Things haven't changed much in the past 60 years on this far-west tip of Cuba, a five-hour trip from Havana but only 100 miles from Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Cuba enjoys a unique physical location at the juncture of the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico, and an even more unique position in time – thanks to politically enforced isolation, the island's marine environment looks less like the pristine environs of the 1950s. So do cabanas at the Villa Maria la Gorda Hotel, where the on-site International Diving Center offer three daily trips to more than 30 snorkel and dive sites just minutes from shore. You can also just walk off the beach and plant your face in the water. Travel to Cuba legally on People-to-People or other licensed trips.
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