The most beautiful land eyes have ever seen thats how the explorer Columbus described Holguin, Cubas third largest city. Known as the City of Parks, its a place of elegant plazas and colonial buildings.
Tucked away close to Cubas south-east coast
Holguín has some of the loveliest scenery in Cuba: mountains and greenery as far as the eye can see. Its one of the lesser-known tourist destinations in the country, making it a little quieter for those seeking a more relaxed holiday.
Top 5 Holguin parks
- Calixto Garcia Park - The busiest park in Holguin is a great place to people-watch its surrounded by bars, restaurants, clubs, department stores, a theatre, a museum and a library. In the centre stands a statue of Calixto Garcia, a general who fought in the Cuban War of Independence
- Cayo Saetia island - This uninhabited island, a protected area, has 12 beaches and is home to deer, zebras, antelopes, wild boar, buffaloes, ostriches, macaws, camels and lizards
- Bioparque Rocazul - You can ride on horseback or walk through this park and mini-zoo, where you can feed the ostriches and go fishing
- Parque de las Flores - Marvel at the myriad of flower-sellers and inhale the beautiful scent
- La Mensura National Park - Breathe in the rich pine scent in this heavily forested 5,300-hectare park, home to a mountain research centre and Cubas tallest waterfall, Salto del Guayabo. The changes in height mean the vegetation changes as you walk through and its a great place to birdwatch too
Top 5 Holguin things to do
- Swim with dolphins in the Bahia de Naranjo Nature Park
- Go snorkelling in the clear turquoise water of Playa Esmeralda, or browse the market at Playa Guardalavaca, which sells handmade gifts
- Climb to the top of Loma de la Cruz, named after the cross on its summit, for excellent views over the city
- Visit Campina Taina, an open-air museum recreating the life of the Arawak people
- Visit the Catedral de San Isidoro. This attractive whitewashed cathedral dates from 1720 and is worth seeing for its ornate Moorish interior and wooden ceiling