"Gibara, north of Holguin" Gibara by TOFFY

Gibara Travel Guide: 4 reviews and 43 photos

The town of Gibara is 33 km north of Holguin, or you can get there by a back road from Guardalavaca. The back road, which passes through Santa Lucia (Raphael Freyre) and Fray Benito, will take you through a few small villages, and past rural schools, co-op workfields and fields of sugar, then past "La Silla", the mountain that Christopher Columbus describes in his diaries upon his landing in this area.
Gibara was very badly hit by the hurricane in 2008 and is struggling to recover.
Just before the entrance to the town you will see the remnants of a swinging bridge over the end of the bay, also destroyed in 2008 by the hurricane. Next, a model of Columbus' sailboat welcoming you to Gibara, the landing place in 1492.
If you are met by someone asking to be a guide, or just trying to practise English, consider having this person join you. Such guides can show you around quickly, avoiding wasting a lot of time.
Through Gibara and further up the coast a few Kilometers takes you past a wrecked ship and to a field of massive windmills that can be seen from Guardalavaca on a clear day.

Originally an Indian settlement, it bacame a major port in the 18th century, and consequently has some lovely architecture. It was a wealthy and fashionable town, with glorious mansions and colonades. Be sure to enter the Museo del Arte Colonial.
You will find a beautiful main square with a church, in front of which are four African oaks trees - a gift from Angloa. Be careful walking under these trees in fruit season, as the fruit pods, the size of large zuchinis, can kill you when they drop. Opposite the church is a cigar factory, and alongside the church is the museum of Natural History, where you can get information about a guide who can take you down the wonderful, but unadvertised, caves of Gibara.
Gibara is also famous for the International Poorman's Film Festival, that takes place in early April of each year.

If you can, take a drive around the malecon (sea wall) to see the small beaches, the fishing boats and the monuments, and then take a drive up Los Caneyes hill for the overview, and a visit to the fortress ruins. Although you may be bothered by vendors selling sea shells & such, it is still worth the view.
As a fishing town, there is a lot of good sea food here, and perhaps the best is in the private restaurants. Just ask anyone where the best seafood is, and you'll be in for a treat.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Special hideaway
  • Cons:You need a car
  • In a nutshell:A great day's outing
  • Last visit to Gibara: Dec 2010
  • Intro Updated Dec 15, 2010
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