A 1500m-long stretch of sugar-white sand dappled with light streaming through abundant foliage, Playa Guardalavaca is a delight. A shady boulevard of palms, tamarind and sea grape trees runs along the centre of the beach. One of the most refreshing aspects of Playa Guardalavaca is that the beach is well used by Cubans as well as tourists, giving it a certain vitality with a lack of hustle. Midway along, a restaurant serves fried fish and lobster meals along with drinks, and there are stands renting out snorkelling equipment so you can explore the coral reef offshore.

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Go solo: the 20 best places to travel alone

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15 of the most romantic places in Cuba

15 of the most romantic places in Cuba

Cuba and romance go hand-in-hand. The isolated island's whitewashed beaches and balmy climate make for a romantic escape in the traditional sense of the word - …

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18 brilliant pictures of life in Cuba

It has been a big year for Cuba. After US-Cuba relations were improved in summer 2015, an influx of tourists started to head to the country – the first half …

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