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Guardalavaca is a popular holiday town located on Cuba`s northern coast, in the province of Holguin. It is around seventy kilometers away from the town of Holguin, and it is a very attractive place due to its beautiful white sandy beaches and clear sea waters. The name Guardalavaca can be translated as ‘protecting the cow’, and it got its name from the past times when pirates were roaming the area and used this place as their hiding spot. Today, this beach resort offers a laid-back atmosphere and is known as a great place for diving and sailing. You can even swim with the dolphins that visit the warm waters in the area. Guardalavaca also has many nice open markets, quality seafood restaurants and relaxing beach bars.
June is the warmest month of the year in Guardalavaca with average temperatures around 27 C. However, all months of the year are good for swimming and sunbathing, as even the coldest winter months have average temperatures above 20 C.
There are several great beaches in Guardalavaca and most popular are Playa Guardalavaca, Playa Esmeralda, Playa Las Brisas, Don Lino, Playa Pesquero and Bahia de Naranjo. Playa Las Brisas and Playa Guardalavaca have great hotel complexes equipped with golf courts and other tourist facilities, while Playa Pesquero and Playa Esmeralda offer exclusivity and luxury. The hotel complexes by the beaches also offer many options for nighttime entertainment and there are a few open discotheques and nightclubs. Town of Guardalavaca is situated in the middle of hilly countryside and is surrounded by sugar cane fields. It is a charming place with many houses turned into ‘casa particulares’ to accommodate the tourists.
Besides great beaches, Bahia de Naranjo National Park is one of the major attractions in the area. Hiking lovers will enjoy this park that has lots of marked hiking trails. There are many mangrove swamps in the park, and you can go on a boat ride and explore the beauties of this remarkable place. Probably the biggest attraction in this park is the opportunity for you to swim with the dolphins. There is one nice sea pen sanctuary where you can admire or swim with these beautiful sea animals.
If you get tired from sunbathing and swimming, there are many places to explore and see in the surrounding area around Guardalavaca. Most of the attractive spots can be reached by organized tours and excursions by the hotels. A few kilometers south of Guardalavaca is the place called Maniabon Hills. This attractive burial site includes a re-created Taino village called Aldea Taina, and a Museo de Chorro de Maita – a place where you can learn more about this fascinating ancient culture. In Bahia de Naranjo and near Playa Esmeralda you will find a beautiful large aquarium with many exotic sea species. If you want to further explore the region you can rent a bike or a moped and go to the countryside where you can enjoy some great views on the coast and sea.
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