Guardalavaca = Paradise!

The Caribbean dances to its own beat, and my, is it a funky beat!

Cuba is one of those effortlessly stylish Caribbean destinations, dripping in laid-back cool and begging to be explored, tinged with rum and cigars! Guardalavaca is an achingly beautiful beach resort, one you’ll probably not want to leave.

Unfortunately, all this beauty and relaxation does come at a slight price – in the form of around a 10 hour flight. Worry not, however, as I’ve found a way to make long-haul travel easier on the body. I recently tried an airport hotel, due to an early start, and can’t recommend it highly enough. Starting your travel day refreshed and raring to go, is an important part of getting to your destination, and ensuring your holiday starts in the right manner. Most major UK airports offer a range of hotels to choose from, with one for every budget. I recently stayed in a hotel near Heathrow terminal 3, and found it great value for money. If you’re heading out of Heathrow, check out the Sofitel for excellent facilities and a convenient start to your holiday.

When you finally land in paradise, prepare to be pampered, as most hotels around the resort will be all-inclusive. I find all-inclusive great value for any long-haul holiday, as it means your meals and drinks are included, meaning you don’t have to panic about budgets and can just indulge to your heart’s content.

Of course, this being the Caribbean, it’s about the beaches for me. You won’t be disappointed – you’ll find stunning white sand beaches, with swaying palms and a gentle, warm breeze. Paradise. Kick back and relax, top up that tan, or alternatively, get involved with some of the water-sports on offer – a great cool down in the summer heat. You can also go snorkelling and visit some of the underwater residents of the area.

One suggestion I would make is to jump on a boat trip and see if you can spot a dolphin. It’s not guaranteed, but you never know! Regardless of sightings, the coastline is beautiful and it’s a good opportunity to see your resort from a different standpoint.

Should you get bored of beach life, I’d recommend getting your walking shoes on and exploring the area. There are many eco trails around the countryside and you’ll see some stunning wildlife, colourful flora and fauna, and probably get a pretty good tan thrown into the bargain! Win-win all round.

Evenings in Guardalavaca are sparkling and chilled-out. Due to the mostly all-inclusive nature of the resort, most hotels offer entertainment, usually in the form of local dancing and music. Be sure to sample some of the local food if you venture out to one of the restaurants around town, as it’s fresh and simply delicious. Drinks-wise though, it’s all about the mojito for me!

Cuba itself is a wonderful country, with history and architecture to explore, Guardalavaca is more about the beach and nature, but a wonderful base if you want to explore further. As before, it is a long-haul destination, so be sure to start your Caribbean break in the most rested way possible with a stay in an airport hotel prior to travelling. Bleary-eyed is not a good look on those holiday photos! There are many hotels to choose from, especially from the capital, with lots of cheap hotels near Gatwick available, so get looking and see what deals you can get your hands on.

Cuba might dance to its own beat, but it’s a damn catchy one!

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