GHO Cuba

Lionfish Derby

Join the Guy Harvey Outpost Expedition Team for the Lionfish Derby in Maria La Gorda, Cuba hosted by the Acuario Nacional (National Aquarium of Cuba). This is the second Lionfish Tournament offered in Maria La Gorda with the sole purpose of helping to remove this invasive species from the reefs. Our new Guy Harvey Outpost Expedition Collection is focused on the Adventure Traveler in mind with unique experiences specific to each destination. We tie in science, art, and cultural experiences to each adventure to offer a top of class expedition collection. This is a dive focused expedition which will fall under the “people to people” category with planned activities to fit these requirements.

Expedition Dates

September 14-20th. Spend 3 Days in Havana and 4 Days in Maria La Gorda, on the western southern tip of Cuba in the Nature Preserve.

Expedition Mission


The Lionfish is an invasive species originally from the Indo-Pacific Ocean. In the last several years, it has taken over the East Coast of the US, the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico. The Lionfish is destroying our reefs by preying on the native species that don’t recognize them as predators.


Because the damage caused by Lionfish, several associations started to offer Lionfish Derby’s in order to try and keep the fish from completely destroying our reefs.

Lionfish Tournament Rules
  • Two participants per team
  • Hawaiian spears, pole spears and spear guns only.
  • Awards for the largest, smallest, and most lionfish.
  • Participants must follow the rules and regulations as instructed by the Parque Nacional Guanahacabibes and the Maria La Gorda Dive Center. Rules will be outlined when you arrive to Maria La Gorda.
Expedition Itinerary

Day 1:
September 14th (Wednesday) – Arrive to Havana / Tour the Historic City.

  • Meet at the airport in Miami International Airport no later than 5 AM, four hours prior to departure, for the early morning flight. Flight time is approximately 40 mins. Exact flights and time will be determined closer to the departure date depending on how many are in our group.
  • Arrival in Havana: The shuttle will take use to the hotel in Havana. After check in we will tour the historic city and visit “Hotel Nacional de Cuba”, with dinner at “Club 21” Paladar and visit a Cabaret Parisien Show at Hotel Nacional (Dinner $25 & Show $40 are optional and are not included in package price).

Day 2:
September 15th (Thursday) – Travel to Maria La Gorda / Cuban Tobacco Farm Tour

  • The shuttle bus will pick us up at the Hotel and journey us to the western southern tip of the Island, Maria La Gorda. This is a 5 hour trip from Havana where you will enjoy a magnificent view of the country side. On the way to Maria La Gorda we will stop for the famous Tobacco Farm Tour “Hector Luis, El Hombre Habano” the biggest tobacco producer in Cuba.
  • Enjoy Cuban Cuisine with a welcome lunch at Maria La Gorda

Day 3:
September 16th (Friday) – Lionfish Derby Begins!

  • Breakfast at the hotel. The hunt begins with one competition dive before lunch and one dive after lunch. Dinner followed by night activities.
  • *Up to 3 additional dives can be purchased separately if divers would like to dive more than twice a day*

Day 4:
September 17th (Saturday) – 2nd Day of Lionfish Derby.

  • Breakfast at the hotel. The hunt begins with one competition dive before lunch and one dive after lunch. Dinner followed by night activities.
  • *Up to 3 additional dives can be purchased separately if divers would like to dive more than twice a day*

Day 5:
September 18th (Sunday) – Lionfish Cooking Contest / Awards Ceremony

  • Breakfast followed by the Lionfish Cooking Contest where the Maria La Gorda Chefs will compete for the top Lionfish recipe. Afternoon is free to explore the beautiful countryside of Maria La Gorda which is marked by meticulous preservation and abundant flora and fauna, it’s a popular destination for nature lovers as well as divers and it is known for its stellar sunsets.
  • Dinner will be followed by Awards Ceremony that evening.

Day 6:
September 19th (Monday) –Return to Havana / Visit El Floridita

  • Journey back to Havana and check into the hotel. We’ll then take a tour of Central Havana and visit what was Hemingway’s favorite bar, El Floridita, Hotel Parque Central, for “Noche de Salsa” (A night of dancing) in the hotels historic roof top bar. * All the nighttime activities in Havana are optional and at an additional cost.

Day 7:
September 20th (Tuesday) –Tour Havana / Return to Miami

  • Complimentary breakfast and final tour of Old Havana, including a visit to Plaza de la Cathedral, Plaza Vieja, and finally a tour of Museo del Ron Havana Club (The Havana Club Museum). We will also visit “Fusterland” a neighborhood that was transformed by Fuster, an artist that used broken tiles to decorate the neighborhood, a visit to el Castillo del Morro, and then have lunch at la Cabana at the end of the day. These additional activities are optional and at additional costs. They can be done with the group (recommended) or you’re welcome to explore the city at your own pace and discretion.
  • Return to Miami late afternoon.
Prices per extra dives while in Maria La Gorda

2 dives a day will be included during the Lionfish Derby. Up to 5 dives daily are allowed including the Lionfish dives.

