Guardalavaca beach

Guardalavaca is a pearl of the northeast coast of Cuba, which is especially popular with visitors to the island. Columbus described this stretch of the current province of Holguin as the most beautiful place he had ever seen. Unlike its competitor, Varadero, the Guardalavaca resort is not yet too commercialized. This is what attracts admirers of untouched nature, adherents of diving, as well as lovers of Cuban history and culture.

Beach description

The wide beach area of Guardalavaca extends along the Atlantic coast for almost 4 kilometers. The surrounding landscapes – steep cliffs, caves, waterfalls, the jungle – create fascinating landscapes.

White sand with a soft blanket lies at the emerald edge of warm and clear water. The coral reef, which lies 300 meters from the coastline, protects the beach from erosion and creates the perfect microclimate for marine life. The absence of waves, the sandy bottom with a smooth slope and shallow water contribute to a carefree vacation with young children. On the shore you can find many shaded areas created by sprawling trees.

In the local water area there are 32 dive sites, ideal for diving. Most of them can be reached by boat. High transparency of water provides excellent visibility up to 20 m. A number of unique underwater caves in the area of the city of Gibara – the subject of study of cave divers. Of great interest is La Corona – a giant coral formation resembling a crown. The seabed is teeming with the coveted prey of a photo hunter: crustaceans, barracudas, swordfish, peacock fish, Spanish mackerels.

At the weekend of summer days, the recreation area becomes crowded. Local tourists are added to the tourists – invariably friendly and sociable. Many of them are not averse to making improvised dances, funny tricks, performing cartoons to order, selling food and crafts. At the same time, the beach remains clean and photogenic.

When is it better to go

The most favorable time for a vacation in Cuba is the period from November to April, when the air temperature reaches + 26 °C, water – up to + 25-28 °C. The sea is calm, the probability of hurricanes is minimal. 

Video: Beach Guardalavaca


A significant area of the beach is occupied by souvenir shops and restaurant bars, offering a cool glass of beer and a snack of fried chicken or crabs with chili sauce. A short walk will lead you to a market where you can cheaply buy handicrafts. Vacationers are available toilets, rental of beach furniture, sports equipment and swimming equipment (rowing boats, kayaks, catamarans).

On the first coastline are resorts serving all-inclusive customers. For budget travelers, there are more affordable accommodations in bed and breakfast hotels, hostels, guest houses.

A wide range of beach activities is available for vacationers:

  • diving;
  • sea cruises;
  • yachting;
  • deep sea fishing;
  • snorkeling;
  • water skiing and catamarans;
  • ping pong;
  • billiards;
  • tennis;
  • archery;
  • horseback riding;
  • mopeds and bicycles;
  • volleyball.

In April, the annual tourist festival Claro de Luna is held on Guardalavaca Beach. The program includes contests, gastronomic surprises, presentations of Cuban artists and pop musicians.

Nearby points of interest include:

  • Chorro de Maíta Museum with a reconstructed Native American village;
  • natural aquarium in Naranjo Bay;
  • Bariay Park – the landing site of Columbus in Cuba.

Weather in Guardalavaca

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Useful information

  1. Guardalavaca is considered the “historical capital of Cuba." This was one of the first places Christopher Columbus visited upon his arrival on the island.
  2. The name “Guardalavaca” means “hide the cows.” According to legend, Spanish settlers in the XVI and XVII centuries used the beach as a shelter for their cattle in order to avoid looting by corsairs, who often visit the island in search of prey. According to another version, the word “Guardalavaka” has the meaning “hide ships”. It is known that during severe storms, farmers left their swimming facilities in this quiet harbor.
  3. A tourist boom overtook Guardalavacu in the late 1970s when Fidel Castro opened the first resort here.
  4. The easiest way to cover the 75 km separating the beach from Frank País airport in Holguin is to hire a taxi or take the shuttle bus.

The beach participates in ratings:

24 place in rating North America 84 place in rating TOP-100 of the best beaches in the world 3 place in rating Cuba
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