What to See in Holguin and Santiago de Cuba (Cuba)

By | July 15, 2022

Holguin (Cuba)

The city of Holguin is located in the southeastern part of the island of Cuba and is the administrative center of the province of the same name. It is believed that it was in these places that Christopher Columbus landed in 1492. Holguin was founded in 1523, but it is not at all like other colonial cities in the country. There are practically no sights, but a lot of factories.

The city is full of parks that surround the 300-meter Hill of the Cross. A staircase with 460 steps leads to the top of the hill, where a huge wooden cross is installed. In Holguin, it is worth visiting the churches of San Isidro and San José , as well as the Museum of Natural History one of the most important in the country.

A variety of excursions around the province of Holguin are arranged from the city.

On the coast of the province, about 50 km from the city of Holguin, the country’s second most popular resort area is located. Rest here will cost much more than on the beaches of Varadero. The most elite hotels of the island and more than 40 beaches are located here, the largest of which is Nip Bay. The beaches of Guardalavaca, Peschiero and Esmeralda are also popular. There are diving opportunities here. In addition to coral reef divers in the province of Holguin attract many underwater caves and rocks.

Not far from Nip Bay is the island of Cayo Saetia. It covers an area of 42 sq. km, most of it is covered with forests. The island received the status of a protected area for its diverse flora and fauna. But, oddly enough, hunting is allowed on this reserved island, of course, only with a special permit. Also in Cayo Saetia you can take a jeep safari, ride horses or just sunbathe on deserted beaches where there are no crowds of tourists. The surrounding waters of the island are good for diving.

Within the Esmeralda beach lies the picturesque park Baia de Naraño. The main attraction of the park is the Aquarium . where tourists are invited to swim with dolphins. You can go to the archaeological site called El Choro de Maita and visit the local Archaeological Museum, which tells about the history of the region.

To the northeast of the city of Holguin, the city of Banes is interesting, known as the archaeological capital of Cuba. Here, in the museum of Indo-Cuban culture, the largest collection of archaeological finds from Cuba is collected. In addition, be sure to go to La Menzura National Park, home to about 300 endemic species of animals and birds, Humboldt Park and the country’s largest waterfall – Guayabo.

Santiago de Cuba (Cuba)

According to biotionary, Santiago de Cuba is located in the southeastern part of the island of Cuba. It is one of the first cities founded by Spanish colonists in Cuba in the 16th century. Now Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city in the country. It is located almost on the very outskirts of the island, which explains the presence of many fortifications of the colonial period. One of the most important fortresses in Santiago de Cuba is San Pedro de la Roca del Moro.. In 1997, UNESCO included it in the list of the World Heritage of Mankind, because the fortress gives a complete picture of the defense structures of the colonial period built by the Spaniards in the West Indies. It is a massive five-storey building with walls about 2 m thick, with many tunnels and underground passages. Every day at sunset, a colorful ceremony is held here, which shows how important this fortress was in colonial times.

One of the oldest buildings of the island – the house of Diego Velazquez – and the City Cathedral, which are located in the city center, also stand out from the architectural sights of the city. Also in Santiago de Cuba are interesting Cespedes Park with a memorial in honor of the fighter for the independence of the republic – Jose Martin – and more than 15 museums.

In the vicinity of the city, it is worth going to the Gran Piedra mountain, which has a height of 1100 m above sea level, and to Baconao National Park. In Bakanao, tourists are invited to walk along the Alley of sculptures depicting animals that lived here in prehistoric times, visit the underwater Aquarium, visit the Museum of Archeology and relax on the numerous beaches. The most popular beaches in this region are Bucanero ‘s private beach with limestone cliffs, Caleton Blanco, Daiquiri, Bacaiagua, Sigua and Siboney beaches.

Diving enthusiasts will be interested in sunken ships that have been lying at the bottom of the coastal waters of Santiago de Cuba since the 19th century.

Santiago de Cuba (Cuba)