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.
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.
2017 Rates: $3,640-$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
Fish Species: Migratory tarpon, juvenile tarpon, bonefish, permit, jacks, snook, baracuda, snapper
Capacity: 8 anglers