This rugged mountainous region was pronounced the most beautiful land eyes have ever seen by Christopher Columbus when he first sighted it in 1492. But Holguin’s beauty extends beyond the hills, fertile plains and exquisite beaches. Under water are amazing dive sites, and below ground are the world’s second-largest deposits of nickel and cobalt.
The beaches, lagoons and bays are irresistible and picturesque due to the warm turquoise waters surrounded by lush vegetation.
- Round trip airfare to Holguin
- 7 nights all-inclusive hotel (more available)
- Round trip transfers from airport to hotel and hotel to airport
Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna, Calgary, Edmonton
Dec 25: $2099 + $439 tax (Playa Pesquero; 4.5-star)
Jan 1-29: $1299 + $439 tax (Playa Pesquero; 4.5-star)
Jan 1-29: $1539 + $439 tax (Paradisus Rio De Oro; 5-star)
This one kilometre ribbon of white sand, located between a coral reef and lush green vegetation, is a perennial favourite. This spot has three major resorts, three outside restaurants and countless activities. You’ll find shops and rental facilities for water sports.
Five kilometres to the east you will discover Playa Esmeralda. This crescent-shaped beach is surrounded by lagoons and lush greenery.
Other nearby beaches include Pesquero, Don Lino and Playa Blanca.
A lovely breez is present almost all year round, creating a pleasant temperate climate in an extraordinary setting. Annual temperatures average between 24° C and 27° C.
Activities & Sports
With excellent diving sites, it is a major tourist attraction. Playa Esmeralda and Guardalavaca are sweeping crescents near spectacular dive sites. At the latter you will find a diving school, sailing facilities, horseback riding and vehicle rentals (bicycles, motorcycles, cars). Another place ideal for water sports is Bahia Naranjo with the beaches, mountains and dive sites.
Nature hikes are very popular such as at the Bahia Naranjo or Cayo Saetia.
Take a Seafari tour, a boat excursion that takes you to the best snorkeling, fishing and swimming spots in the area of Holguin.
Sailing enthusiasts will be delighted with the marinas and fishermen will enjoy fishing expeditions.
Several small archaeological sites are scattered over the province for tourists to explore. A few examples are: the aboriginal burial grounds preserved in a museum at Chorro de Maíta (the remains of a European were found here) and a restored village predating Columbus’ arrival.
The only known gold figurine created by Cuban aboriginals is on display at the Archaeological Museum in the town of Banes.
Attractions & Sights
The provincial capital of Holguin is a growing agricultural industrial centre, with parks, monuments and historical buildings set in squares. A highlight is the historical museum La Periquera. More points of interest include Calixto Garcia Park, Revolution Square, Loma de la Cruz, San Isidoro Cathedral, Carlos de la Torre Natural History Museum.
Mayabe Lookout offers a panoramic view of the countryside from a hilltop; this is the spot where Columbus first sighted the New World and it is commemorated with columns and statues symbolizing the meeting of European and aboriginal civilizations.
Bahia Naranjo houses a natural aquarium, where seals and dolphins put on a lively show, and where visitors can also swim with the dolphins.
The town of Gibara, once the main port on the north eastern coast of Cuba, is still today an important fishing centre. Its colonial houses have red-tiled roofs, arches and stained-glass windows. Still standing are the ruins of the Fort Bateria de Fernando VII, whose cannons guarded one of the main ports in eastern Cuba for the slaves and sugar trade. Visit also the Museums of Colonial Art and Natural Sciences