The discovery of the new world was a tremendous reward for Christopher Columbus, with its perfect anchorage of time and desire. Replete with enchantment, after more than five centuries of a rich history, Holguín is a place where marvelous elements still come together in continually amazing ways.
Bariay, the place where Columbus first touched Cuban soil, is part of this eastern province, bursting with magnificent natural elements and a rich cultural and historical tradition. Its landcape includes alternating mountain peaks, plains and gorgeous beaches, making it one of the most sought-after tourist destinations on the island.
The beaches of Holguín are some of the most photogenic in the Caribbean, with their warm waters and protected coral reefs, surrounded by a thick jungle cover that provides a striking contrast to the sand and sea. One of the highlights is Guardalavaca, which has become of the most attractive resorts on Cuba’s northeastern shore. Pesquero, Esmeralda, Don Lino and Costa Verde, with their excellent sailing and diving are not far behind.
The residents of Holguín, quintessentially Cuban, love culture, and it shows. Holguin has produced stunning artists, including the composer/musician Faustino Oramas, better known as El Guayabero, the well-known pianist Frank Fernández, and the visual artist Cosme Proenza. The decima, a rural art form where poetry - often improvised - is sung, is a huge part of the local annual festivals, both the Romerías de Mayo and the Festival of Iberian Culture, while film also takes center stage every April at Gibara, where the now famous International Festival of Cinema of the Poor gains a larger following every year.
In addition to its stunning landscape, the province holds a wealth of additional historical, cultural, and anthropological sites. Holguín is known as Cuba’s archaeological capital and has the only museum in the Caribbean where primitive funeral rites can be observed, at an aboriginal cemetery pertaining to the Araucos, the first Cubans.
Between May 3-6 at the Hotel Pesquero, Holguín will also host Cuba’s annual international tourism fair, FITCuba 2017. It is the most important fair of the year for the tourism industry in Cuba, and this year’s fair will be dedicated to a new product called “Circuits”, with Germany as the guest of honor. When Columbus disembarked at Bariay and exclaimed “This is the most beautiful land ever seen by human eyes,” he was only the first of an endless line of visitors who continue to see it the very same way.