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Holguin, Cuba

Tourism Information

Located in the eastern part of the country, Holguín stretches for 9,300 square kilometers and is home to 1.5 million inhabitants. The area offers great potential for the development of tourism and recreation.

On October 27, 1492, Christopher Columbus landed in Bariay, on the coast of Holguín and He declared that it was "the most beautiful country human eyes had ever seen". Numerous aboriginal settlements were part of the landscape in those distant times.

The trade winds blow almost all year round, creating the special conditions for a pleasant temperate climate in an extraordinary setting where the unpolluted waters of the Atlantic Ocean bathe 22 coastal bays.

Potential tourist attractions include 34 rivers, six waterfalls—among them Guayabo, the largest in the country—and six dams, as well as five submarine areas, nineteen historical and cultural sites, 135 archaeological sites and about 60 kilometers of beaches composed of exquisite white sand.

Holguín is home to 30 percent of Cuba's endemic vegetable species, together with over a thousand animal species typical of the island, especially birds and butterflies. Moreover, the earliest human presence on the island is supposed to have been located here about 10,000 years ago. An important bird corridor crosses over the spa, which is situated at a place designated by experts as the archaeological capital of Cuba.

The highest achievement of its tourist infrastructure lies in its being one with nature, blending harmoniously with the sea and the forest . Nevertheless, the essential facilities and services capable of meeting the requirements of modern life are still very much available.

Guardalavaca, one of the most famous beaches in the province, offers tourists luxuriant coral reefs, interesting cliffs and amazing vegetation. Guardalavaca covers a 1,200 metre-long bank formed by shell-like beaches, creating intimate surroundings that are frequently enhanced by enormous cliffs. Guardalavaca is not far from Gibara, the place where Colón first landed in Cuba.

Boca de las Esponjas, El Salto and Cañon de los Aguajíes are only a few of the best-known sites, all of them ideal for scuba diving, while Tanques Azules, in neighboring Gibara, a grouping of unique flooded caverns, offer special challenges for scuba divers.

65 kilometers from Frank Pais International Airport, the City of Holguín is also very close to other colorful sites, such as Banes and Gibara, the latter being the only Cuban city besides Havana to be surrounded by walls.

The attractions of the tourist industry in the province are made complete by the Saetía Key where the largest wild animals in the country can be found. A vast array of buffalo, antelope, deer and wild hogs can be hunted in this area.

Among other attractions, Holguín offers the Loma de la Cruz (the Hill of the Cross), the most famous place in the city, featuring a 450-step stairway that is replete with legends. The site was founded on May 3, 1950, and every anniversary is celebrated with a pilgrimage, masses and a multitude of dances.