Sugar, beans, coffee and corn is what grows, and nickel, iron, steel and cobalt is the other important industry of Holguin.
It is from up here they will tell you Christopher Columbus (Cristobal Colon) did his first step on Cuba … but in a lot of places you will hear the same, a shame we can't ask Chris about the truth anymore.
Around Guardelavaca you will find most tourists, places like Playa Esmeralda, Don Lino, Bahia de Naranjo. You can find eco tourism at Pinares del Mayari. If you are looking for real culture you do the best going to Holguin city
The close to 50 beaches in Holguin Province cover close to 25 miles (40 km) of coastline. Very intimate, they are among the most picturesque beaches in the Caribbean and have a warm turquoise water that is very calm, thanks to the protection offered by nearby coral reefs. They are bordered by thick vegetation which is typical for this province.
Casas Holguin beach
Location and how to get there
These beaches are on the northern coast of Holguin Province, around 500 miles (over 800 km) east of Havana. Access is by road (both Guardalavaca and Esmeralda Beaches are linked to the city of Holguin and to other parts of the province by a network of roads), air (flights from other parts of Cuba, Europe and the Americas put in Holguin's Frank Pais International Airport) and sea (the Gaviota Puerto de Vita Marina)
What to do
Activities at Playa Esmeralda Beach include swimming, sailing lessons, scuba diving, snorkeling, other water sports, horseback riding, excursions along the coast and inland, visits to farmer's houses, miniature golf, tennis and cycling. At night, choose among the discotheque and other attractions.
At Guardalavaca Beach, activities include sunning, swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling, other water sports, beach volleyball, tennis, excursions on yachts, horseback riding, cycling and hiking.
In both cases, nearby Naranjo Bay (in a natural park) offers sea lion and dolphin shows in its aquarium, swimming with these animals, seafaris, air tours along the shore, deep sea and surface fishing, seafood and typical Cuban cuisines, hiking and the services of the Puerta de Vita Marina.
The Chorro de Maita archeological digs, the largest aboriginal cemetery in the Antilles that has been found to date, is also in the area, with a restored Taino Indian village near it.
Activities on Cayo Saetia include water sports, yachting, horseback riding, seafaris through forests and meadows (accompanied by experienced guides) to see migratory birds and exotic species of flora and fauna
places of interest
The City of Holguin is famous of its profusion of beautiful parks. Attractions include the straight but narrow streets in the oldest part of the city; many public squares; the Museum of History; the Museum of Natural Sciensces; the San Isidoro Cathedral (dating from the 18th century); the San Jose Church (built in 1815); the house in which calixto Garcia, one of the most important generals in Cuba's Wars of Independence, was born (now a museum); Cruz (Cross) Hill, an excellent lookout point, which you reach by climbing a staircase with 458 steps; and Marqueta Square Cultural Center, which has a print shop and exhibit and sales areas for handycrafts, works of art and books.
There are several hotels, cabarets, discotheques and restaurants with a wide range of offers.
Information: Holguin City
Close to the city, Mayabe Valley offers many options for rest and recreation. Villa El Quinque and Villa El Cocal are also nearby. These centers are internationally renowned for their treatments that combat addictions.
The province has several points of interest, as well. Gibara is a quiet, picturesque fishing village and port with interesting colonial architecture, a Museum of Colonial Ambience and a Museum of Natural Sciences (which has particularly a good butterfly collection).
Barlay National Monument Park
The Bariay National Monument Park, at the spot where Christopher Columbus first set foot on Cuban soil, celebrates that meeting of Indian and European cultures that took place over five centuries ago. Banes, called the archeological capital of Cuba, is the site of the Bani Indo-Cuban Museum, which has exhibits of artifacts used by the island's first inhabitants.
Pinares de Mayari
Dozen of species of endemic plants and many species of animals live in Pinares de Mayari, the northeastern part of the mountains in Holguin. The area also has 2-star accommodations. Other natural attractions in the province include the Alexander von Humboldt National Park, which UNESCO has declared a world preserve of the biosphere, the Cuchillas del Toa preserve of the biosphere, the Sierra Cristal Mountains, the Silla de Gibara and Yaguajay Hill.
To the east, near the broad Bay of Nipe, is 16 square miles (42 square km) in size, and 65 percent of it is covered with forests. The rest of its territory consists of meadows where American ostriches, antelope, zebras, deer, wild boars, jutias and wild bulls roam at will. It has accommodations of its own. Activities include swimming, yachting and going on safaris in jeeps or horseback.
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