"Guardalavaca - a great place to start" Top 5 Page for this destination Guardalavaca by TOFFY

Guardalavaca Travel Guide: 53 reviews and 180 photos

54 kilometers from Holguin

Guardalavaca, advertised in the package deals as "Holguin", would be my choice for the first time Cuba traveller. Not only does this area offer you the comforts you are looking for - the white sand, the blue blue water, the nice hotels, scuba diving, parasailing, snorkelling and fishing, the music and the shopping - it also lends you the opportunity to see a little of real Cuba, just going about its business. Not far from the hotels, is beautiful countryside, interesting excursions and wonderful opportunities to meet Cubans. Many of the hotels offer low key tours to schools and and medical centres, or just a drive to another local village .

Guardalavaca is a tourist centre where you will find commercial outlets, restaurants, and artists'market, live music & drinks on the Cuban beach, lots of T-shirts for sale, lots of taxis, horses & carts and sailboats for rent. Please note, though, that Guardalavaca is not an historical town. In fact, it was never a town, but simply a centre for tourism.

While some hotels are part of the centre (Club Amigo, Las Brisas), many of the hotels advertised are on beaches to the west, 10 or 15 kms away- Playa Esmeralda, Playa Turquesa or Playa Pesquero. All of these beaches are beautiful and each offers their unique characters.

One of the great advantages to this area, is that within close proximity to your hotel, whether by taxi (and there are lots of them) bicycle or rented car, are some very interesting excursions (see my tips) in some of Cuba's most beautiful countryside. The road from Guaradalavaca to Banes is one of Cuba's most scenic and photographed. Everywhere, the local people will welcome you and will be pleased to assist if you need help. Do not be afraid of "bad guys" There aren't any.
For further info on day trips, see my pages on Banes, Gibara and Mayari.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Everything you need in one place
  • Cons:Can't think of one
  • In a nutshell:Perfect for the first time Cuba visitor
  • Last visit to Guardalavaca: Dec 2010
  • Intro Updated Dec 15, 2010
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Reviews (20)

Comments (4)

  • Camping_Girl's Profile Photo
    Sep 12, 2011 at 10:01 PM

    You have a really excellent page on Guardalavaca, I really enjoyed reading through your tips!

  • Mar 11, 2008 at 7:38 AM

    Hi Toffy, I am going to Guardalavaca in September and reading your brilliant page has made me even more excited about going. Loved all your tips! Thank you for such a comprehensive account of your holiday.

  • Sininen's Profile Photo
    Apr 20, 2007 at 8:00 PM

    Hello Toffy! Lovely page on Guaralavaca. Lately I've created this urge to travel to Cuba so will be back to check your other pages. Happy birthday from Finland!

  • robertokeywest's Profile Photo
    Apr 17, 2005 at 10:44 AM

    hey toffy, love your cuba info. however, the guy at cayo saetia told me they no longer allow hunting. chasing and killing fenced animals is pathetic. i'm hoping to go back in july and your info on biran etc. will be very helpful...thanks! rob o

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