Must see attractions in Holguín

  • Top ChoiceSights in Holguín

    Loma de la Cruz

    At the northern end of Maceo, a stairway built in 1950 ascends 465 steps to top a hill (275m) with panoramic views, a restaurant and a 24-hour bar. It's a 20-minute walk from the center or go via bici-taxi (CUC$1) to the base. This walk is best tackled early in the morning when the light is pristine and temperature cooler.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Holguín

    Museo de Historia Provincial

    Now a national monument, the building on the northern side of Parque Calixto García was constructed between 1860 and 1868 and was used as a Spanish army barracks during the independence wars. It was nicknamed La Periquera (Parrot Cage) for the red, yellow and green uniforms of the Spanish soldiers who stood guard.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Holguín

    Catedral de San Isidoro

    Dazzling white and characterized by its twin domed towers, the Catedral de San Isidoro, one of the town’s original constructions, dates from 1720. Added to over the years, the towers are of 20th-century vintage. A hyper-realistic statue of Pope John Paul II stands right of the main doors. If it's open, take a peek inside at the relatively austere interior.

  • Sights in Holguín

    Centro de Arte

    In the southwestern corner of Parque Calixto García is this bright gallery, Holguín's best. It shares space with Biblioteca Alex Urquiola.

  • Sights in Holguín

    Parque San José

    Holguín's youngest park is also its shadiest, dominated by the Iglesia de San José. The cobbled central square is also known as Parque Céspedes, named for 'Father of the Motherland' Carlos Manuel de Céspedes – his statue stands center stage next to a monument honoring the heroes of the War of Independence.

  • Sights in Holguín

    Fábrica de Órganos

    Visitors can tour the only mechanical music-organ factory in Cuba. This small factory produces about six organs a year, as well as guitars and other instruments. A good organ costs between US$10,000 and US$28,000. Eight professional organ groups exist in Holguín (including the Familia Cuayo, based at the factory): if you're lucky, you can hear one playing on Parque Céspedes on Thursday afternoon or Sunday morning.

  • Sights in Holguín

    Parque Peralta

    This square is named for General Julio Grave de Peralta (1834–72), who led an uprising against Spain from Holguín in October 1868. His marble statue (1916) faces the imposing Catedral de San Isidoro. On the western side of the park is the Mural de Origen, depicting the development of Holguín and of Cuba from indigenous times to the end of slavery.

  • Sights in Holguín

    Plaza de la Marqueta

    Laid out in 1848, rebuilt in 1918 and renovated only recently, this gleaming square is dominated by bronze busts and an impressive covered marketplace housing a cafe and artisan stalls. Running along the north and south sides of the plaza are myriad shops selling music, crafts and cigars.

  • Sights in Holguín

    Parque Calixto García

    This wide, expansive square is more about atmosphere than architecture. It was laid out in 1719 as the original Plaza de Armas and served for many years as the town's meeting point and marketplace. The centerpiece today is a 1912 statue of General Calixto García, where you'll find a mixture of old sages, baseball naysayers and teenagers on the prowl.

  • Sights in Holguín

    Mirador de Mayabe

    The Mirador de Mayabe is a motel-cum-restaurant high on a hill, 10km from Holguín city. It has great views of the lowlands spread out below and gained fame for a beer-drinking donkey named Pancho, who hung out near the bar in the 1980s. The original Pancho died in 1992, but they're now onto Pancho IV or V, which also drinks beer. Traditional country shows occur here most weeks.

  • Sights in Holguín

    Casa Natal de Calixto García

    To learn more about the militaristic deeds of Holguín's local hero, head to this house situated two blocks east of the namesake park. The hugely underestimated García – who stole the cities of Las Tunas, Holguín and Bayamo from Spanish control between 1896 and 1898 – was born here in 1839.

  • Sights in Holguín

    Plaza de la Revolución

    Holguín is a city most fiel (faithful) and its bombastic revolutionary plaza, east of the center, is a huge monument to the heroes of Cuban independence, bearing quotations from José Martí and Fidel Castro. Massive rallies are held here every May 1 (Labor Day). The tomb of Calixto García, containing his ashes, is also here, as is a smaller monument to García's mother.

  • Sights in Holguín

    Museo de Historia Natural

    You'll find more stuffed animals here than in a New York toy store – everything from the world's smallest frog to the world's tiniest hummingbird. There's also a big collection of the unique yellow polymita seashells found on Cuba's far-east coastline. To be frank, the building, guarded by two stone lions, is more impressive than what's inside.

  • Sights in Holguín

    Biblioteca Alex Urquiola

    In the southwestern corner of Parque Calixto García is the Biblioteca Alex Urquiola, named after a local revolutionary and housing Holguín’s biggest book collection.

  • Sights in Holguín

    Tomb of Calixto García

    The tomb of Calixto García, containing his ashes, is in Holguín's Plaza de la Revolución, as is as a smaller monument to García's mother.

  • Sights in Holguín

    Iglesia de San José

    The Iglesia de San José features a distinctive dome with a bell tower (1842), once used by the Independistas as a lookout.

  • Sights in Holguín

    Galería Holguín

    Situated in a colonial building, the Galería Holguín displays a revolving cache of good local art.