower, individual climate controls and a safe. The vessel also features an air-conditioned lounge, dining area with bar, shaded upper sun deck and jacuzzi.
The food aboard all of the Avalon vessels is a wonderful selection of Cuban cuisine, grilled fresh seafood and vegetables along with many international delights. The chefs are well versed in many different styles and will be sure to amaze you during your stay aboard. In addition there is a full bar with a selection of Cuban beers and rum, and a small selection of international wines. The attentive crew will be there to take care of your every need and make sure you have a wonderful trip.
Enjoy white sands and crystalline waters
Cuba is located 90 miles south of Key West, and lies at the entrance to the Gulf of Mexico between Florida and Central America. While fishing at Canerreos you will enjoy an incredible natural environment little changed over the last 1,000 years. The marine scenery is magnificent with the ocean providing a kaleidoscope of colours. The neighbouring keys are inhabited by a plethora of flora and fauna, among which are iguanas, pelicans and turtles.