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Fishing Boats
Weathered House Robin Thom
Robin Thom
Every traveller's favorite, Gibara la Perla Hermosa, this lovely pearl of a town is a small, charming and quiet cocoon by the sea, wrapped by hills and woven with culture.

Holguin's door to the sea, a rich sugar port, its economy declined with the arrival of the train.
Merchant families once enjoyed the confortable life of their Spaniard forefathers, with the great Caruso performing in the Teatro Colonial, which may re-open in this decade.

A program to rejuvenate the colonial buildings, has produced Hostal Buenavista, Hotel Ordoño, Hotel Arsenita and is continuing with the ongoing renovation of the lovely Teatro Colonial; in May 2017, Hotel Plaza Colon with 14 bungalows opened by the newly-redone central park and wifi zone, Parque Colon.

Each month of March sees the Festival de Cine de las Cavernas (films shown in the "Bakers' Cave" - Cueva de los Panaderos !) and yearly, the Festival del Tango de Gibara. In July, nearby Caletones is invaded by DJ Masters from here and abroad who entertain throngs of aficionados till the wee hours during el Festival de Musica Electronica.

Now moved to July, Gibara hosts the very popular Festival Internacional de Cine de Gibara, a project of one of Cuba's premier directors, Humberto Solas who passed away in September 2008. It used to be called del Cine Pobre (low budget).

On this occasion only, casas without a rental permit are allowed to host festival guests and visitors as there are only 55 official rental casas and three hotels in town. So many people show up that some pitch their tent anywhere they can.


Banes, 103
Bahia Bariay, 10
Bayamo, 104
Caletones, 18
Camaguey, 241
Guardalavaca, 83
Holguin, 32
Las Tunas, 112
Playa Blanca, 27 (or by lancha)
Playa Los Bajos, 30 (or by lancha)
Playa Pesquero Nueva, 33
Puerto Padre, 75
Santiago, 188
Silla de Gibara, 35
Velasco, 30

Casa del Tango
Callejon de los Hermanos.
minimap prov holguin
Google Map of town
Rising and downward tides - Puerto de Gibara
Map - Architectural & Landscape Guide : 10 places
Regional map, Velasco to Banes
Regional map, Puerto Padre to Mayari
Map of Guardalavaca and surrounding resorts
Gibara 14-day weather forecast on forecast.co.uk
Viazul through Holguin Ruta 16 + Ruta 24 + Ruta 26
Photos by Hostal Doble Roble owner Armando

All the Web particuba.net

POPULATION 72,056 (2007)

Parks : Calixto Garcia, Colon and Las Madres, all along main street, calle Independencia. (photos here) Copa del Amor (legendary site in cemetery) Fortaleza (office of the Historian : say hello to architect Alberto Mora) Fuerte El Cuartelón Fuerte Fernando VII Iglesia de San Fulgencio (Parque Calixto Garcia) Mirador, the lookout above town : restaurant, bar, snack Museo del Arte Colonial (reopened after total rebuild as only ground floor remained after hurricane Ike destroyed the building) Museo de Historia Natural (largest collection of stuffed birds in Cuba, whale : enjoy practicing your Spanish with young Conservador Ernesto Moreno Garcia) Museo Municipal de Historia + Museo de Artes decorativas re-opened in October 2017 after a 10-year, arduous and long renovations following a hurricane.

Must do : eat lunch or dinner at La Perla del Norte on Cespedes with fabulous views from the rooftop terrace. 'Tis here that chefs Yoander and Daniel (members of national Artechef association) prepare national and local regional cuisine with seafood and other delights for affordable prices; recommended by most guidebooks. La Cueva de Jorge Luis on calle 2da (Secunda) on road to Caletones has its own tiny farm; grill specialties; recommended by most guidebooks. La Tinaja on J. Peralta 21-A seafood specialties. El Coral on Sartorio 38-A Yudier & Mailé are great hosts, large 2-cuc salad, fish, chicken, crab (jaiva), wine by the glass (!); recommended by this webmaster. La Concha facing the sea at Hotel Buenavista, above the Faro beach; Mirador de Gibara overlooking the town and bay. Dining room of the Hotel Ordono + Hotel Arsenita's dining room.

