Cuba Destinations: Guardalavaca

Guardalavaca’s white sand beaches, coral reefs, rolling hills, impressive cliffs and varied vegetation make it a very attractive destination. Not surprisingly, it’s home to a burgeoning tourist industry with package holidays now available from England, Canada, Germany and Austria.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, pirates regularly plundered coastal towns, including this one. Legend has it that Spanish settlers used Guardalavaca ("hide the cow") as a hideout for their cattle, giving the town its name. It’s also said that on the beaches of Guardalavaca, settlers used to trade leather goods and salted meat in exchange for European goods smuggled by buccaneers.

Guardalavaca lies close to Gibara, the place where Christopher Columbus first set foot on Cuban soil. The water in these parts is very clear and the visibility good up to depths of 20 meters, providing excellent diving in places like "Boca de las Esponjas", "El Salto" y "El cañón de los Aguajíes".

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