Gardens of the King - Cayo Santa Maria Cuba

The Gardens of the King is located on Cuba's north coast. Named for the king of Spain in the sixteenth century, this archipelago is part of the UNESCO recognized Buenovista Biosphere Reserve, and is very pristine. The Islands of Cayo Santa Maria, Cayo Ensenachos, and Cayo las Brujas have only been recently developed, with a 48 km causeway to the island built from 1989-1999, and hotels and accommodations existing only after 2001. It is highly regarded by visiting tourists for its beautiful white sand beaches and warm clear water.

It is only in this short amount of time, that anglers have discovered this area to hold an abundance of Tarpon. Fishing operations at Gardens of the King will be operated by Fly Fishing the Run. With 4 top-notch Dolphin flats skiffs, and experienced guides, the maximum group size for anglers will be 8. Guests will stay at the beautiful and all-inclusive resort Iberostar Ensenachos. Located on Cayo Ensenachos, the resort has all the amenities travelers would want, including 5 pools, access to the beach, 4 restaurants, and 9 bars. Guests will stay in Double Spa Suites. All varieties of flats fish exist in the Gardens of the King. Bonefish are plentiful on the interior flats, and provide great entertainment for anglers wanting a break from the Tarpon, or when tides are not optimum. Permit are also found around these cayes, and more and more habitat for them is being discovered all the time. However, it is Tarpon that make this area famous for fly fishing. Resident Tarpon are present all year long, and range in size from 10-80 pounds. Beginning in March, Gardens of the King begins to see the larger migratory Tarpon, and the fish continue to be present through July. These fish can be in excess of 150 pounds, and are a true test of a fly angler's skills. Depending upon conditions and seasons, the fishing for Tarpon ranges from shallow flats to deeper lagoons and channels. Often times fish are sighted rolling in schools, and the skiffs position themselves ahead of them for intercepting casts.

The normal program for anglers visiting Gardens of the King is Saturday to Saturday. Guests overnight in Havana on their arrival, and depart the next morning by overland shuttle to their accommodations at Iberostar Ensenachos. Contrary to other fishing itineraries, shuttles depart Havana at a comfortable time mid-morning, for the nearly 5 hour ride to the island. Then, anglers have 6 full days of guided fishing. Most guests depart from the resort on Sunday, directly to Jose Marti airport in Havana for their departing flights.

Iberostar Ensenachos
The Iberostar Ensenachos is a large and beautiful all-inclusive resort located on Cayo Ensenacho near Santa Maria, Cuba. With 5 star accommodations and amenities, this resort pleases anglers and non-anglers alike. Located a short walk from several beautiful white-sand beaches, Ensenachos has 4 restaurants, 9 bars, 5 swimming pools and a multitude of other features to keep guests happy and entertained. All meals are included in the fishing package, and guests stay two per suite. Currently, flats skiffs are located at the marina on Cayo Las Brujas, which is a short 6 mile drive from the resort.

Rates and Details

2019 Rates:  $3,738-$5,320 per person for an 8 night/6 day package

Included: All accommodations and meals, guided fishing, eight beverages per day (beer, alcohol, extra waters) 

Not Included: Round trip airfare to Havana, fishing tackle, transfers to/from Havana to hotel and to/from Havana to Santa Maria, personal expenses, taxis and meals in Havana, staff & guide gratuities


Season: Year-round

Fish Species: Migratory tarpon, juvenile tarpon, bonefish, permit, jacks, snook, baracuda, snapper

Capacity: 8 anglers

Map: Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba

Gardens of the King - Cayo Santa Maria Cuba NEWS

Feb 9, 2019

Gardens of the King, Cuba – Quick Facts

Gardens of the King, Cuba Gardens of the King hosts some of the best Tarpon fishing in Cuba and all of the Caribbean. Here, host Jon Covich covers the quick details of a trip to Gardens of the King, including the travel, accommodations, and fishing situations.
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Dec 14, 2017

Cuba is Open for American Anglers – Prime Availability for 2018

There may not be another destination in the Fly Water Travel catalog that fields more questions from confused interested anglers than Cuba. Is Cuba open for American anglers? Are the fisheries really that good? Are flights still going to the island? The easy answer is yes, yes and yes! Please find the latest information for […]
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Sep 14, 2017

Cuba Update – Legal Travel for U.S. Citizens Back in Place

We are pleased to announce that travel to Cuba is 100% legal again. The recent announcement by President Trump made it clear that the administration would roll back the legal provision for individual travel to Cuba that anglers had been traveling under for the past two years. However, they clearly stated they would continue to […]
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Jul 6, 2017

Trip Report – Gardens of the King, Cuba

Back in the USA, after another great trip to Cuba. I was at Gardens of the King on Cuba’s north coast with an absolutely great group. Thanks to Tim, Howard, Brian, Jeremy, Katie and Kate for being so easy going and willing to go with the flow. It sure makes a host’s job much easier. […]
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Apr 14, 2017

Booking a trip to Cuba? What you really need to know – 2017 UPDATE

Booking a trip to Cuba? What you really need to know. In the last 3 years Fly Water has been excited to help a vast amount of anglers, couples and families make successful trips to Cuba. It’s clear that Cuba has some incredibly exciting opportunities for the saltwater fly angler with some truly pristine fisheries combined with […]
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Apr 13, 2017

Prime Tarpon week. 2 spots open at GOK, Cuba

Unfortunately, we just had 2 anglers forced to cancel as part of our hosted group going to Gardens of the King, Cuba, late in June of this year. GOK is noted for having some of the best Tarpon action in all of Cuba, and that is what we will be there targeting. We will fish […]
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Sep 15, 2016

Book Direct Flights to Havana, Cuba Now!

Our travel specialists have been hard at work evaluating the ability for American anglers to book direct flights to Havana on their own. Below you’ll see a breakdown of each airline and the departure cities for direct flights to Havana. Some airlines and routes are currently available for booking and others are on the way. […]
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Jun 9, 2016

Hosted Trips w/ Fly Water Travel – Cuba 2017

We still have some amazing opportunities to join Fly Water Travel on the water in Cuba for 2017! These are prime time options and we couldn’t be more thrilled to offer these remarkable trips to the hottest saltwater destination in fly fishing. As a team we have spent well over 10 weeks on the ground […]
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Mar 31, 2016

¡Viva la Cuba! Opening Relations and Opening Doors for Saltwater Anglers

For the first time in well over 50 years, American anglers can now legally experience the country’s vast selection of pristine flats destinations, the wonder of Havana and one of the world’s most unique travel opportunities. Click To Read Full Article If you’d like to learn more about this destination or start exploring Cuban fishing possibilities […]
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