In casas particulares, also renting rooms Los Amigos at Cespedes 15 El Patio de Lily on Mora 19 Villa Caney on Sartorio 36. In Caletones La Esperanza de Nelson Escalona, fish, catch of the day, octopus

Casa del Tango, a project by Québécois Gilbert Bertrand who also created (with the UNEAC) the annual local Tango Festival. Artex, now located by the bay on the INIT site, live music on weekends, 5cuc Casa de la Cultura, exhibitions and more Ciné Jiba, main venue of the film festival Siglo XX on Parque Calixto Garcia.

Playa de Gibara, entrance of town, at the foot of Aguilera and Gomez streets ::: These are deserted in winter (Oct to May). Playa Bavado Playacita El Faro (great summer photo-op) Playa La Concha

Playa Blanca, (across the bay, by barca, the ferry which some locals name La Cachimba or by car, around the bay, about 28 k's Playa Los Bajos, 30 km by car, past Playa Blanca : busy in summer, its casas are deserted (and unrentable) in winter Playa Caletones, 18 km (3 small beaches in this village of 268) Playa Pesquero Nueva (in Guardalavaca, largest resort complex in the country), 53 km.

Hotel Plaza Colon opened in May 2017 opening on central park Colon, offers 12 bungalows, part of Cuba's E Hoteles chain of Cubanacan; dining room dedicated to the most popular music group in Cuba's history : Los Zafiros Hotel Arsenita opened in Summer 2015 on General Sartorio near the church, offers 12 bedrooms, part of Cuba's E Hoteles chain, well-liked by travelers : dining room and mirador on roof. Hotel Ordoño part of Cuba's E Hoteles chain on calle J. Peralta, opened in 2013 has 27 rooms and a dining room and a rooftop terrace. Hotel Buenavista with its La Concha dining room and restaurant overlooking the playa of the same name is located on the seaside; upstairs, four renovated bedrooms for 25cuc with breakfasts; 20cuc pp with dinners There is a wi-fi zone in Plaza de la Cultura (the central park - rebuilt in Spring 2017) In Holguin : Aeropuerto Frank País (24)43-93-40, Cubana Office (24)42-57-07, Airport (24)46-25-12, Havanautos (24)48-14-15, Medical (24) 42-53-02, Transtur (24)42-41-87

Lancha/Ferry - see Gray 4 on Map - (roofed, 18-passager capacity, 1cuc). Leaves the port at least twice a day. Returns one hour later. Two stops : across the bay in front of town at fishing port of San Antonio and then over at Caliche. Bus Two daily from Holguin, the first leaving Valiares Terminal at 7, arrives here at 9:30. Another leaves here around 3:30 p.m. from Fulgencio Park. Taxi particular to and from Holguin for 20cuc : 30 mins; with locals, better to use an old clunker, share it with Gibareños and pay 5cuc or less per person.


Local ferry (Cachimba) sked ; it crosses the bay to San Antonio where one walks to Playa Blanca, rides around on bike through Los Bajos or stays at one of a couple of rental casas.

A bird's eye view desde el ojo del pajaro © juan pablo carreras, cubadebate.cu
A bird's eye view
desde el ojo del pajaro © juan pablo carreras, cubadebate.cu - click to enlarge on radiotaino web site

Barcas on the bay © sogestour
Barcas on the bay © sogestour | The Silla (saddle) as seen from tiny San Antonio © sogestour

Whale at the Museo de Historia Natural © sogestour
Whale at the
Museo de Historia Natural © sogestour | Fireworks and raw talent explode during Festival Internacional de Ciné de Gibara © ficg

Playa Blanca across the bay © sogestour
Playa Blanca across the bay. Get there by the ferry, La Cachimba. © sogestour | Kids on deserted Los Bajos road © sogestour

Lancha o puente, ferry or bridge © sogestour
Lancha o puente, ferry or bridge. © sogestour | Empty seaside casa in Los Bajos © sogestour

