Welcome to Guardalavaca

There are also sheltered turquoise coral reefs teeming with aquatic action. More spread out than Varadero and less isolated than Cayo Coco, it has enduring popularity. There’s also long been beach access for Cubans, which helps provide a more local atmosphere.

In the early 20th century, this region was a rural village and important cattle-rearing area (Guardalavaca means 'shelter the cow'). The tourism boom moved into first gear in the late 1970s when local holguiñero Fidel Castro inaugurated Guardalavaca's first resort – the sprawling Atlántico – with a quick dip in the hotel pool. The local economy hasn't looked back since.

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