Beachfront Accommodations and Exploratory Fishing On Cuba's Remote Western Peninsula
On the far western tip of the Caribbean island of Cuba is the wild, untouched and pristine Guanahacabibes Peninsula – home to El Faro Lodge. A national park area that has been preserved and protected for over 40 years, this national park and biosphere reserve is home to more than 200 miles of ﬂats, beaches, channels, mangrove areas, coral reefs and bluewater options — all coming together to create an untouched and unexplored ﬁshing paradise. Tarpon, boneﬁsh, permit, snook, triggerﬁsh, jacks and a wide range of bluewater species are all available in waters that have been largely untouched and remain uniquely wild. Yellow Dog Flyfishing is proud to partner with Untamed Angling to bring this new location to adventurous anglers beginning with a 2020 exploratory season.
El Faro Lodge is an established, beachfront ﬁshing lodge located on the far western tip of Cuba. The hotel is spacious and comfortable, and each angler always has their own private, single occupancy rooms: spacious wooden cabins with private bathrooms. The grounds of the hotel are quiet and well-kept, with a staff that is always on hand to assist with anything. Daily housekeeping, spacious bathrooms, showers with plenty of water pressure, and easy access to a beautiful white-sand beach are all hallmarks of the hotel. There is a main lobby area and the hotel’s small restaurant and bar area, where breakfast and dinner is served each day.
Food and Beverages
Untamed Angling has always prided itself on great food, and El Faro will have a full-time chef that they have brought in throughout the fishing season.Breakfasts are cooked to order each morning, and lunches are packed for a full day on the water or served back at the lodge for those that want to take a mid-day break and relax between long morning and evening sessions. Dinners each evening are a combination of seafood, meat dishes, salads, soups and fresh vegetables. The lodges bartender – Jorge – is on had at all hours of the day to take great care of guests, and the bar is well-stocked with Cuban beer, excellent Cuban rum, and a basic selection of other liquors, and all drinks are included in the package. Guests are welcome to bring any specialty liquors as well.
Typical Length of Stay
The typical package is seven (7) nights / six (6) fishing days. A normal week includes six (6) full days of fishing. Additional days in Havana can easily be arranged and itineraries can be customized. One of the things that we do love about this program is that guests fly in and out of Havana, allowing for time in the capital on either end of the trip. Please contact Yellow Dog for more details.
Non-Angling Activities and Options
The Guanahacabibes Peninsula is a massive national park and marine reserve, with very little infrastructure and zero development aside from the hotel, the marina, and the nearby Roncardi lighthouse complex. The area is a nature-lovers paradise, with wildlife (including a massive number of wild pigs!) and fantastic bird life. Non-anglers can relax on the beach, dive or snorkel. It is important to note, however, that this is a very remote, undeveloped and quiet part of Cuba.
At the present time, there is no Wi-Fi service at the hotel, although there are plans to add coverage in the near future. There is cell coverage in the area, although you will want to check your cell plan before traveling to Cuba, as Cuban cellular often-times adds significant roaming and data charges that can add up very quickly. The marina area (located a short five-minute drive from the hotel) does offer wi-fi, and guests can access the internet using a pre-paid card, which is available all throughout Cuba.
How To Get There
Anglers will fly into Havana’s Jose Marti International Airport (HAV), where you can fly in and arrive from just about any place in the world. There are numerous daily flights in and out of Havana from Mexico, Canada, the Bahamas, Jamaica, Italy and the U.S. Upon arrival into Havana, you will clear immigration and customs and will be met in the main arrival area, where a transfer agent will be waiting for you. Most guests choose to overnight in Havana on the front end to enjoy the city and explore the capital of Cuba – an amazing destination that in 2019 celebrated its 500th anniversary. From the airport or hotel lobby (if you stay overnight in Havana), you will be transferred via bus to El Faro lodge, a trip of about 5.5 hours. Meals and beverages are included during the transfer. The transfer also typically includes a stop at the Hector Prieto tobacco farm and cigar operation – a great way to break up the drive and visit one of the most famous cigar production areas on the island.
Arrival and Departure Details / Times
Anglers typically fly into Havana’s Jose Marti International Airport (HAV) on a Friday, where they overnight in the city. The next morning, you will meet in the hotel lobby or at your guest house / AirBNB to transfer to El Faro. After a transit time of approximately 5.5 hours, guests will be welcomed with cocktails followed by dinner at the lodge. At the end of the week, on the morning of your departure day, guests will pack up and transfer back to Havana. Many visitors choose to add an extra day or two in the city to explore Havana and the surrounding areas. Yellow Dog can easily arrange and assist with the Havana portion of the trip.
A valid passport is required for all visitors to Cuba and must be valid for at least six (6) months beyond the duration of your stay. Citizens of the United States are also required to have a Cuban entrance visa, which can be bought ahead of time through a third-party visa service or easily purchased at the airline ticket counter when checking in for your direct flight to Cuba. You will be asked to sign an affidavit for your trip to Cuba and determine which OFAC category your trip qualifies for.