Iglesia San Fulgencio on Parque Calixto Garcia © Robin Thom Photography
Iglesia San Fulgencio on Parque Calixto Garcia © Robin Thom Photography — On click, see Robin's 15 galleries of photos of colourful Gibara la Blanca |To quote Céline Dion : "Get a kayak !" and ride the aguas of the big bahia.

parque colon
Parque Colon (Plaza de la Cultura), where on February 20, 2017, all (but two) trees were cut down. ; - ( © sogestour | Public haircut at the Barbero © sogestour

videoclip - por estar contigo 180218230418-422
Por estar contigo (to be with you), a video clip "homaje" to Holguin using the Loma de la Cruz staircase and to Gibara, using rusting ships seaside and the dusty road to Caletones, with wind mills making energy out of hot air. Group is called Qva Libre, director José Rojas. No mention of the two women "used" in the clip.

In the sleepy town of Velasco, 30 km southwest (left on this map), an original work of architectural art - the Casa de Cultura inaugurated in March 1991 - is in dire state. The joint work of North American architect Walter Betancourt (who left the USA in 1969, having fallen in love with the Revolución) and Cuban visionary Félix Varona Sicilia. Situation explained ("where an architectural marvel is in danger") on click. © luis toledo sande, la jiribilla

Dip in Tanque Azul, a 30m long by 15 meters wide natural pool near Caletones, a few k's west of here © juan pablo carreras, acn


Re-opened after 10 years of a full rebuild Museo de Artes Decorativas still dazzles after all these years © radio angulo

"VivaGibaraTango, " © sogestour
At Independencia 10, La Casa del Tango, a great evening spot to learn or watch tango . © sogestour

In nearby Holguin a Viazul bus stops 7 times daily from all points east and west; links above — Terminal de guaguas in Gibara is close to the town beach; in Holguin, it has recently been relocated on Carretera Central "
salida para Habana, Ciudad Jardín" Tel. (24) 47-4430


The Conectando Cuba daily Transtur bus leaves most Habana hotels from 7 to 7:40 am every single day from Miramar, Vedado and Habana Vieja hotels.

It arrives at 14h55 at Hotel Ciego de Avila (27cuc, 424km) near which it then stops for lunch (included in fare) at Parador Rio Azul, then arrives at 16h55 at Hotel Camaguey (33cuc, 545km) and gets in Holguin at Hotel Pernik in Holguin (32 km from here) at 19:55 hrs, 739km later for 44cuc. Then leaves for Hotel Melia in Santiago de Cuba where it arrives at 21h55 (51€/US$, 881km). Click for PDF.

Return trip leaves Santiago daily at 0700, leaves Holguin at 9h00, Camaguey at Noon, stops for lunch at Parador Oasis (468km from Havana), leaves Ciego at 14h55 and gets to Miramar, Vedado and Vieja hotels between 20h55 and 21h35.
Camion azul frente al sol y el mar © sogestour
Ciclista roja, camion azul y gente del puente cerca del sol y frente del mar © sogestour

