When Christopher Columbus got his first glimpse of the Holguín coastline in 1492, he pronounced it “the most beautiful land human eyes have ever seen.” Spectacular beaches – including the enclaves of Playa Esmeralda, Playa Pesquero and Guardalavaca – make this province along Cuba’s north coast the country’s third most popular tourist destination. Pristine reefs and abundant marine life ensure excellent diving and snorkeling in the warm, clear shallows of the Atlantic. Farther inland, rolling hills and rugged mountains provide a stunning landscape just begging to be explored.
In addition to Holguín’s natural wonders, there are urban adventures waiting for you here too. The provincial capital, Holguín city has a fascinating museum in an old colonial barracks, as well as galleries and commemorative monuments sprinkled around its lively public squares. In fact, the town has so many historic plazas, it has been called ‘the city of parks.’ In Birán, you can visit the farm where Fidel and Raúl Castro grew up; or view the only known gold figurine created by Cuban aboriginals at the Archaeological Museum in Banes. The seaside town Gibara, once the main port on the northeastern coast of Cuba, is a quaintly charming slice of the Spanish Mediterranean.