Prices per extra dive:

  • Single Tank – $35.00
  • Five Dive Package – $135.00
  • Six Dive Package – $156.00
  • Night Dive – $40.00 (Night dives, divers must bring their own flashlights).
Trip Planning

Reservation Terms-50% ($1200) of total amount is required at registration. The remaining 50% ($1200) payment is due by August 19th.
All payments are non-refundable.

Trip Includes

  • Round Trip Airfare to and from Miami International
  • Visa
  • Shuttle Bus service during stay
  • 2 night stay in the historic city of Old Havana (Breakfast included)
  • Famous Cuban Tobacco Farm Tour
  • 4 Night stay in Maria La Gorda (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner & 2 complimentary drinks each day included)
  • 2 Day Lionfish Tournament Entry & Lionfish Cooking Competition Entry
  • Awards Ceremony
  • 4 Dives over 2 Days (Includes Tanks & Weights)
  • Historic Havana Culture Tour

** Cab from Havana back to Airport not included. (Lunch, dinners, and shows are not included while in Havana) Diving/Spear Equipment not included aside from Weights & Tanks (Rental Packages Available through Maria La Gorda Dive Center). Extra dives available for additional cost including night dives (bring your own light). Nonrefundable 50% deposit required upon registration and Nonrefundable remainder due by Aug. 20th, 2016. Rates based on double occupancy. (Single occupancy available for additional $500 cost).

*Does not include travel insurance (DAN Insurance is highly recommended)

Travel insurance is recommended and offered through:

  • Trip pricing includes your Visa processing. A valid passport, valid for at least 6 months after return date required.
  • This trip is fundamentally DIVE based. We will be making some other activities available but the main purpose is Scuba Diving.
  • All dives are air only. Nitrox is currently not available.
  • Direct flights to Cuba from Miami are charters. You might anticipate that additional baggage fees will be incurred as current weigh limit per person is 44 lbs including carry-on luggage. $20 per checked bag with a 20lb maximum. Additional fee is $2 per pound over 20 lbs. There is also a $28 Departure Fee which is not included in package price.
  • Cuba has been opened to European tourists who might have different standards for service level expectancy than we are accustomed in the USA. 5 star accommodations and service in Cuba is not the same as 5 star rating in the USA.
  • Maria La Gorda is located four hours away from Havana. It is nested in a Nature Preserve area, so nature will be around you. Bring insect repellant!
Liquids Rule
  • You are allowed to bring a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes in your carry-on bag and through the checkpoint. These are limited to travel-sized containers that are 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item. Placing these items in the small bag and separating from your carry-on baggage facilitates the screening process. Pack items that are in containers larger than 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters in checked baggage.
  • Any liquid, aerosol, gel, cream or paste that alarms during screening will require additional screening.
  • Wi-Fi is available at the hotels
  • We will include additional information in upcoming correspondence and pre-trip meetings.
  • One drink (beer/wine/soda) is included for each lunch and dinner in Maria La Gorda and breakfast only in Havana within the package price. Additional drinks are extra and paid directly. The general rule is that you will spend an additional $100 per day in Havana for dinner and optional shows. Maria La Gorda breakfast, Lunch, and dinners are included in package price with liquor and cigars extra. ATMS are not available in Maria La Gorda and some credit cards do not work in Cuba. We will inform you of any changes; however the preferred method of payment is Cash. The actual change rate is $87.00 CUC / $100.00 USD. So extra cash on hand for travel is a must for those wanting to take part in additional dinners, tours, and purchasing additional items that are not included in the package price.

Each participant must fill out this form.

Note: A valid passport to travel outside the United States and it must be valid for at least six (6) months after trip return date.

Name as shown on USA passport *

Passport number *

Expiration date on passport*

Street address*

City/State/Zip code

Email *

Date of Birth *

Primary phone *

Secondary phone


Emergency contact

Logged dives

Highest held diving certification When and where were your last dives *

Dive insurance provider and number *

Trip Cost Information
Package: $2400.00 per person (cash/check)

Total Person *

Single Supplement (+$500)

No. Of Supplement *
Total Due *

I understand that a minimum deposit of 50% is due at the time of registration. Remaining 50% payment is due by August 20th, 2016. I further understand that all payments are non-refundable.

I have been advised that this Scuba trip package does not include travel insurance and I understand that I have the option to purchase my own Travel Insurance. We recommend DAN Insurance.

I will purchase my own Travel Insurance policy

I decline and will personally assume the financial risk

Scuba diving equipment is NOT supplied except for weights and tanks. However, rental packages are available from Maria la Gorda Diving Center.

I agree to sign all related trip Waivers and Releases of Liability.

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