- Things to see in the historic center: The Spanish Fort and the Museum of Colonial Art
- The beaches in the surroundings of Gibara. Vacation on the beach without mass tourism.
- Day-Trips: Enjoy the scenery and explore the caves in the surroundings of Gibara
- The Festival of the Poor Cinema every year in April.
Gibara, also known as the "Villa Blanca" (White Village - thanks to its numerous colonial facades painted in white), is a small town located in the north of the Holguin province - Eastern Cuba - on the shores of the Gibara Bay.
It was one of the first places where Columbus landed with his ships in October 1492.
The landscape is similar to Baracoa, but Gibara is smaller and does not attract so much tourism.
While in colonial times Gibara played an important role due to its port and the sugar industry; nowadays it's a quiet place full of architectural gems of its colonial past.
The nice town and the beaches in the surroundings of Gibara are ideal for relaxing.
Since 2003, in Gibara takes place the interesting "International Festival of Poor Cinema".
The best sights in Gibara
"Iglesia San Fulgencio" church
The "Iglesia de San Fulgencio" Church of Gibara is located right in the center of the town.
Battery "Fernando VII"
The construction of the "Battery San Fernando VII" started on January 16, 1817, on a promontory by the Bay of Gibara. This fortress was built as a protection against pirate attacks. The same date is considered also as the date of the founding of Gibara.
Ruins of the fort " Fuerte El Cuartelón"
Building works of the Spanish fortress "El Cuartelón" began in 1854, but just one year later the new Spanish official suspended construction for alleged danger to the health of the soldiers who should live here.
From the fort you have great views of the surrounding landscape. Also, its historical value attract visitors.
Nearby you have the remains of the ancient city wall of Gibara. The city was one of the two cities with walls in Cuba - only Havana has also one.
Museums in Gibara
The Natural History Museum of Gibara hosts an interesting exhibition of the Cuban fauna.
But the most interesting museum in town is undoubtedly the Colonial Art Museum, which is housed in a villa that formerly belonged to a wealthy business man in the area.
Here you can see a nice collection of paintings and objects of the colonial period.
"Cueva de los Panaderos" cave
The Baker's Cave (Cueva de los Panaderos) is located about 2 km out of Gibara. In order to explore the caves, it is the best to ask the locals (for example, the landlord of your private hostel).
The caves stretch almost 10 km and are full of interesting stone formations and bright shining stalactites.
Gibara Poor Film Festival
The Gibara Poor Film Festival takes place every year in April and attracts Cuban and international filmmakers and visitors.
This is a festival for alternative cinema from all over the world. The Festival del Cine Pobre is understood as an antipodean to commercial cinema and promotes low cost movies with a political message.
Since it's first edition, this alternative film festival has become more and more popular, and if you are in Gibara around April, it's very recommendable to have a look at this cultural event.
Playas en Gibara y alrededores
Towards the west the beaches of Gibara extend until the border of the Las Tunas province.
The most important beaches in this coast section are the Playa de Caletones and the Punta de Mangle.
In this area you also have the Güirito-Punta de Mangle migratory corridor - a paradise for ornithologists, since it is one of the most important points for bird migration.
In the other direction we find the Playa Blanca and the Los Bajos beaches. Following the shore to the east you reach Guardalavaca.
Within the town of Gibara there are also several beaches: Playa El Boqueron, Playa El Faro and Playita del Vallado beach.
Beach in Gibara
There is a small beach in the south of the town to cool off but the most beautiful plays are found on the outskirts of Gibara.
"Playa Blanca" beach
The Playa Blanca (White Beach) is located on the opposite side of the Bay of Gibara.
Composed of bright shining white beach, this nice beach stretches about 100 meters and is between 10 and 15 meters wide.
You get there by boat crossing the bay.
"Playa Los Bajos" beach
A few hundred meters east of the Bay of Gibara (passing Punta Peregrina) starts the Playa Los Bajos and behind you have the Bahía de Bariay bay - the place where Columbus first stepped the Cuban island (there is a monument near the Playa Blanca which is located on the eastern side of the bay).
"Playa Caletones" beach
The Playa Caletones beach is to the west of Gibara near the border of the Holguin with the Las Tunas province.
This beach is about 200 meters long including many small lagoons - ideal for swimming and snorkeling.
Ask for the Caverna Tanque Azul! This beautiful place was created by flooding a cave.
Restaurants & Paladares in Gibara
The restaurant offer is Gibara is quite limited. There is only one restaurant where you pay in CUC.
The most recommendable option is to eat at your private home in Gibara. The landlord will cook the meals following your preferences and in general the dishes are better than in a state restaurant.
"El Faro" (also called: "La Concha")
This restaurant offers Creole food in a nice place with sea views.
Paladar Gibara "Los Hermanos"
Creole food and fish dishes served in a nice patio.
Paladar Gibara "Casa Colonial"
Cuban food: Pork, chicken, beans, rice.
Nightlife: Bars & Clubs in Gibara
As in all of Cuba, even if it is a small town, there is music and dancing every weekend.
In Gibara there is a nightclub and an open-air bar.
Discoteca "El Faro"Every weekend the restaurant "El Faro" becomes a nightclub.
Bar "El Mirador"Bar (24 h) with beautiful views - near the fort. Meeting point for the locals.
Arrival to Gibara
The Gibara bus station is 1 km out of town. There is only an ASTRO bus connection.
The alternative is a rental car or taxi that costs approximately 20 CUC from Holguin.
- "Iglesia San Fulgencio" church
- Battery "Fernando VII"
- Ruins of the fort " Fuerte El Cuartelón"
- Museums in Gibara
- "Cueva de los Panaderos" cave
- Gibara Poor Film Festival
- Beach in Gibara
- "Playa Blanca" beach
- "Playa Los Bajos" beach
- "Playa Caletones" beach
- Hotel Iberostar Gibara (Ordono)
- Hotel Iberostar Gibara (Arsenita)
- There is no bus connectionb to Gibara. If you don't have a rental car, you have to try to get on the bus for Cubans from Holguin City. The other option is to hire a taxi.
- There is no tourist office in Gibara, but you can get information in the hotels and in your private home.
- Changing money is possible in Bandec on Calle Independencia corner Calle J. Peralta
- Wifi you can find in the Central Park and by the waterfront of Gibara
- "El Faro" (also called: "La Concha")
- Paladar Gibara "Los Hermanos"
- Paladar Gibara "Casa Colonial"
- Discoteca "El Faro"
- Bar "El Mirador"