Cuba - Gardens of the King
The Jardines del Rey (Gardens of the King) is 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. They are relatively easy to spot in the wide flat areas in three-to-six-foot-deep crystal-clear waters. Fish are often sighted rolling in schools and guides position the boats ahead of them for intercepting casts.
GOK Fishing Facts:
Low Season: runs from July 1, 2023 - February 25, 2024.
2024 High Season: runs from February 25 to June 29, 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 detailed list of what to bring is included in our confirmation packet.
Fishing License: is included in the package, but the $300.00 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.
At about 4:00 p.m. return to the Resort in time to freshen up before dinner.
Five-Star Resort - Iberostar Ensenachos
Iberostar Ensenachos is a five-star resort in Cayo Ensenachos. You'll stay in a double-occupancy spa suite. 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 to the Resort:
On a Friday, you'll fly to the Jose Martí International Airport (HAV) in Havana. A Lodge 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, (groups of 1-4 anglers is $250.00 per person).
Option One Itinerary:
On a Friday, you'll stay overnight in Havana. Ground transfers and hotels are not included in the package.
Saturday: You'll take a 5-hour ground transfer to Iberostar Ensenachos Resort.
Sunday - Friday: You'll enjoy 6-days of guided fishing.
Saturday: The group will take a five-hour ground transfer to Havana. Please schedule flight times after 5:00 p.m.
Option Two Itinerary:
Saturday: You'll arrive in Santa Clara and take a two-hour ground transfer to Iberostar Ensenachos Resort.
Sunday - Friday: You'll enjoy 6-days of guided fishing.
Saturday: You'll take a two-hour ground transfer back to Santa Clara for your departure. Please schedule flights after 12:00 noon.
2023 - 2024 USD Rates:
7-nights and 6-days guided fishing
Maximum 4 skiffs or 8 anglers
Two anglers per guide and skiff
Low Season: July 1, 2023 - February 25, 2024.
$3,640.00 per person
2024 High Season: February 25 to June 29.
$5,320.00 per person
Upgrade to one angler per skiff:
Add $4,000.00 split between two anglers/$2,000.00 per angler.
Upgrade to one angler per room at Resort:
Add $500.00 p.p. (Both anglers need to pay.)
Upgrade to a double occupancy room at the Grand Villa Resort
$400.00 per person
Non-Angler Companion - year-round rate:
$1,980.00 per person
• Airport reception in Santa Clara
• 7-nights at the Iberostar Ensenachos Resort
• All meals and beverages at the resort
• A boxed lunch and beverages on skiffs
• 6-days guided fishing
• A fishing license.
Packages Do Not Include:• Airfare
• VIP Service in Havana or Santa Clara Airport
• Ground transfers in Havana
• Ground transfers between Havana and the Resort, $250.00 p.p.
• Hotel nights in Havana
• Food and beverages in Havana
• Cuban Tourist Visa
• Fishing gear and tackle
• $300.00 Marine Conservation fee
• Gratuities to guide and staff
• Personal expenses
• Global Rescue
• Travel insurance
• Anything not mentioned under inclusions.