Jardines de la Reina, Cuba
World class salt water fly fishing in a Cuban national park
Named the Queen’s Gardens by Christopher Columbus, the Jardines de la Reina is a pristine chain of islands that runs more than one hundred miles along Cuba’s south-eastern coast. This vast marine park, bigger in size than the Florida Keys, is ideal for fly anglers who wish to live and experience fishing from dawn till dusk aboard a series of purpose built liveaboard vessels.
Endless Flats Fly Fishing
Most of the fishing area is 40 to 50 miles offshore in an area designated as a Cuban National Park. As such, there is no commercial fishing in Avalon’s exclusive area. There is no other pristine flats area in the world that has this size of fishery. With hundreds of miles of flats to fish, you will fish areas where few anglers have ever thrown a bonefish fly.
The average sized bonefish is a solid 3 to 5 lbs, but there are opportunities for fish in the 7 to 10 lbs class every day. The huge variety of species available here is an added bonus with everything from mutton snapper on the flats, to wahoo and giant Cubera snapper on the drop offs. The flats environment here is a fantastic combination of shallow turtle grass and deeper coral flats that are accessed by skiff, wade fishing is limited but possible at certain tide stages.
Tarpon are prolific with many “baby” tarpon. Fish in the channels tend to be around ten to 40lb. During the spring season the average size of tarpon on the flats grows to 45-80 lbs with some specimens growing to 120-130 lbs in the deep ocean channel. Permit are also found in good numbers, and many of these fish will be in the 20 to 30 lbs class, with a few well over 30 lbs.
For anglers who land a permit, there is an excellent chance of completing a Grand Slam the same day. Tarpon can be found at just about any time and tide level as can bonefish, and over the years many fishermen have achieved a Grand Slam.
Unlike many other lodges, fishing hours are totally at the discretion of the clients. The fishing day normally begins with breakfast at 0700 and departing for fishing from 0745 onward. Lunch can be taken back at the mothership or on the skiff and is the angler’s choice. One of the main joys of fishing here is the sunset hour. Often it is calm, and schools of tailing and laid up bones can be seen hundreds of yards away, their golden tails glistening in the light of the falling sun. This is the time that most operations are heading back to the lodge so this magical witching hour is missed.
Comfort afloat the Caribbean Seas
While you are in Jardines de la Reina, accommodation is provided aboard a series of purpose-built liveaboard vessels. There are five boats in all; Jardines Avalon 2, 3 & 4, Jardines Avalon F1 & F2. Each boat offers a unique and comfortable experience.
Jardines Avalon II
JA-II is a 136′ long and 25′ wide professional steel yacht. Like all Avalon’s fleet, it was built and maintained to SOLAS shipping standards. There are 12 rooms each with single side by side beds. Each room is equipped with its own private bathroom, toilet, shower and individual climate controls. The vessel also features an air-conditioned lounge, dining area with bar, shaded upper sun deck with wet bar and jacuzzi.
Jardines Avalon III
The 160 foot JA-III is a luxury motor yacht with 15 staterooms, including four suites with balcony. All cabins have private bathrooms and two beds (double or twin), and are air-conditioned with individual thermostats. JA-III has an overall capacity of 30 passengers and 12 crew. The vessel also features an air-conditioned lounge, dining area with bar, shaded upper sun deck with wet bar and jacuzzi.
Jardines Avalon IV
The newest addition to the fleet, JA-IV, is a 180′ luxury motor yacht with 20 state rooms, including four suites with balcony. All cabins have private bathrooms and two beds (double or twin), and are air-conditioned with individual thermostats. The vessel also features an air-conditioned lounge, dining area with bar, shaded upper sun deck with wet bar and two jacuzzis. JA-IV is the replacement boat for La Tortuga. Once all guests are on board JA-VI motors to the Caballones channel where she spends the week with skiffs departing daily.
Jardines Avalon FI
JA-FI is an intimate, comfortable and stylishly designed yacht, where each space is created to provide its guests with maximum comfort and safety. There are ten deluxe king cabins, with nine private bathrooms, air conditioning and heat controls, electricity plugs, as well as storage drawers. There is a spacious and comfortable combination lounge, dining room and bar area on the boat deck along with a jacuzzi.
Jardines Avalon FII
JA-FII is a 130 foot vessel, larger than JA-FI, which features ten air-conditioned state rooms with private bathrooms. Like JA-FI, it is an intimate, comfortable and stylishly designed vessel. There is a spacious and comfortable combination lounge, dining room and bar area on the boat deck along with a 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, along with 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.
Experience the Gardens of the Queen
Named the Queen’s Gardens by Christopher Columbus, the Jardines de la Reina is a pristine chain of islands that runs more than one hundred miles along Cuba’s south-eastern coast. Most of the fishing area is 40 to 50 miles offshore and has been designated as a Cuban National Park. As such, there is no commercial fishing in Avalon’s exclusive area.
“If you are looking for species variation and a relaxed atmosphere then Jardines is perfect. This year I have never seen so many tarpon out at Boca Grande and look forward to returning with my group next year”. J.S. – UK