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Holguín, Cuba's fourth largest city, is one of the isle's most important historic cities. You can spend at least a full day exploring its three major colonial plazas. Plaza Calixto García, the main square, is pinned by a monument to General Calixto García, the homeboy hero of the Wars of Independence, and hosts the excellent, albeit small, Museo Provincial de História. Holguín is a cultural center, renowned island-wide for its active nightlife (which even includes a club dedicated to The Beatles) and for its lively artistic traditions. The city is surrounded by hills. Feeling energetic? Climb the 450 or so steps to the top of Loma de la Cruz ...

Holguín, Cuba's fourth largest city, is one of the isle's most important historic cities. You can spend at least a full day exploring its three major colonial plazas. Plaza Calixto García, the main square, is pinned by a monument to General Calixto García, the homeboy hero of the Wars of Independence, and hosts the excellent, albeit small, Museo Provincial de História. Holguín is a cultural center, renowned island-wide for its active nightlife (which even includes a club dedicated to The Beatles) and for its lively artistic traditions. The city is surrounded by hills. Feeling energetic? Climb the 450 or so steps to the top of Loma de la Cruz for a fabulous view. The city makes a great base for day trips to nearby attractions, including Gibara, a sleepy seafront village. Want some beach time? Then head to Playas Guardalavaca and Pesquero. Nearby, the Museo de Sitio Chorro de Maíta is Cuba's foremost archaeological site. And you simply must visit Fidel Castro's birthplace at Birán, a one-hour drive southeast of town: Here the family finca, now known as Conjunto Histórico de Birán, has been tarted-up and offers a fascinating perspective on Fidel's early life.

Christopher Baker
About the Expert

Christopher P. Baker has authored guidebooks to Costa Rica, California, and various Caribbean islands for Frommer's, Lonely Planet, and National Geographic, among others.

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Christopher Baker for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    February-April offers the best weather. Holguin gets hot in summer, which is hurricane season.