Holguin

Tourism is growing and has become a key income source for Holguín. From the picturesque town of Gibara to the great Nipe Bay, the northern shore of the province is a vast reserve called Bariay National Park, named for the beach where Christopher Columbus landed. This huge area includes some of the finest beaches, like Guardalavaca, Pesquero and Esmeralda, where some hotels are located. The city of Holguin is known as the city of the parks and is well known for its parrandas and cultural festivities where the Holguineros (person natural from Holguin) have a symbolic procession to Loma de la Cruz every year.

Holguin and Guardalavaca

Its territory covers 9,300 sq Km, being the fourth largest province in Cuba. It has been divided into fourteen municipalities. Holguín has the third population of the country with more than a million people. The landscape is distinguished by a number of natural regions : the pen plane Tunas-Holguín to the West, the Maniabon group to the Northeast and the Nipe mountain range and valley, where the deepest and largest bay of Cuba is located. The capital city, Holguín, named after captain F. Garcia Holguín, was declared city by Royal decree of the king of Spain in 1751,it is a city of approximately 300,000 inhabitants, being the fourth largest of Cuba. The city has become a rapidly expanded industrial place.Spanish settlers founded the capital of the province, Holguín, in 1523 though the title of City was given to the town authorities only in 1751,according with the Law of the West Indies. Christopher Columbus first port of call was Bariay ´s Bay, where he landed his vessels La Niña,, La Pinta and La Santa Maria, in October 27th of 1492.From Bariay Columbus´ fleet sailed westward up to a bay he called Rio de Mares , (today Bay of Gibara) believing he had landed in Asia, he sent a little expedition inland to carry bounties to the Japanese emperor ´s court. Indeed they came across a large Indian village called Cubanacan. Tourism is growing and has become a key income source for Holguín. from the picturesque town of Gibara to the great Nipe Bay, the northern shore of the province is a vast reserve called “ Bariay National Park “, named for the beach where Christopher Columbus landed. This huge area includes some of the finest beaches , like “Guardalavaca”, “Pesquero” and “Esmeralda” where some hotels were built. Eco-tourism is being currently developed in the mountains of Mayari, the Sierras de Nipe and Cristal, a Biosphere Reserve. Guardalavaca beach resort ; he name means “watch the cow” and possibly has something to do with the fact that during the XVIII century , buccaneers traded cattle and foodstuff with Creole traders reluctant to obey strict Spanish colonial trading regulations. it is said the beach was used for these embankments. The self-contained beach resort consists of five hotels and limited infrastructure covering 1,8 Km of oceanfront. The main beach runs Westwards from “Atlantico” hotel and extends 800 Mt. the width of the beach fluctuates in between 60 and 100 Mt. bay grapes, mahogany, almond and flamboyant trees naturally shelter a great deal of this beach. Visitors will find the vegetation very convenient to protect themselves against excessive sunray exposure. The beach area is serviced by small thatched roof restaurant and bars, a water sport facility and at the very West of the beach, a reknown Diving Centre. Eastwards from the mentioned hotel, small cove beaches are to be found, these are separated by coral outcrops till the beach that faces “Las Brisas” hotel which measures 400 Mt till the inlet to the Western side of the building. There, a small water sport base is catering the tourists lodged at the hotel. Past the inlet, comes another rocky area till “Los Cayuelos” beach restaurant, which faces another excellent beach extending eastward some 700 Mt, till the rocky coral key marking the end of the resort. Since very early Santiago became a very important site for Spain, reason why it was the first capital of the country and the city where the governor would have his house, later on Havana became the capital city of the country; however Santiago never lost its Caribbean charm. The city that was founded in the foothills of the country’s largest mountain range, the Sierra Maestra has many attractions and is full of history. The Moncada Garrison Museum, Baconao Park, Granjita Siboney, El Morro and La Gran Piedra together with the best Cuban Carnivals (the ones celebrated every year in Santiago) are places and events that can not escape from the attention of the visitors.

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