Small Fishing Community on the Famous Bay of Pigs
This land-based option, located only a few hours’ drive from Havana and can be a great way to get in a day of fishing if you are already in Cuba traveling on your own itinerary or if you have booked a cultural tour and would like to get in a day or two on the water. With new Beavertail skiffs for saltwater fishing on the Las Salinas flats, and Bass Tracker boats to access tarpon and snook fishing in the nearby Rio Hatiguanico River, this option allows for a completely customizable trip that offers the best of both salt and freshwater fishing in Cuba.
With ultimate flexibility, you can elect for the right combination of saltwater flats fishing days combined with freshwater fishing for tarpon and snook. The hotel and the dining package, which include trips to local paladars (restaurants in private homes), allow for the unique opportunity to experience the real local flavor of Cuba. You can choose to fish for a day and return to Havana for the night or stay in Playa Larga for a dynamic week of both salt and sweet water fishing.
Anglers will stay at a private, anglers-only section of the Playa Larga Hotel in the town of Playa Larga with a private entrance. Guests stay in colorful bungalows with a front porch, interior sitting area, private bath with shower, two double beds, air conditioning, and hot water. There is a private beach area available to angling guests only a short walk from the bungalows.
Food and Beverages
There are a variety of dining options in Playa Larga. El Ranchon is a private bar and grill for the angling guests at Playa Larga Hotel only. Beers, spirits, sodas, water, and juices will be available at any time to guests at this cantina. Guests can order from a diverse menu of meat, seafood, chicken or pork options, all expertly grilled and prepared at El Ranchon. In addition, an abbreviated menu will be available 24 hours a day to anglers. Upon request, transportation to a local paladar (private dining experience at a Cuban home and some of the best food in Cuba) such as Casa Alexis, Paladar Chuchy el Pescador or Paladar Las Terrazas for dinner. We highly recommend having at least one evening meal locally – the experience and the food are not to be missed.
Typical Length of Stay
Any length of stay can be accommodated. A package of any number of nights and guided fishing days can be arranged, and guests can arrive and depart on any day of the week. Additional days and nights in Havana or visits to other parts of Cuba can easily be arranged and itineraries can be fully customized. Combo trips between Zapata and other fishing areas can also be arranged if desired. Please contact Yellow Dog for more details.
Non-Angling Activities and Options
Non-angling activities include snorkeling, diving, bird watching and guided walking tours of the nearby Ciénaga de Zapata National Park.
Wi-Fi is available at the hotel, but can be unpredictable and may not maintain good connectivity. You can purchase internet cards from the hotel for about 2 CUC for one hour of connectivity. Keep in mind that U.S. cell phones currently DO NOT work anywhere in Cuba. Also, satellite phones are strictly prohibited in Cuba and will be confiscated at the airport upon arrival.
How To Get There
One of the great benefits to this destination is its close proximity to the Havana, which means that anglers can easily transfer to the fishery with no need for long transfers in buses or in-country flights. Depending on your flight arrival times, it is possible to transfer to this destination upon arrival to Cuba, avoiding an overnight in Havana altogether. All packages begin with arrival at 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, and numerous other countries. There are also direct, third-party charter flights from more than ten major U.S. cities that currently fly directly to Havana. Upon arrival into Havana, you will clear immigration and customs before heading to the main reception area of the airport, where you will be met for your transfer directly to Playa Larga. Alternatively, we can book you a hotel room in Havana upon arrival so that you have some time to experience this fantastic city (Yellow Dog certainly recommends at least a night to enjoy Havana if you have not yet visited this lively city). We are happy to make arrangements for you before or after your fishing days.
Arrival and Departure Details / Times
Anglers typically fly into Havana’s Jose Marti International Airport (HAV) and can transfer directly to Playa Larga the same day if your arrival time into Havana is before 6 PM. The drive to Playa Larga takes about two and a half hours. Alternatively, you may stay in Havana and schedule an early morning transfer to Playa Larga and fish upon arrival. Yellow Dog can help with hotels, tours and full travel details associated with additional nights in Havana. For departures, if your departing flight times are noon or later, you can transfer directly from Playa Larga to Havana on your departure day.
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 can be secured 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. Most of our trips qualify as an Educational or Person to Person trip to Cuba.
Yellow Dog works directly with and recommends Kanna Travel. They can assist with airline tickets, hotels, transfers and all travel logistics for every destination that we offer. Contact them at 855-739-3139 or [email protected] for more details on airfare ticketing, travel services, and trip insurance.
