Eastern destinations

HOLGUÍN

The city of Holguín is the capital of the province having the same name and it was founded on April 4, 1545. It is in the east of the island, around 700 kilometers east of Havana. One of Holguín´s most emblematic places is the Loma de la Cruz. Though a small hill rising a mere 261 meters above the sea level, this place is a symbol of the city due to its great history and beautiful legends.

In a rising hill, very near the city, there is the Mayabe Lookout, one of its most emblematic tourist spots. As if the visitor were opening a door from it, the site seems to be a balcony with large windows permanently overlooking nature through which it is possible to see the full surroundings of Holguín´s capital, which is also known as the “City of Parks” and famous for its festivities as “Romerías de Mayo”.

Interesting spots:

The city´s historic area and beautiful parks, the old Town Hall (La Periquera), the San José Church, the Chorro de Maíta archaeological site and the Mayabe Lookout.

 

 

GIBARA

It was founded on January 16, 1817 and Gibara´s name comes from Jibá, an aboriginal term. The city is in eastern Cuba and sprawls over a long strip on the northern coast by the side of a beautiful harbor bearing the same name to the west of the peninsula where the town is.

The “White Village,” as it is also known, has an eventful history and culture plus a seething and nice landscape. It also stands out for its great architectural sites and the perfect lines of its houses, streets and parks. But its greatest asset, according to visitors, are its cooperative and kind people who are proud of their town and its history.

Interesting spots:

The Historic Area, the Parochial Church, the old Plaza de Armas, the Ferdinand VII Battery of Cannons, the Decorative Arts, History and Natural History Museums, the Old Building of the Spanish Club (now the Culture House), the city´s theater, the Cuartelón, the Cueva de los Panaderos, the Ordoño Hotel, the Arsenita Hotel, etc.

 

 

GUARDALAVACA

Guardalavaca Beach is located at the far eastern portion of the northern coast of Holguín Province, itself in the east of the country. This excellent beach resort has been changing in recent years to become one of the leading tourism areas of Cuba, as it has a large hotel infrastructure and great natural and historical and cultural attractions. It was just there that Christopher Columbus landed during his first voyage to the Americas and he, appalled at the great beauty of the place, uttered his famous statement: “This is the most beautiful land human eyes have ever seen.”

Specifically, Guardalavaca is a hoof-shaped beach 1700 meters long with an average sand strip width of 50 meters under the sun. Its sand is white and fine, its water crystal-clear, and it is flanked on the north by coral barrier reefs and on the south by forests and hills with thick and green foliage. It is a perfect place for enjoying the sea and the sun and practicing water sports (windsurfing, kayak, sailing, boat rides and diving.)

Interesting spots:

The beach, the hotels, the Aquarium, the Bahía de Naranjo National Park, the Marlin Marina, the diving centers, etc.

 

 

SANTIAGO DE CUBA

Santiago de Cuba is a beautiful city located in the eastern region of the island. It is the second most important city in the country due to its economy and population. It was founded in 1515 around a beautiful bay and it is among the first seven towns founded in the island. Multiple architectural styles from different periods coincide in the city. Parks with tree canopies, staircases that are extensions of streets, colonial structures with huge windows and narrowly-spaced balconies are specially interesting.

Santiago de Cuba preserves such historical treasures as the first house in the Americas, the first cathedral of Cuba or the first Cuban museum. Santiago de Cuba is the manger of many Cuban music styles such as Son and Bolero. Thus you´ll be able to see from exotic places to interesting colonial ruins and buildings. No doubt, it is a city worth visiting.

Interesting spots:

Céspedes Park, the Santiago Cathedral, the Plaza de Marte, the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery, the Velázquez Balcony, the Tívoli District, the San Pedro de la Roca Castle, the National Shrine of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre, the Ruins of Old Coffee Plantations, the Association of the Tumba Francesa, the Gran Piedra mountain, Baconao Park and Cayo Granma.

 

 

BARACOA

Its name is of Arawak origin and means “existence of the sea.” It is the oldest city of Cuba as it was the first village founded by the Spanish in 1511, when they started colonizing the island in the Sixteenth Century. That´s why it is called today the “Primal City of Cuba.”

This beautiful city ranked as a National Heritage site is surrounded by mountain massifs covered by thick and virgin forests full of endemic plants and animals, crystal-clear water rivers and beaches lined up by sea grape, almond and coconut trees which make it unusually beautiful.

Interesting spots:

The “Seboruco de Santa Bárbara” Castle (now “El Castillo” Hotel), La Punta Fortress, the Matachín Fortress, the Cueva del Paraíso Museum, the Catholic parish church of the city where the Grapevine Cross brought by Admiral Christopher Columbus during his discovery voyage is, the Culture House and the Chocolate House.

 

 

BAYAMO

Originally named as San Salvador de Bayamo, this city is in the east of the island. It was the second one to be founded by the Spanish, on November 5, 1513. There are two versions of the name Bayamo. One is linked to the indigenous chieftain who was the leader in the area. The other associates that name to the abundance there of bayam, a leafy tree projecting much shade that was seen as the tree of wisdom.

Downtown Bayamo (declared a National Heritage) includes mostly Nineteenth Century buildings. The Historic Area and many structures in the city have been proclaimed as National Monuments due to their great heritage value. It ranks high among the most important cities with an eventful history. Moreover, it is considered to be the birthplace of Cuban Nationality Awareness, the place where the Cuban National Anthem was sung for the first time.

Interesting spots:

Central Park, the Church of San Salvador de Bayamo, the Chapel of Dolores, the house and museum of Carlos Manuel de Céspedes (the Founding Father of the Nation), the Wax Museum, the “La Bayamesa” Casa de la Trova, the Bayamo Theater, the Royalton Hotel, etc.