Guardalavaca beach is protected by its surroundings, but has a unique whismy: in the ocean, less than 200 meters away, there is an extensive coral reef; and on land, the beach is enclosed by hills and lush forest.  There are many stories about the origin of its peculiar name (Guarda-la-vaca meaning save the cow). One of the most widespread claims is that at the beginning of the twentieth century this was a very quiet place used by farmers to protect livestock in bad weather. Guardalavaca is not a bubble isolated from the world around or exclusive to tourists. Many Cubans also go to this beach, so you will run into plenty of locals. This beach is the third most popular destination on the island.

Not to miss

  • More than 30 dive sites in the area allow divers to check out the coral reefs, true underwater gardens.  More adventurous divers can explore the ocean floor during night dives.  But first timers won’t be disappointed, as the Eagle Ray Diving Center also offers introductory courses.
  • While some like to swim, others prefer to take to the sky. Those interested in skydiving excursions can launch from three thousand meters up, and see the unforgettable view of the coastline from above.  Looking for more action?  Explore Cayo Saetía, the Samá River or the Bahía de Naranjo.
  • In addition to the sun and the beach, Guardalavaca has the gift of diversity. There are nearby spots of historical and cultural interest.  For example, the archaeological site Chorro de Maíta, where remains of an aboriginal burial site are preserved.
  • Gibara, also known as the Villa Blanca de Cuba, maintains its old colonial charm. Its popularity increases when the Festival de Cinema Pobre (a festival featuring self-funded filmmaking) is held there every two years.

Getting there:

About 60 kilometers from Holguín, you can get to Guardalavaca via the Guardalavaca highway. It is also only 15 kilometers from Playa Pesquero.  The Frank País Airport is the closest airport to this tourist spot. If you take the Carretera Central, which then becomes the National Highway, it is 796 km to Havana. If you want to get to Santiago de Cuba, take the Carretera Mayarí, which connects with the National Highway, a 178 km trip.

Guardalavaca, Holguín, Some Inspiration

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