Fly Fishing the Run - Gardens of the King

Off the northern coast of Cuba, Cayos de Villa Clara is a part of the archipelago known as the Jardines del Rey or Gardens of the King. Cuba has protected these pristine areas as National Marine Parks — no commercial fishing is allowed other than for lobster. Since September of 2015, the Gardens of the King has been under the operation of Fly Fishing the Run.
As of June, 2017, there is a $250.00 fee for a “people to people” license to travel to Cuba, it is available for purchase through the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust.

Fly fishing for Tarpon

Garden of the Kings tarpon fishing

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, this area begins to see the larger migratory tarpon, and the fish continue to be present through August. These fish can be more than 150-pounds and are a true test of a fly angler’s skills. Depending upon conditions and seasons, tarpon waters range from shallow flats to deeper lagoons and channels. Fish are often sighted rolling in schools, and guides position the skiffs 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.

Bonefish and Permit Fishing

Dorado Cua Lodge

Bonefish:  There are huge areas of flats and mangrove vegetation that can fished by boat or by wading.  The average weight of the bonefish here are between two and five pounds, with some topping the scales at 10-pounds. Bonefish are plentiful year-round on the interior flats and provide great entertainment for anglers wanting a break from the feisty tarpon, or when tides are not optimum.
Permit:  The region abounds in permit, with some weighing up to 40-pounds, and averaging from 25-to 30-pounds. The optimal times to fish for permit here are from March to June and October through November.
Boats:  They have new Dolphin Super Skiffs, with Yamaha 70-h.p. engines, that allow access to shallow water,  as well as fast runs between fishing spots. The hull was designed with enough deep-V to slice through the waves, turn and handle beautifully; yet with a draft of only eight inches, it’s a skiff the guides can pole on the shallowest bonefish flats.
Guides:  Local guides speak fishing English, enough to be understood for fishing. They were born and raised on these waters, and know the ocean and the flats like the backs of their hands.

Five-Star Resort | Iberostar Ensenachos

Gardens of the Kings Resort

The five-star resort, located in Cayo Ensenachos, has lush, well-kept grounds and two stunning beaches. The Iberostar 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 have swim-up bars, and they both share the buffet in the main building and the on-site à la carte restaurants. For the fishing package, they use the Spa Suites (included in the rate). You may upgrade for an additional fee. Gourmet breakfasts and dinners are enjoyed in the comfort of the resort. You'll enjoy a restaurant-made lunch on the boat. Gourmet breakfasts and dinners are enjoyed in the comfort of the resort. Lunch will be brought to the boats daily from the restaurant.

Getting Here:

You’ll fly into the Santa Clara Abel Santamaria Airport, also known as the Cayo Santa Maria Airport, near the city of Santa Clara, Cuba. JetBlue currently has flights from
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and American Airlines has flights from Miami, Florida. You'll be met at the airport by a staff member of Fly Fishing the Run and will have a two-hour ground transfer (included in pkg.) to Iberostar Ensenachos.

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 10% special tax/commission.

2018 Rates:

7-nights and 6-full days guided fishing
Maximum 8-anglers.
Two anglers per skiff and guide.
Low Season:
ept. 16, 2017 - Feb 24, 2018:
2-anglers per boat  $3,640.00 p.p.
Non-angler companion  $1,980.00
Feb. 25 - March 24 and
July 1 - September 15, 2018:
2-anglers per boat  $4,460.00 p.p.
Non-angler companion  $1,980.00
High Season:
March 25 - June 30, 2018:
2-anglers per boat  $5,320.00 p.p.
Non-angler companion  $1,980.00
Upgrade to a single skiff:
Add $2,000.00 p.p. to above packages.

Fishing packages include:

Roundtrip ground transfer to and from the airport/resort, 7-nights at the Iberostar Ensenachos Resort in a Spa Suite Double Room, all meals and alcohol at the resort, box lunch and beverages on skiffs, and 6-days guided fishing.

Packages do not include:

Airfare, visa, Marine Park Conservation Fee ($100.00 – may be paid online prior to your trip), fishing tackle, fly rods and reels, a boarding tax of CUC 25 (CUC - Cuban convertible peso) to be paid at airport before leaving, if not included in airfare; gratuities to guide and staff, personal expenses, extra beverages and food other than those stated above. extra beverages and food other than those stated under inclusions, and anything not mentioned under the inclusions.

Sample Itinerary:

Sunday: Arrive in Santa Clara. A representative from Fly Fishing the Run will be there to meet you. You’ll depart for the two-hour ground transfer to Iberostar Ensenachos.
Monday - Saturday: 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 in the afternoon in time to freshen up before dinner.
Sunday: After breakfast, transfer to the airport in Santa Clara for your flight back home.

Call 1-800-205-3474 for more Information:

Request Gardens of the Kings Info Packet  

Gardens of the Kings photos

Bonefish are plentiful year-round


Fly fishing for tarpon

Gardens of the King tarpon

Bonefishing Gardens of the King

Bonefishing Cuba

Walkway down to the ocean

Walkway to ocean

Bonefish average 2 to 5 pounds

bonefishing Cuba

Dolphin Super Skiffs with 70-h.p. engines

Dolphin Super Skiff

Swimming pool at resort

Iberostar Ensenachos Resort

Resort lobby area

Iberostar Ensenachos Resort

Room at Iberostar Resort

Iberostar Ensenachos Resort

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