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Holguin is located 680 km East from the capital, Havana. This is the third largest city in Cuba with 1,5 million inhabitants.

Columbus discovered Cuba in Gibara (Holguin) on October 27th, 1492. The international airport is located about 1 hour drive from the hotels in Guardalavaca and 2½ hours from Playa Covarrubias.

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Paradisus Rio de Oro / Beach

Direct access to the best beach in Holguin, Playa Esmeralda. 800 meters of white sand. The resort is located on a cliff with a beautiful view of the Atlantic ocean. The access to the beach is by a nice stairway. There is a nice place for snorkeling in front of the hotel.

Although this hotel has access to Playa Esmeralda, it is good to know that there are three other beaches at the hotel Paradisus Rio de Oro. There are two secluded beaches called Playas Caleticas located in the Royal Service area. The largest (110 meters) is that for customers of the Royal Service with beach chairs, palapas and bar service at your chair.

As there are no private beaches in Cuba, it is possible to see few Cubans to the beach. They have access to the Playas Caleticas by a road connecting to the main road in Holguin.

Note that Cubans do not have access to the hotel property nor services at the beach. A little further west (50 m) of the Royal Service main beach, there is a little deserted beach, without services. It can be reached by a gateway inside the area of the Royal Service.

The beach that we appreciated is the one of the health center (Spa Aguas de Oro). This quiet beach is located few steps from the spa main entrance, near the Royal Service. It can also be accessed by a small path, few meters East of the spa.

Note that this is not an private beach for spa guests. However, if you want to use the services of this spa for the day, you can buy (at the spa or at the kiosk near the buffet) the « Water Journey » for 30 CUC per person which includes a 60 minutes treatment (without massage). Note that all health care (massages) at the Spa Aguas de Oro includes the « Water Journey ».

During the low tide at the spa beach, it is possible to walk on the beach down to the Royal Service area (water at knee level). It is impressive to see the cliffs of ancient corals, vestige of a time when the sea level covered this part of Cuba. It is difficult to walk on these ancient corals without to injure yourself. Cubans call these corals ... « diente perro » or dog teeth.

Paradisus Rio de Oro / Room upgrades

The Luxury sector, Royal Service, opened its door in 2010. These bungalows are located in the Eastern area of the hotel. Royal Service has its own lobby, infinity pool, bar, beach and upscale restaurant.

Since the opening of the Royal Service in 2010, both the « Garden Villas » with private pool, jacuzzi, sauna, solarium and garden are now administered by the Royal Service.

These villas are not offered by the Canadian tour operators. You must book directly with the hotel and the price is quite expensive, it is about 1,500 CUC per week.

Meliá Hotels International is renowned for the quality of services offered to married.

The Paradisus Rio de Oro is an excellent choice for the celebration of weddings, honeymoon or renewal of vows. The gazebo overlooking the sea is outstanding and wedding photos are stunning!

It is possible to get a room upgrade directly on site, at the lobby (front desk). The following rates are per room / per night. You can pay by cash or credit cards, except those issued by a U.S. bank.

Juise Suite Deluxe (superior) Master Junior Suite SR
gardens view
Master Junior Suite SR
ocean view
Master Junior Suite SR
Garden Villas
48 CUC 200 CUC
(160 CUC if > 3 nights)
280 CUC
(224 CUC if > 3 nights)
250 CUC
(200 CUC if > 3 nights)
250 CUC


Paradisus Rio de Oro / Activities

Here is the list of daily activities included in your travel package at the Paradisus Rio de Oro. These activities may vary depending on weather or the participation of guests at the hotel.

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
(Club House)
Wine and cheese tasting
(Lobby bar)
Discover Cuba
(Club House)
Bird watching
19h dance lesson
(Music bar)
Rum tasting
Dance lesson
(Music bar)
9h30 10h 11h 11h30 15h 16h 17h 18h30 21h45
Yoga Tai-Chi Aqua-gym Pool Volleyball Archery / Spanish lesson / Tai-Chi Yoga / Beach volleyball Danse lesson Live music at the lobby bar Evening show


Paradisus Rio de Oro / Daily excursions ($)

The hotel Paradisus Rio de Oro offers excursions from the hotel for reasonable prices. You must register at the Club House (near the pool) a day in advance, and a minimum of participants is required. We took the tour « Boca de Sama » and our guide Argelio made us discovered the beautiful Cuban countryside. Half a day for 8 CUC (person) is a trip not to be missed!

Meet at 9:30 at the hotel lobby (or Club House).

Monday Esmeralda Equestrian Center (10 CUC)
Walk to the main lobby to the Esmeralda Equestrian Center 45 min. of horseback riding to « El Conuco Mongo Vina » where you can appreciate the exuberant vegetation of our tropical forest and enjoy welcome cocktail. Please take with you sun protection, a hat, water, mosquito's repellent, sport shoes.
Tuesday Visit to « Biopark Roca Azul » (4 CUC)
Departure by bus from the hotel. Explanation and welcome cocktail at the Biopark. Walk with specialized tour guide, through area of Ostrich and mini zoo. Visit to the farmer's house interacting with farm animals. Please take with you mosquito's repellent, sun protection, a hat, sport shoes and water.
Wednesday Boca de Sama (8 CUC)
Departure by bus from the hotel. Tour around the fishermen's neighborhood Boca de Sama. Visit to all coast areas with beautiful views and different public places including a farmer's house and a primary school. Please bring sun protection, water, and sport shoes.
Thursday Walking tour around our hotel (Free)
See the wonders of our resort. Visit the luxurious Garden Villas, SPA and Royal Service. Meeting point Club House.
Friday Snorkeling (free) Walking Tour (15-20 min)
Visit to an isolated beach, perfect for relaxing and snorkeling in coral reef with beautiful color fish. Please take with you snorkel equipement, sport shoes, water, sun protection.
Saturday Las Guanas (3 CUC) - Click HERE to see the map of this attraction in Holguin
A walking tour where you can see the coast eco system surrounding our hotel. You enjoy our flora and fauna. Visit Playa Esmeralda look out. Please bring with you water, sport shoes, mosquito's repellent, sun protection and a hat.
Sunday El Tanque (2 CUC)
Walking tour: climbing a small hill in front of the hotel, panoramic view, and the aquarium « Bahia de Naranjo ». Please take with you sport shoes, water, mosquito's repellent, sun protection and a hat.

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