A Royal Reception in the Gardens of a Marine Crocodile

Text and photos by Vladimir Gudzev

The Gardens of the Queen is a popular and iconic dive location in Cuba for those underwater photographers who have creative ideas for documenting or capturing artistic images of sharks, groupers, crocodiles and other fauna of the Caribbean Sea. Here, it is possible to film life in the mangroves, and if one is lucky, meet a crocodile. Vladimir Gudzev reports.

Dear lovers of underwater photography, I’d like to tell you a story about a unique expedition and photo safari in which fellow participants and I were lucky enough to develop a successful method in taking underwater photographs of marine crocodiles. The Gardens of the Queen is located far from urban areas and protected from storms and currents. But the accommodations are very comfortable. 

Usually, visitors get to Havana by plane, then travel by a comfortable bus across half the country to the southeastern port of Jucaro, where a large ship awaits. This vessel can comfortably accommodate up to 30 divers and guests and is quite fast. The ship’s special dive boats are used to bring divers to specific dive sites.