Playa Blanca, small deserted beach located across the bay (barely visible from atop the Mirador overlooking the town) : it's west of the old boat workshop :normally, one gets there using the ferry; San Antonio a tiny fishing village both across the bay and some 3 km further (by foot : no cars around) : Los Bajos a tiny summer village with a few casas on the sea La Represa a disaffected dam (presa) which still holds water and forms a small lake and a waterfall where Gibarans love to spend the day...in summer. Less water and action in winter but travellers have the place to themselves. Some 5k's away, turn right before the Campismo La Caridad (42 cabañas, pool, horses) after a left turn on the way to Holguin. Ask around, everyone knows Cueva de los Panaderos : a one-hour walk through 900m underground, swim hole 12 feet deep, 35 meters. It's up the hill on Independencia. Official guide a must. 5cuc per person, inluding helmet with headlamp. Office at 49-A Independencia Tel. (24) 84-4457 cel. 53 97 90 96 Natural bassins (swimming in crystal-clear water) and underground marine caves, including Tanque Azul 3km on foot from Caletones. German experts say it could be the world's second longest Sillas and other mogotes (hills similar to those near Viñales) ; climb La Silla de Gibara on foot (or on horseback from the Campismo La Caridad, 8km bike ride away : superb views. (Silla = saddle) Cueva Fructuoso, a large cave with stalagtites and stalagmites and natural swing branches. Swimming. Quite a job and about one hour to get to, as only high-clearance trucks or 4x4's can manage the road. From town, calle Independencia up the hill and straight on dirt road. Best to go around noon as sunlight will warm and light the natural pond inside. Organize this through friends or casa owners in Gibara Guardalavaca by the dirt road (4x4 required in summer only) passing the Silla and campismo which lead to it, crossing lovely village of Fray Benito, then Rafael Freyre (village of sugar mill now museum with tourist train reserved for hotel groups), 120 km there and back Parque Monumento Nacional de Bariay, 88 km east in Rafael Freyre (landing of Colombus, ruins, sculptures, horsedrawn coach ride, restaurant) In Velasco, 41 km west, Casa Felix Varona Cecilia founded in 1964 by architect Walter Betancourt (1932-1978), protégé of Frank Lloyd Wright to mark his support for the Revolución

Playa, Restaurant and Hotel Buenavista © unk zegrahm cruises
Playa, Restaurant and Hotel Buenavista © unk zegrahm cruises
::: Since January 2021, the CUC (Cuban Convertible) currency no longer is valid; all tourist services are payable only in foreign currency, cash or credit card. ::: Bring cash Euros or US dollar$, etc because Cuban banks and Foreign Exchange Bureaus (CADECA) will only exchange your currency (CAD, CHF, EUR, GBP, JPY, MXN, USD) for the local currency - the CUP (US$1 = 24 CUP) which might be useful for local stuff; get other details here. ::: Make sure that in your first email or phone call you specify that you want to book a room in that particular casa and that you will reconfirm your booking on arrival in Cuba::: So as to not abandon expecting owners with empty rooms, reconfirm (or call ahead to cancel) your booking by phone as soon as you can after arriving in Cuba ::: Please write or phone a casa owner to cancel a booking. As late as it may seem, it allows them a chance to rebook. ::: Children under the age of 16 may share a bedroom with adults for free. Specify the child's age when booking. ::: At the end of the casa name, the V signals the casa was suggested by travelers or owners but not verified by us in person. If you try it and like it, write us about it. ::: Unless otherwise mentioned, the average room rates and service prices are : 25-30
€/US$ per bedroom per night [up to 40€/US$+ for 4 in a room]; breakfasts 3-5€/US$, dinners 8-15€/US$. ::: Any casa particular anywhere in Cuba must have a hot water shower, otherwise it cannot have a permit to rent ::: Please share your Complaints, comments & suggestions webmaster [@]cubacasas.net

• From Canada and the USA : 011 53 (add phone # preceded by 24 for Gibara) • From Europe, Great Britain, Scandinavia and Mexico : 00 53 (add phone # preceded by 24 for Gibara) HOW TO DIAL A CUBAN PHONE NUMBER HERE ••• CELL PHONE NUMBERS on our town lists and casa pages are preceded by 05 for calls originating Havana; from anywhere else in Cuba, dial 01 + the 8 digits of the cell.

Click on logo to open a message addressed to that casa in your email application; or right-click to copy address. Spanish vocabulary here.

