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When Christopher Columbus landed here in 1492, he pronounced it “the most beautiful land human eyes have ever seen” and it’s easy to see why. The spectacular beaches of Playa Esmeralda, Playa Pesquero and Guardalavaca – make the Holguin province along the north coast on Cuba the country’s third most popular tourist destination.

Unspoiled reefs and abundant marine life guarantee excellent diving and snorkelling in the warm, clear waters of the Atlantic. Farther inland, rolling hills and rugged mountains provide a stunning landscape just begging to be explored - adventures are waiting for you here.

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More about Holguin

Gibara is a definite don’t-miss-it area of Holguin. The train line was suspended in 1958, just before the Revolution, and little has changed since then - there’s no Internet. There is, however, an annual indie film festival, started in 2003 by the late Humberto Solás, infamous within Cuban cinema.

Festival Internacional del Cine is Latin America's coolest film festival and well worth the trip if you’re around in April But don’t take our word for it, immersing yourself in Cuba is the best and only way to find out for yourself. Book your flights to Cuba with and discover a stunning island with plenty of culture, history, natural beauty and hidden gems just waiting to be explored and discovered.

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Top 5 things to do in Holguin

10 facts about Holguin


Those classic ’57 Chevy Belairs line up outside hotels and attractions in Holguin; be aware that taxi rates in these cars are much higher - but worth it for that photo opp!


Holguin has so many historic plazas, it has been called ‘the city of parks.’ These beautiful squares are popular places to sit and catch up over a coffee.


You can view the only known gold figurine created by Cuban aboriginals at the Archaeological Museum in Banes in Holguin.


Bahia Naranjo, surrounded by beaches, mountains and dive sites, is home to a natural aquarium, where the seals and dolphins put on a show and you can swim with the dolphins.


Mayabe Lookout offers a panoramic view of the countryside from a hilltop near the city of Holguín. There’s also the fantastic Mayabe Ranch restaurant and bar.


The tiny island Cayo Saetía can be reached by sea or helicopter. It is home to imported animals such as zebras, buffalo, ñandúes, antelopes and more.


When Columbus discovered the northern shores of Holguin, he also identified the area's mineral beds. These are the world's second-largest deposits of nickel and cobalt.


The spot where Columbus first sighted the New World is commemorated by a park with columns and statues. These represent the meeting of European and aboriginal civilizations.


The population of Holguin may be small, at 300,000, but its community is hugely artistic. This is largely thanks to traditions of lyrical theatre, symphony orchestra, ballet and visual arts.


A research centre was established on the Sierra Cristal mountains in 1988 to study the region's ecology. Here you can see Mensura National Park, with its high waterfall and pine forests.