General Fishing Information
On of the things that make this fishing area so unique is a large amount of skinny or shallow water. Much of the area simply cannot be accessed and fished using traditional flats skiffs with two anglers and a guide. To that end, we utilize both “single angler” skiffs – smaller, skinny-water boats designed for a solo angler and one guide in addition to Beavertail double skiffs. The skinny water single angler boats are typically used for shallow water to access the bonefishing and permit fishing deep within the flats systems.
Each morning, guests will transfer by a vehicle about an hour to Las Salinas fishing area which is part of the Ciénaga de Zapata National Park. You will arrive at a covered staging area where you can rig your gear and, if you are fishing for multiple days, you can rinse and store your gear for subsequent fishing days. Once rigged, you step onto the private docks and board your skiff(s) for the day. Anglers can expect to fish for bonefish and permit, with possibilities for other marine species (tarpon, snook, jacks, barracuda, etc.) as well.
If you are fishing the Rio Hatiguanico, you will transfer by vehicle an hour and a half to a different park entrance to the expansive Ciénaga de Zapata Biosphere Reserve and National Park. The source of this gem of a fishery is a huge sweet water natural spring that flows westward into the Ensenada de la Broa and the open ocean. There are a small boathouse and staging area where you can rig your rods and step onto the comfortable boats for a short motor downriver to where the river opens up into a wide channel. There are over 14 kilometers of river channels to fish between the headwaters and staging area and the river mouth where it meets the salt. Tarpon and snook are the targeted species along with this With any luck, you may see manatees coming up for air in the main channel.
Boats and Equipment
When fishing the flats of Las Salinas you will be fishing from either a 16’ 8” foot 2016 Beavertail skiff (single occupancy) or a 17’6” foot 2016 Beavertail skiff (double occupancy). These Beavertail skiffs are specifically designed for very skinny water and are the ideal craft for accessing the far reaches of the expansive flats system. Wading boots are highly recommended for Las Salinas.
When fishing for tarpon and snook on the Rio Hatiguanico, you will fish from either a 16 or 17 foot 2016 Bass Tracker with 40-50 HP Mercury motors.
It is recommended that anglers bring all of their own fishing equipment. Flies, leaders, tippet, all terminal tackle and all accessories should be brought down, as very few items, if any, are available anywhere in Cuba.
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. We are also able to book accommodations in Havana to suit your needs.
Single Occupancy, Multi-Day Packages (Per Person)
3 nights / 4 Fishing Days = $3,100.00
4 nights / 5 Fishing Days = $3,900.00
5 nights / 6 Fishing Days = $4,650.00
6 nights / 7 Fishing Days = $5,425.00
3 nights / 4 Fishing Days = $2,600.00
4 nights / 5 Fishing Days = $3,275.00
5 nights / 6 Fishing Days = $3,900.00
6 nights / 7 Fishing Days = $4,600.00
- Private ground transfers to/from Havana to Playa Larga
- Daily ground transfers to and from the fishery for either Las Salinas or the Rio Hatiguanico
- Breakfast at hotel, packed lunch, 2 soft drinks, 2 bottles of water
- Taxes and GSTs
- Dinners at local paladars (private eateries) and the Hotel Playa Larga
What’s Not Included:
- International flights to/from Havana (HAV)
- Hotel nights, meals, drinks, taxis, tours and any additional expenses while in Havana
- Fishing tackle, equipment, flies and all terminal tackle
- Cuban entrance visa (approx. USD $50.00)
- Gratuities for guides and staff (must be paid in cash with CUCs)
- Gratuities for paladar dinners and hotel dining
- Beer or alcoholic beverages (available to purchase in route to Hotel if desired while fishing and available at meals, but not included in package price)
Trip Deposit and Trip Cancellation Information
For all Cuba trips less than 90 days out, full payment is required to secure guides and reservations. For trips outside of 90 days, a 70% deposit is required within 10 days to hold and confirm reservations. Payment for all Cuba trips must be made in US dollars and can be made using check, money order or wire transfer only. Any cancellations on Cuba trips will incur a $250.00 Yellow Dog handling fee regardless of timing. Passport number, date of birth and full name (as printed in passport) is required to confirm any Cuba reservation. Outside of 180 days from the start of the trip, deposits are refundable minus an $800 Cuban operator handling fee, which will be held and retained by the operators unless the trip is resold. Inside of 180 days of the start date of the trip, all deposits and payments are non-refundable unless Yellow Dog or Cuban operators are able to resell your spot(s). No refunds are available for unused portions of packages. Trip cancellation insurance is highly recommended. Please note that credit card payments cannot be accepted for any incidentals or expenses once in Cuba. All programs and execution of programs remain subject to weather and other unforeseen circumstances. Claims for refunds from Cuban operators will not be accepted.