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Locate casas on our very own map here.
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Colonial, five ac bedrooms, ensuites; patio
Céspedes #13, entre L. Caballero y J. Peralta, 50m from the Malecon. Tel. (24) 84-45-42 cel. 52 91 69 28

los hermanos © sogestour
Colonial, 3 ac br's (2 up), ensuites, garden patio
F. V. Aguilera 18, e/ Maceo y B. Varona, 150m from town's main beach. Tel. (24) 84-47-47 cel. 53 08 37 72

Three ac br's, ensuites, kitchens, terraces
Calle Independencia 107, e/Agramonte y Cavada, up the hill with sea view. Tel. (24) 84-44-95 cel. 52 71 35 04 or 53 46 77 01

EL HORIZONTE © sogestour
Colonial, one ac bedroom, ensuite, patio
Calle Independencia 36 e/ J. Peralta y Calixto Garcia, 100m from Plaza de la Cultura. Tél. (24) 84-4469 cel. 58 37 16 87

Six ac br's, ensuites, three terraces, sea front
Calle J. Peralta 59 (Malecon), entre J. Mora y M. Grajales, facing the sea, neighbour of Lirio del Mar and Las Brisas. Cel. 52 40 21 64 (Yvan) and 52 20 62 40 (in the casa)

Upstairs, one ac bedroom, ensuite, terrace
J. Peralta 57, e/ J. Mora y Mariana Grajales,
facing the sea, neighbour of Lirio del Mar, Sol y Mar and Las Brisas. Tel. (24) 84-2411

Colonial, four ac br's, ensuites, covered patio
Donato Mármol 69, entre Maceo y B. Varona, 200m from Parque Colon - and wifi area. Cel.58 60 64 49

luz del norte © sogestour
Upstairs, one ac br, kitchen, private terrace
Maceo 137, e/ Independencia y General Sartorio, deux rues du Parque Colon. Tel. (24) 84-5230, cel 52 78 42 39

Three aircon bedrooms, ensuites, patio
Calle J. Mora 19, e/Cuba y J. Aguero, 50m from the sea. Tel. (24) 84-42-69 cell 52 82 72 79

EL PATIO © sogestour
Colonial, three ac br's, ensuites, patio
Calle Cespedes #15, e/ Peralta y Luz Caballero, , 50m from the Malecon.
Tel. (24) 84-41-15

Colonial, two ac br's, ensuites, patio
Sartorio 36, entre Luz Caballero y J. Peralta, 50m from playita El Faro. Tel. (24) 84-45-52

villa caney © sogestour

Colonial, three ac bedrooms, ensuites, patio
Céspedes 11, entre Luz Caballero y J. Peralta, 50m from playita Boqueron. Tel. (24) 84-45-42 cel. 52 91 69 28

Two aircon bedrooms, ensuites
Avenida Rabi 53, right on the Malecon, facing playita Boqueron, e/ J. Peralta y Luz Caballero Tel. (24) 84-44-03 or 84-45-59

Villa Boqueron - Gibara
Two ac bedrooms, ensuites, balcony, vistas
Avenida Lenin (Cavada), facing bar El Mirador overlooking the village. Cel. 53 97 91 72

NATALIE © sogestour

Bella Vista

Brisas del Mar

La Terraza


Logo Otras Casas

Las Brisas

Bay View

El 500


Blue Lagoon

Doña Ana

Villa Blanca


Casa de Lia

Da Silva

Lirio del Mar

La Barca

Footprint Handbook (FH), Géo Guide (GG), Le Routard (LR), Lonely Planet (LP), Moon Handbooks (MH), Gallimard (NG), Petit Futé (PF), Stefan-Loose (SL) and site Trip Advisor (TA)
::: FH
: Doble Roble, El Patio (Lily), Las Brisas, Los Hermanos ::: GG : Las Brisas, Hostal Vitral, La Mina, Los Amigos ::: LP : Sol y Mar, El Patio, Bayview, Luz del Norte ::: LR : Los Amigos, Los Hermanos, Las Brisas, Hostal Vitral, Villa Boqueron ::: MH : Los Amigos, Los Hermanos, Villa Caney ::: NG : Hostal Las Brisas ::: PF : Los Amigos, Villa Caney, Hostal Jacqueline, Hostal Vitral ::: SL : Los Amigos, Los Hermanos, Las Brisas ::: TA : Los Hermanos, Villa Caney, Hostal Vitral, Sol y Mar, Brisas del Mar, Villa Boqueron 18.02.18



Content & photos © sogestour

Updated 08.06.2021