Cuba - Gardens of the King
Tarpon Paradise - Fly Fishing the Run
The Jardines del Rey (Gardens of the King) are a chain of islands off the northern coast of Cuba. Since May 2015, Fly Fishing the Run has operated exclusively in the Cayo Santa Maria. Santa Maria is the largest island in Cuba. Here, the fishing grounds are protected National Marine Parks. No commercial fishing is allowed other than for lobster.
Gardens of the King (GOK)
Some Gardens of the King's cays (keys) are larger than small countries. Think turquoise blue waters and white sands. To the north, a 120-mile coral wall surrounds the island chain. Apart from the beaches, most of the islands remain undeveloped. Until the late 1980s, the Jardines del Rey could only be reached by boat.
Fly Fishing for Tarpon
Gardens of the Kings is a famous protected area for fly fishing for tarpon. Resident tarpon are present all year long and range in size from 10-to 80-pounds. Beginning in March, larger migratory tarpon arrive and reside through August. Tarpon here can exceed 150-pounds, testing a fly angler’s skills. Tarpon waters vary from shallow flats to deeper lagoons and channels. Fish are often sighted rolling in schools, and guides position the boats ahead of them for intercepting casts. They are relatively easy to spot in the wide flat areas, in three-to-six-foot deep crystal-clear waters.
GOK Fishing Facts:
Peak Season: is from March 25 to July 1, when tarpon, bonefish, permit, and several other flats species are present.
Resident tarpon are present year-round and range in size from 10 to 80 pounds.
Boats: Skiffs with Yamaha 70-HP engines that allow access to shallow water, as well as fast runs between fishing spots. With a draft of only eight inches, it’s a skiff the guides can pole on the shallowest bonefish flats. Two anglers per boat and guide.
Guides: Local guides speak Fishing-English, enough to be understood. Born and raised on these waters, they know the ocean and the flats like the backs of their hands.
Fishing Equipment: No equipment is provided. A rod and reel rental is $350.00 per week. A detailed list of what to bring is included in our confirmation packet.
Fishing License: is included in the package, but the $120.00 Marine Park Conservation Fee is not included.
Typical Fishing Day:7:30 a.m. wake-up call, then breakfast. At 8:00 a.m., leave with a packed lunch for a full day of fishing. Return at about 4:00 p.m. in time to freshen up before dinner.
Five-Star Resort - Iberostar Ensenachos
Iberostar Ensenachos, a five-star resort, is located in Cayo Ensenachos. The Resort has two sides, one is the park side (which is family-friendly), and the other is the Spa-side, which is for adults only. Both sides of the Resort have swim-up bars.
Meals: Both sides of the Resort share the buffet in the main building and the on-site à la carte restaurants. You'll enjoy gourmet breakfasts and dinners in the comfort of the resort. Anglers take a boxed lunch with them each morning out on the boat.
Communications: There is a charge for Wi-Fi access, which is available in public areas. Before your trip, you’ll need to check with your service provider to see if your U.S. cell phone will work in Cuba. Satellite phones are NOT allowed in Cuba and, if brought into the country, will be confiscated at the airport.
The Resort has two stunning beaches and well-kept grounds.
Getting Here (Two Options):
Option #1: Arrive in Havana on Friday. Overnight. Ground transfers and hotel are not included in the package.
Saturday: A transfer service arranged by the outfitter will drive the group five hours to the Iberostar Ensenachos Resort in Santa Clara.
Option #2: Arrive in Santa Clara on Saturday. A transfer service arranged by the outfitter will drive the group two hours to the Iberostar Ensenachos Resort.
Getting to the Resort:
On a Friday, you'll fly to the Jose Martí International Airport (HAV) in Havana. A Fly Fishing the Run representative will greet you and help you flag a taxi for your transfer to your hotel. The ground transfer from the airport to the hotel and the hotel stay are not included in the package. One hotel night in Havana varies from $100.00 to $200.00 per night for double-occupancy 4-star or 5-star accommodations. A list of recommended hotels is in our confirmation packet. On Saturday, a transfer service arranged by the outfitter will drive your group from Havana to the Iberostar Ensenachos Resort hotel in Santa Clara, a 5-hour drive. This roundtrip ground transfer is $400.00 per person for 1 to 4 guests and $300.00 per person for 4 to 8 anglers and is not included in the package.
2023 USD Rates:
7-nights and 6-days guided fishing
Maximum 4 skiffs or 8 anglers
Two anglers per guide and skiff
Low Season: $3,640.00 per person
Jul 30, 2022 - Feb 18, 2023
Mid-Season: $4,460.00 per person
Feb. 18 - March 25, 2023, and Jul 1 - Jul 29, 2023
High Season: $5,320.00 per person
March 25 - July 1, 2023
Upgrade to one angler per skiff:
Add $2,000.00 to the packages above.
Non-Angler Companion - year-round rate:
$1,980.00 per person
7-nights at the Iberostar Ensenachos Resort in a double-occupancy spa suite, all meals and alcohol at the resort, a boxed lunch and beverages on skiffs, guided fishing, a fishing license, and $120.00 Marine Conservation fee.
Packages Do Not Include:Airfare, ground transfer in Havana from the airport to your hotel of choice, an overnight stay in Havana, food and beverages in Havana, the ground transfer between Havana and Santa Clara $300.00 to $400.00 p.p., Cuban tourist visa (up to $85.00), fishing tackle, optional rental of fly rod and reel ($350.00 p.p.), gratuities to guide and staff, personal expenses, extra beverages and food, Global Rescue, travel insurance, and anything not mentioned under inclusions.
Currency: It’s best to bring Euros or Canadian Dollars to exchange into Cuban CUC upon arrival in Cuba. U.S. Dollars are subject to a 13% special tax/commission.