Cuba - The Perola Yacht

The Zapata Swamp

The Zapata Peninsula is a UNESCO-recognised biosphere reserve in western Cuba. A fly fishing wilderness, the Zapata Swamp has vast forests and swamps that cover over 1,668 square miles, with more than 165 migratory species, including the Cuban crocodile. The Liveaboard fishes six zones in an area called Gulf of Cazones. (The same area as the Georgiana when the Georgiana is off duty.)
Group Rates Only:  To book The Perola, a classic 75-foot yacht, you will need to get together a party of six, as the Liveaboard does not mix groups.

Introductory 2024 Rate:
$25,800.00 for up to six guests
for the entire yacht.
(Works out to $4,300.00 per person)
Low Season Openings:
• November 16-23, 2024
• November 23-30, 2024
Does not include $200.00 Conservation Fee.

Fly Fishing Zapata Swamp

Zapata Swamp, Cuba's largest wetlands, are home to a diverse range of fish species, from the feisty tarpon to the elusive bonefish, permit, and snook. Fly fishing only in this protected Cuban UNESCO Heritage site.

The Zapata area will be your base for the week. Staying aboard the Perola, you'll have plenty of time to fish the tides, which are the key to a good saltwater trip. The liveaboard will stay at the flats during the week. The guides focus on zones and skiff rotation.
Species:  Tarpon, permit, bonefish, snook, and not a long travel time between species. Pursue a Caribbean Grand Slam--catching a bonefish, tarpon, and permit on the same day.
Boats:  Dolphin Super Skiffs with Yamaha 60 to 70-HP engines provide fast runs between fishing spots, especially if you want to target tarpon in deeper water. For skinny-water flats, you’ll fly fish from a flat-bottom skiff, so you’re able to access bonefish and permit.

Fishing Facts:

At Zapata, you'll fish from Dolphin Super Skiffs with Yamaha 60 to 70 HP motors, two anglers per boat and local guide who speak enough English to be understood for fishing purposes.

Season:  The Liveaboard fishing season runs year-round, with peak season from March through July.
Guides:  Local guides are excellent fishermen skilled at finding all species. They speak enough English to be understood for fishing purposes.
Fishing Equipment:  No equipment is provided. Plan on bringing flies, leaders, tippets, all terminal tackle, and all accessories, as very few fishing items are available in Cuba. A comprehensive tackle and gear list is included in our confirmation packet.
Fishing License:  A Cuban fishing license is included in the package. A mandatory Marine Park Conservation Fee of $200.00 is not included.

Fly Fishing Zapata Swamp

Zapata back country lagoons .

The productive backcountry lagoons. Permit "most of the time" take dark crabs. During summer season, this water stays cold and fresh, since it is next to the creeks of Zapata, the biggest swamp in the country.
The Perola fishes the same six zones at The Georgiana, an area called Gulf of Cazones.

Permit Fishing at Zapata

Permit fishing the Zapata Swamp in Cuba.

Typical Fishing Day:
7:30 am - Breakfast.
8:00 am - Your guides are ready to depart for fishing.
Morning winds often calm down in the afternoon, and fishing in the late afternoon can be superb, especially for bonefish.
Mid-day - You’ll take a packed lunch. You’ll be guided for seven to nine hours each day.
5:00 pm (dusk) - You'll return to the liveboard.
5:30 pm - Enjoy appetizers.
7:30 pm - Dinner time.

The Perola Yacht

The Perola Yacht, a classic 75-foot liveaboard is a symbol of luxury and exclusivity, offering a unique fly fishing trip in the vast Cuban waters of Zapata Swamp.

The Perola is a classic 75-foot luxury yacht with highly polished hardwood floors and teak paneling. The Perola is an especially stable ocean-going yacht. Although the boat may be older, it's been meticulously maintained to ensure top-notch performance. The Perola's overall capacity is for six anglers and four crew members.

Five Air-Conditioned Cabins

The Perola, a 75-foot yacht catering to anglers in Cuba's Zapata Wetlands, has five air-conditioned cabins and four bathrooms with plenty of hot water.

Below deck, there are five very comfortable air-conditioned cabins with an ample amount of storage space. There is one double-occupancy berth and four single cabins. Two of the cabins have their own bathroom. There are a total of four bathrooms onboard and good showers with plenty of hot water.

Air-Conditioned Salon Area

Dining Area

In the air-conditioned lounge area, you can tie flies on the full-sized table or sink into the plush couches with a drink.

Circular Stairs

The circular stairs on the Perola Liveaboard provide a unique architectural element that adds to the charm of this marine vessel.

Circular stairways take you downstairs to the cabins or the dining area on the top open-air deck.
Communications:  Wi-Fi is not available. You’ll need to check with your cell service provider before your trip to see if your phone will work in Cuba. Satellite phones are strictly prohibited in Cuba and will be confiscated at the airport on arrival.

Upper Deck floorplan of the Perola, a 75-foot yacht in Zapata Swamplands of Cuba.

You'll enjoy open-air dining on the upper deck. If the sea breeze picks up, the dining area can be enclosed.
Meals:  Cuisine is simple yet gourmet. Salads with fresh vegetables and a variety of fruits are available. Fresh sashimi is offered nightly. Dinners feature delicious fresh fish, pork, or chicken entrees.
Alcohol:  There is a optional upfront fee of $200.00 per person for the open bar. The open bar fee includes beer, wine, liquor, and sodas.

Zapata Swamp Fly Fishing Liveaboard

Getting to the Liveaboard:

You’ll arrive in Havana on a Saturday before 2:00 pm, and a representative will drive you to the liveaboard in Zapata, a 2.5-hour drive on good roads.
On your way to the liveaboard, you'll travel the historic San Lazaro Channel, once used to transport charcoal from the island to the sea.
On Sunday morning, the liveaboard will travel from the port to Zapata fishing grounds.
Departure Day:  After breakfast, the Georgiana will return to Port. A ground transfer is provided to the international airport in Havana.

2024 USD Rates and Packages

Our advice is free.
We never charge more than the Lodges we represent.

Saturday to Saturday
Three skiffs, three guides, and six anglers
7-nights and 6-full days guided fishing
$25,800.00 per group.
(For six anglers, it works out to $4,300.00 per person.)
You will need to get together a party of up to six anglers, as the Liveaboard does not mix groups.

Low Season Openings:
Updated 1/23/24
• November 16-23, 2024
• November 23-30, 2024

Equipment Rentals:
A fly outfit rental, including lines, is $350.00 per person per week.
Diving equipment rentals are $250.00 for a complete set of diving gear per week. The rentals require 60-days’ notice before your trip.

Request a Cuba - The Perola
Information Packet  

The Package Includes:

• Reception at the airport in Havana
• Ground transfers per program
• 7-nights on the liveaboard
• All meals on the Liveaboard
• 6-days guided fishing
• A fishing license
• Fuel charge.

The Packages Does Not Include:

• Airfare to Havana, Cuba, and return
• Hotel and meals in Havana
• VIP Service at Havana Airport
• Cuban tourist visa
• Optional open bar fee of $200.00 per person per week
• Marine Park Conservation Fee $200.00
• Fly outfit rental $350.00 p.p.
• Gratuities to guides and staff
• Personal expenses
• Global Rescue
• Travel Insurance
• Anything not mentioned under inclusions.

Go to . . .

Cuba main page 

Fishing Travel Experts

Guy Schoenborn

1-800-205-3474 ext. 1

MT Office:  406-322-5709


Brad Staples

1-800-205-3474 ext. 3

Cell (503) 250-0558