Full of incredibly natural beauty, Christopher Columbus was profused and atonished when he found for the first time Cuban coasts in 1492, at the Bariay Bay which belongs to the province of Holguin.
Close to the same coastline you can find the incredibly beautiful Guardalavaca beach, an small but flourishing tourist area, located 56 kilometers northeast of Holguin city and 65 kilometers from the international airport of that province.
The region began with a speedy tourism development in the 1970´s and currently is one of the beach resorts with the largest amount of inhabitants dedicated to international tourism.
The main beaches of Guardalavaca are Mayor Beach and Las Brisas Beach with some 400 meters in length each. The area is very attractive for diving and has incredibly beautiful sights.
Boca de Esponjas, with abundant marine sponges is among the larges in the Caribbean; El Salto and El Cañon de los Aguajíes are among the best proposals for the visitor. In its beaches you can opt for different sports like tennis, volleyball, aerobics, and water sports including sailing, windsurf, water bikes and diving.
Close to Guardalavaca and Pesquero Beach you may find Cayo Naranjo Natural Park with 32 kilometers of coastal beaches; in the surrounding there are archaeological settlements, caves, 7 totally virgin keys and a coral barrier.
In the central part of the area, Naranjo Key taking advantage of its natural environment installed a marine aquarium with beautiful dolphins. To visit the aquarium is like diving in its coral floors where you can appreciate its sub aquatic life made up by sharks, dolphins, marine lions, molluscs, crustaceous, countless number of fish in closed tanks with nets.
Towards the eastern part of the coastline you can find the wild island of Saetía. You can go on a boat safari there and then horseback, or drive a jeep throught the islet accompanied by qualified guides and tour the mountainous and prairie regions where you can take pictures of the incredible animals in the area. There is a small camping sight and a well equipped restaurant.
Eagle Ray Diving Center is located on Playa Guardalavaca. From there, you will have the opportunity to dive in the old Bahamas channel and discover several underwater sites. Depth varies from 5 to 40 meters with many formation like coral barriers, tall crags, cozy dales,vertical walls or beautiful cliffs, some with walls opening into abyss. The first dive is at 9h (30 meters max.), the following at 11h (15 meters max.) and it is possible to make a third dive at 14h.
This winding trail near Playa Esmeralda takes you past 14 endemic plant species and leads to a spectacular bluff with a picturesque lighthouse.