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Holguín Province

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347

Holguín Province

The contradictions don’t end there. Long renowned for the ferocity of its mambí (resistance
fighters) in the independence wars of the 19th century, Holguín has spawned its fair share
of heroes and villains in the years since. In 1926 el líder máximo (highest leader), Fidel
Castro, was born in Finca Manacas near the one-horse town of Birán (his home is now a
fascinating museum) while his infinitely less accomplished predecessor, Fulgencio Batista,
hailed from the pretty provincial town of Banes to the northeast.
Hugging the coast, the big resort complexes of Guardalavaca and Playa Pesquero play
host to some of Cuba’s largest and most expensive five-star playgrounds where package
tourists can sip on mint-laced mojitos (rum cocktails) while scantily-clad Cuban dancers offer
up a program of sensuous nighttime entertainment with all the trimmings.
If you get bored of the beach volleyball check out Holguín, the province’s unsung capital
and a great place to sample all of those uniquely Cuban treats that the organized tours
never see fit to mention. Check out a baseball game, tuck into peso pizza in Parque Calixto
García or relax in the low-key music houses of Calle Maceo as the aroma of cheap cheroots
drifts through the winking louvers and dissolves imperceptibly above the dominó tables.

HIGHLIGHTS
City of Parks
Get to know the local culture in down-to-earth
Holguín (p348)
Eastern Beaches
Sample laid-back beach life in low-key
Guardalavaca (p360)
Alpine Air
Hike around the pine forests and waterfalls of
Villa Pinares del Mayarí (p368)

Guardalavaca

Holguín
Cayo Saetía
Finca Las
Manacas
Villa Pinares
del Mayarí

Casa del Comandante
Take a peep behind the mask at Fidel’s childhood home, the Finca Las Manacas (p368)
Remote Digs
Make a side trip to paradisiacal Cayo Saetía (p369)

TELEPHONE CODE: 24

POPULATION: 1.04 MILLION

AREA: 9300 SQ KM

HOLGUÍN PROVINCE

Sleepy Holguín is a province of contrasts and paradoxes. Glimmering in the south, the pineclad Sierra Cristal Mountains boast some of Cuba’s most serene and attractive landscapes,
while further east in polluted Moa the Che Guevara nickel mine coats the countryside in
a thick layer of red dust.

ὄὄὄὄὄὄὄὄὄὄ
ὄ
ὄὄὄὄ
ὄὄ
ὄὄὄὄὄὄ
ὄὄ
ὄὄ
348 H O L G U Í N P R O V I N C E • • H o l g u í n



H O L G U Í N P R O V I N C E • • H o l g u í n 349



0
0

HOLGUÍN PROVINCE
76º30'W

76º00'W

75º30'W

75º00'W

20 km
12 miles

74º30'W...
HOLGUÍN PROVINCE
347
Sleepy Holguín is a province of contrasts and paradoxes. Glimmering in the south, the pine-
clad Sierra Cristal Mountains boast some of Cuba’s most serene and attractive landscapes,
while further east in polluted Moa the Che Guevara nickel mine coats the countryside in
a thick layer of red dust.
The contradictions don’t end there. Long renowned for the ferocity of its
mambí (resistance
fighters) in the independence wars of the 19th century, Holguín has spawned its fair share
of heroes and villains in the years since. In 1926 el líder máximo (highest leader), Fidel
Castro, was born in Finca Manacas near the one-horse town of Birán (his home is now a
fascinating museum) while his infinitely less accomplished predecessor, Fulgencio Batista,
hailed from the pretty provincial town of Banes to the northeast.
Hugging the coast, the big resort complexes of Guardalavaca and Playa Pesquero play
host to some of Cuba’s largest and most expensive five-star playgrounds where package
tourists can sip on mint-laced mojitos (rum cocktails) while scantily-clad Cuban dancers offer
up a program of sensuous nighttime entertainment with all the trimmings.
If you get bored of the beach volleyball check out Holguín, the province’s unsung capital
and a great place to sample all of those uniquely Cuban treats that the organized tours
never see fit to mention. Check out a baseball game, tuck into peso pizza in Parque Calixto
García or relax in the low-key music houses of Calle Maceo as the aroma of cheap cheroots
drifts through the winking louvers and dissolves imperceptibly above the dominó tables.
Holguín Province
HIGHLIGHTS
City of Parks
Get to know the local culture in down-to-earth
Holguín ( p348 )
Eastern Beaches
Sample laid-back beach life in low-key
Guardalavaca ( p360 )
Alpine Air
Hike around the pine forests and waterfalls of
Villa Pinares del Mayarí ( p368 )
Casa del Comandante
Take a peep behind the mask at Fidel’s childhood home, the Finca Las Manacas ( p368 )
Remote Digs
Make a side trip to paradisiacal Cayo Saetía ( p369 )
del Mayarí
Villa Pinares
Cayo Saetía
Manacas
Finca Las
Guardalavaca
Holguín
TELEPHONE CODE: 24 POPULATION: 1.04 MILLION AREA: 9300 SQ KM
© Lonely Planet Publications
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13 Vietnamese
Holguín Province 9 10 777