Guardalavaca stretches over 3 km. of beach among steep cliffs, facing the Atlantic Ocean, 54 km. north-east of Holguín province. Its warm, quiet waters, turquoise blue in color, are protected by coral reefs, 300 m. into the sea, creating an ideal microclimate for sea life.
The water is very clear and the visibility good up to depths of 20 m. allowing for remarkable diving in places like “Boca de las Esponjas”, “El Salto” y “El cañón de los Aguajíes”. Gibara is home to a series of underwater caves unique in the island with great possibilities for cave diving.
The sea bottom is swarming with a variety of coral beds, crustaceans and fish such as barracuda, swordfish, peacock fish, spanish mackerel, etc.
Guardalavaca meaning Hide the Cow is called “Cuba’s Archeological Capital”. As legend has it, XVI and XVII century Spanish settlers used it as a hide out for their cattle, to avoid being ransacked by the corsairs and pirates frequently visiting the island in search of booty. It is 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.