For our Cuba trips, Yellow Dog can advise you on flights to book or you may choose to work directly with Kanna Travel. Kanna can assist you with booking airline tickets, trip insurance and medical evacuation membership. Contact them at 855-739-3139 or [email protected] for more details.
General Fishing Information
This is a part of Cuba where the fishery is still very much in the “exploratory and developmental” stage, and the lodge operators and outfitters are still working hard to decipher and figure out all that this area has to offer. Anglers can expect to primarily target tarpon and snook, and bonefish are also available in certain areas. There are permit in the area as well, although the numbers are not as prolific as other parts of Cuba. If you’re someone who wants to target tapon and snook, however, then the peninsula is a solid option. There are also opportunities for barracuda, triggerﬁsh, jacks and more. Anglers can access mangroves, channels, beaches and remote wilderness ﬂats using the lodges small skiffs, which are very similar to Dolphin skiffs. These boats allow anglers to comfortably and quickly get to the most productive waters each day. The southern beaches of the peninsula are lined by a series of oceanside flats, where anglers can walk and wade in search of bonefish and permit.
Bluewater fishing is also a possibility, and the area has long been known as a great destination for sailﬁsh, wahoo and tuna. When the weather cooperates, the offshore ﬁshing options can be a great way to add even more to a diverse angling experience.
Boats and Equipment
The fishing program utilizes several small skiffs, each designed to accommodate two anglers and a guide. The skiffs are small and draw little water, allowing them to easily be poled in shallow waters. The skiffs are Mexican-made and are very similar in design to the well-known Dolphin skiffs. The lodge also has access to a bluewater sportfishing boat. When the weather and winds cooperate, bluewater days can be arranged. Anglers will want to bring all equipment and flies, as nothing is available at the lodge. Please refer to Yellow Dog’s pre-trip planning materials and gear lists for advice on applicable rods and reels, fly patterns, and other key pieces of equipment.
Rates and Terms
Remember that Yellow Dog’s services are completely free! When you book a trip with Yellow Dog, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge or outfitter. Trips of any length of stay can be arranged, so please call Yellow Dog for details and custom package pricing.
Exploratory Season: May, June and July
USD $5,500 per person (single room/double ﬁshing)
USD $4,000 non angler rate
- Seven (7) nights single occupancy accommodations at El Faro Lodge
- Six (6) full days of guided fishing (two people per skiff)
- Ground transfers from Havana to El Faro Lodge on arrival and departure days
- Three meals per day (all-inclusive meal service)
- Appetizers and all drinks at the lodge
What’s Not Included:
- International flights to Havana (Yellow Dog can assist in arranging these flights)
- Hotel nights in Havana
- Fishing tackle, equipment, flies and all terminal tackle
- Cuban entrance visa
- Gratuities for guides and staff (must be paid in cash)
- Other items of a personal nature
- Conservation Fee
El Faro Lodge (Guanahacabibes Peninsula, Cuba)
TERMS AND CONDITIONS – CANCELLATIONS
A non-refundable deposit of 50% per person is due within 10 days of booking to hold both space and guides for all El Faro Lodge packages. In the case of cancellations, all deposits and payments are non-refundable. Because of the lodge’s strict no refund policy, we highly recommend the purchase of trip cancellation insurance. No space or guides will be held without receipt of deposit. Full pre-payment is due 90 days prior to date of trip. El Faro Lodge will not refund payments in the event poor weather, or for unused portions of any package. If a cancelled package is resold by either the lodge or by Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures, then a full refund will be sent minus a $100.00 per person cancellation fee charged by Yellow Dog Flyfishing. All baggage and personal belongings are the sole responsibility of its owners at all times. We highly recommend obtaining a comprehensible travel insurance covering loss and robbery of baggage and personal belongings. In no event will the lodge or agent be responsible for any losses. The lodge and agent will not be responsible for any loss, damage or injury arising while practicing sportfishing or any other activity. The operator reserves the right to make changes to the trip itinerary whenever judged necessary by circumstances beyond the operator’s control, or major force circumstances. In this case, no refund will be made, although the trip itinerary, dates and/or destination can be changed by Untamed Angling and a trip credit may be issued. This amount will be at the sole discretion of the operator. Please be aware that all guests will be required to sign and return an Untamed Angling Indemnity Form prior to the trip, and there will be no exceptions to this. No refunds can be made for unused arrangements or fishing time lost due to inclement weather. Please note that credit card payments cannot be accepted for any incidentals or expenses once in Cuba. Receipt of deposit and/or final payment is acknowledgment that registrant has read and accepts the deposit, cancellation, refund and responsibility clauses for these packages. Once again, Yellow Dog strongly recommends that anglers and guests purchase travel insurance these Cuban packages.