Isle of Youth

target fishery for giant tarpon

The Isle of the Youth in Cuba is a target fishery for giant tarpon. Cuba has for many years been one of the worlds leading saltwater fishing destinations, and has recently become a very popular holiday destination. Avalon, the operators of the famed La Tortuga and Halcon in Jardines de la Reina have developed a fishery on Cuba’s Isla de la Juventud or Isle of Youth. It is easily accessed by a 40 minute flight from Havana, and has a character unique to itself in Cuba.


Said to be the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘Treasure Island’, Isla de la Juventud is steeped in history and tradition. The large area of Marine Park accessed from Isla de la Juventud contains large bonefish, and good numbers of tarpon and permit. The environment is similar to that of Jardinas de la Reina with a combination of marl, sand, and turtle grass providing a perfect environment for from a skiff. Although it had a slow start in January and February due to the weather in 2006, the fishing really came on line after and has proved to be home to some very large tarpon, many in excess of 100 lbs.

“My trip to the Isle of Youth is one I will never forget. I caught a grand slam with a 40 lbs permit, 70lbs tarpon and an 8lbs bonefish. This is the pinacle of my angling career!” R.W., UK

Rancho El Tesoro Hotel

The operation is currently based from the recently renovated Rancho El Tesoro Hotel. Founded in 1956, the Rancho El Tesoro Hotel, is set in the picturesque surroundings of this tropical island. It is five minutes from the airport and fifteen minutes from the dock.

Two new wings have been added that are specifically for fishermen, accommodating them in single rooms with en-suite bathrooms and air-conditioning. There is a separate dinning room, staff and chef for eight clients. For the staff nothing is too much trouble. This is an opportunity to explore a new area in Cuba and cast to fish that have rarely seen humans and even more rarely flies.

It is very easily be combined with some touring of Cuba such as Trinidad and Cienfuegos to experience some true Cuban flair or provide those that don’t fish with an exciting holiday. In 2007 a live aboard operation was added as another facet.

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