Holguin Province is Cuba's fourth largest.
The mountains of the region are home to deposits of nickel
and cobalt which have been, and still are being, extensively
mined. These industries play an important role in the productivity
and wealth of the area, the main nickel mines and processing
plants are situated around the town of Moa on the north coast,
east of the city of Holguin.
Sugar plantations and citrus orchards also
play a prominent role in the local economy, and the fishing
industry, although small, complements the province's impressive
role as a key producer in the Cuban economy.
The north coast has been a substantial amount
of development over the last 10 to 15 years and the beaches
of Playa Guardalavaca are now firmly established with foreign
This city, 760km/495 miles southeast of Havana,
is busy and not particularly attractive. But if you pass through,
look in on the main square for its Art-Deco theatre, art gallery,
and eclectic display of historical exhibits inside the Museo
Provincial. The fine Carlos de la Torre Natural History Museum,
just south of the square on Calle Maceo, in another colonial
mansion, has a large collection of indigenous snail shells
in dazzling colours.
To the west of Holguin is a vantage point, Loma de la Cruz, which
offers wonderful views over the city and across the province.
Although quiet and rather run down the town is home to two of the province's most significant museums, one is Bani Cuban-Indian Museum and the other is called Chorro de Maita Site Museum.
The drive from Guardalavaca to Banes is one of the most scenic in the province.
This small seaside town is where flights from both Havana and Santiago de Cuba drop off holidaymakers on their way to Guardalavaca and the coast. Close to the provincial border with Guantanamo, Moa is connected to the town of Baracoa by a crumbling coastal road.
Its white sand beaches and rolling hills are indeed very beautiful and today it is home to a burgeoning tourist industry with package holidays now available from England, Canada, Germany and Austria.
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