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Guardalavaca: Thin Sand and Blue Sea in Eastern Cuba

A perfect combination of thin sand and blue sea, marked by its closeness to the mountains and the area's greenery, characterize Guardalavaca, considered the most emblematic beach in eastern Cuba.

Ignored even in some maps of the region, the said site was registered, however, in the diary of Genoese Admiral Christopher Columbus, who ranked it among the most significant discoveries made during his expedition on the largest Antillean Island.

According to legend, its name was attributed to pirates' activities in the Caribbean region, since filibusters considered it the perfect place to hide their booty, also called "vaca" (cow).

A more realistic story links the name to a warning from local inhabitants when they spotted pirate ships on the horizon, and a cry of "Guarda la Vaca" (Keep the Cow) warned them about the impending danger.

A 40-meter-wide and 1,300-meter-long strip of sand treasures the most varied attractions for leisure, with characteristics that are similar to those of other beaches in eastern Cuba, including Esmeralda and Pequero.

The green and exuberant vegetation begins a few steps from the sea, offering travelers a one-of-a-kind show that blends the blue of the sea with the traditional.

Valleys and hills treasure a unique flora and fauna, including Cuba's national bird, the tocororo, as well as woodpeckers, parrots, cateys, macaws, hutias, manatees and even wild horses.

Guardalavaca is also the venue of the famous swallow festival, which honors the thousands of tourists who gather there every year to bid farewell to the winter season and enjoy the beach.

The election of the festival's queen (Miss Swallow) every year among the beauties who enjoy the island's attractions gives a singular touch to the festivities, complemented by a carnival of Cuban music.

The corporation Cubanacán S.A. has a predominant position in this resort, with offers that include water sports, cultural shows by Carishow, transportation to many destinations by Veracuba and Fantástico, and the possibility of enjoying Cuban cuisine at restaurants owned by the Palmares chain.

Leisure programs allow travelers to discover beautiful sites along Cuba's northern coast, characterized by their high natural, cultural and historic values, and including such places as the museum of archeology and the Taino village at Chorro de Maíta, as well as Gibara, a fishermen's town featuring a well-preserved colonial architecture.

For nature lovers, sunsets in Guardalavaca are a unique combination of green from the vegetation and blue from the sea, along the narrow strip of sand at the beach, which is protected by a silent sentinel, a coral reef that keeps the water calm for the enjoyment of vacationers.

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