I WANT TO SEE CUBA BEFORE IT CHANGES!

….Has to be one of the most common declarations made by Americans arriving in Cuba today.
After more than fifty years of travel taboo, Americans are flocking to our recently opened island neighbor, making it the hottest travel destination of the day.
Lead by the Tampa Bay Rays, President Obama, The Rolling Stones, businessmen, celebrities and politicians, now, hordes of American sightseers create travel agendas, join education groups or mass in fleets to visit the once forbidden fruit of the Caribbean.
You hear it at the Jose Marti airport, in Hemingway Marina and along the Malecon. “We want to see it before it changes.”
Between Cuba’s aged infrastructure and even older leadership, Cuba’s change isn’t coming quickly, but.
This spring at one small beachhead, Playa Larga, angling took a huge leap forward into the modern world.
In the water world of Rio Hatiquanico and Las Salinas, Cuba’s premier bonefish and tarpon destinations, the tractor just replaced the mule, or in this case oxen.
March 2016 saw the arrival of a new motorized fleet replacing boats that for the most part only featured paddles and push poles.
Now, thanks to the new fleet of Beavertail flats skiffs and Tracker river launches, equipped with trolling motors, GPS and fish-finders, the guides of Zapata have multitudes of fishing options. Miles of rarely fished flats are now in range awaiting newly freed American anglers.
Rio Hatiquanico and Las Salinas combine to provide one of the unique angling experiences in the world. The vast pristine flats and ocean expanses of Salinas contrast sharply with the jungle environment of the spring fed Hatiquanico River, providing distinctly different fishing experiences.
Whether stalking elusive bonefish in the shallows or precise casting for tarpon along a mangrove lined river bank, fishing Zapata Swamp is the angling adventure of a lifetime.
Set within the largest preserve in the Caribbean and with a diversity of wildlife found no other place on earth, The Zapata experience is an emersion into a tranquil world, where the sight of another boat is rare and the loudest sound is a gill rattling tarpon leaping into the clear tropic sky.

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