Holguin Cuba Guide

Holguin is one of the Cuban regions which is relatively new as a tourist destination in the country.

The capital of the province is San Isidoro de Holguin which was named after the Spanish Captain, Garcia Holguin who founded the city in 1725 after conquering the Taino natives.

The province was the area where the Spanish first landed in Cuba, treading Cuban soils for the first time in the Bay of Bariay, close to Gibara, approximately 32 kilometres (20 miles) from modern day Holguin city.

Outstanding sandy beaches, mountain ranges, fertile plains and an abundance of flora are typical of Holguin with the greenery providing a beautiful visual contrast between the gold of the sands and turquoise of the sea.

Holguin is often called 'the city of parks' referring to the 5 parks or large plazas in the city:

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Parque Julio Grave de Peralta / Parque de Las Flores
The first of the towns parks to be built, originally to create access to the San Isidoro church - San Isidoro being the town's patron saint. In 1898 the name of Parque San Isidoro was changed to name the space after one of the important generals of the War of Independence. Nowadays it is referred to as the Flowers Park for the flower vendors who can be found there daily.

Parque Calixto García (Antigua Plaza de Armas)
The second of the public plazas to be created in Holguin. The park was created in 1720 and was initially used for markets, fairs and celebration events. When the municipal government relocated in 1878 to a building now called La Periquera, the importance of the park increased. La Periquera is now home to the provincial museum and the plaza is also home to the provincial library, the cultural house and Guiñol theatre amongst others.

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Parque San Jose / Parque Carlos Manuel de Céspedes
From Plaza San Francisco, named after the Franciscans who built there place of worship there, to Parque San Jose for the San Jose church and then in 1981 the plaza was renamed again. During the 1840's the town market was provisionally held in the park.

Parque Marti / Parque Victoriana de Avila
Built over what was once a cemetary, the park's hospital, the first in Holguin, has since been transformed into retired persons home.

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Parque Infantíl / Rubén Bravo
The last of the parks in Holguin, the name was changed during the revolution, but within town it is still best known as the Parque Infantil.

The city of Holguin still retains much of its Colonial Cuban architecture.

To the north of the city you can climb 458 steps to the 'Loma de la Cruz', it has been destination of pilgramages for years, is now the site of the Romería festival and one of the best viewing points of the city below.

Further out of the city heading south is another viewpoint, Mirador de Mayabe, popular for a quieter walk and view across the city.

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