Quote - Martin Luther



Mar frente Camilo © sogestour •]• Ciclista frente Parque © sogestour
OUR CASA LIST BEGINS HERE REGIONAL MAP HERE
Poster of 2014 Film Festival
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.

Once
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 its opera house.

Today, it would be great to see the authorities ressuscitate the train service from here to Holguin, thereby having a double effect of creating a lot of local traffic for residents and workers as well as supporting Holguin and getting revenues from tourists. Along the coast, there is a project of running a tourist train to Gibara from the beach resorts in
Guardalavaca, one of the Caribbean's largest tourist areas.

A program to rejuvenate the colonial buildings (as was done succesfully in Old Havana), is timidly starting with the ongoing renovation of the lovely Teatro.

In
April 2014, Gibara held the 11th edition of its annual Festival Internacional del Cine Pobre, a project of one of Cuba's premier directors, Humberto Solas who passed away in September 2008.

DISTANCES (km)
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

45th Anniversary of Cuba's Cinemateca
Weathered house © Robin Thom Photography

minimap prov holguin

MAPS & LINKS
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)

SEE.KNOW.DO
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 hurricaned Ike destroyed the edificio) Museo de Historia Natural (largest collection of stuffed birds in Cuba, whale : enjoy practicing your Spanish with young Conservador Ernesto Moreno Garcia) Museo Municipal ()

RESTAURANTS
Must do : eat lunch at La Culinaria on tiny terrace overlooking the bay - with fabulous views. 'Tis here that Alberto Ronda (a member of national Artechef association — he has done clips for TV) and his apprentices are trying to renovate local regional cuisine with seafood and other delights payable in moneda nacional or the equivalent inCUC (we suppose) : an investment in the future and a tasty bargain La Concha (dining room of the 4-bedroom Hotel Buenavista, nestled right above the crescent-shaped beach 5 meters below) a vast indoor terrace overlooking the nested beach below, looking west Mirador de Gibara overlooking the town and bay - a bar mainly with snacks on the edge and a lookout restaurant.

PALADARES
Many private restaurants (paladares) have opened in private casas where owners also rent to travellers. See casa list below.

EVENINGS

Artex, live music on weekends, 5cuc Casa de la Cultura, exhibitions and more Ciné Jiba, main venue of the film festival Outdoor stage on the Malecon (the seaside sidewalk). Fond memories of a 29 Dec. night along with 800 young spectators, enjoying on stage, a group of young rappers, Tecno Caribe.

LOCAL PLAYAS
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

PLAYAS IN THE AREA
Playa Blanca, (across the bay, by barca, the ferry, Gray 4 on map) 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.

SERVICES

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 $$$ Note : although there are two banks in town, neither offers advance cash funds debited from a credit card. Better get enough convertible pesos when going through Holguin There is still no publicly-available Internet connection here Cellular phones work. In Holguin : Aeropuerto Frank País 43-93-40, Cubana Office 42-57-07, Airport 46-25-12, Havanautos 48-14-15, Medical 42-53-02, Micar 48-16-52, Transautos 48-10-11, Transtur 42-41-87, Turistaxi 42-41-87

TRANSPORT
• 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.


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 is located on Carretera Central No. 19 e/ 20 de Mayo e Independencia Tel. (24) 47-4430

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

From Parque de las Madres, this is the portal of La Culinaria
From Parque de las Madres, this is the portal of La Culinaria, the town's new + small + incredibly affordable restaurant re-inventing regional traditional cuisine, guided by Artechef Alberto Ronda © Robin Thom Photography — On click, see Robin's 500+ photos of colourful Gibara la Blanca

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 | Tiny playa in town by Hotel Buenavista (food and lodging) © sogestour

Playa Blanca across the bay © sogestour
Playa Blanca across the bay © 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 © sogestour | Public haircut at the Barbero © sogestour


In town center on Independencia, Museo de Arte Colonial © amauris betancourt

Humerto Solas et Playa Blanca © sogestour
There used to be a passenger train linking the coast with the provincial capital. A bridge fell down, cars and buses using cheap petrol started being imported and whoosh, there went the public transportation policy. Time to rebuild the line with solar or electric power, wot ?


Foreground, the Iglesia San Fulgencio on Parque Calixto Garcia © juan pablo carreras, cubadebate.cu
EXCURSIONS
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 : access these spots by riding the lancha, a small 15-passenger ferry from Gibara port 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 Cavernas de Panaderos : grottos or caves, 19 galeries, 11km-long underground trail. Go up the hill on Independencia, ask around as they're not marked. At the Fortaleza, staff organises tours with equipment 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

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"Outside Gibara", probably on the way to Bariay © Los Toros on Flickr.com
OUR RECOMMENDATIONS
::: 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. Unless you only want a room in any house which may be of the same quality, not the specific casa you booked through photos on these websites ::: 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. ::: Since October 2010, maximum bedroom capacity is not limited to two adults ::: Also, large casas are not limited to renting only two bedrooms per night. ::: At the end of the casa name, the V signals the casa was suggested by travelers or owners but not verified by the website staff. If you try it and like it, write us about it. ::: Unless otherwise mentioned, the average room rates and service prices are : 20-25cuc per bedroom per night [up to 40+ for 4 in a room]; breakfasts 3-5cuc, dinners 7-10cuc. ::: 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

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BOOK BY PHONE
• 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 015 + the 7 digits of the cell.

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


Click pictures to open page and details.
Locate casas on our very own map here.
See casas in sequence.
See all casas in sequence.
Move to next casa by clicking logo.
LOS HERMANOS + PALADAR
Four ac bedrooms each with ensuites; patio
Céspedes #13, entre L. Caballero y J. Peralta, 50m from the Malecon. Tel. (24) 84-45-42

los hermanos © sogestour

DOBLE ROBLE
Two aircon bedrooms, ensuite bathrooms
Calle Francisco Vicente Aguilera #18, entre Maceo y Bernabé Varona, 150m town's main beach. Tel. (24) 84-47-47



VILLA BOQUERON
One aircon bedroom, ensuite bathroom
Avenida Rabi 53, right on the Malecon road, e/ J. Peralta y Luz Caballero Tel. (24) 84-44-03 or 84-45-59

Villa Boqueron - Gibara

VILLA CANEY
Two aircon bedrooms, ensuite bathrooms
Calle Sartorio No 36, entre J. Peralta y Luz Caballero, 200m from small playa Tel (24) 84-45-52

villa caney © sogestour

LA MURALLA + PALADAR
Two aircon bedrooms, ensuite bathrooms
Calle Joaquin Aguero 77 A, entre Marti y Lopez, 100m from Plaza de la Cultura. Tél. (24) 84-48-48

EL HORIZONTE
One aircon bedroom, ensuite bathroom
Calle Independencia No. 107, e/Agramonte y Cavada, up the hill with sea view. Tel. (24) 84-44-95

EL HORIZONTE © sogestour

EL PATIO + PALADAR
One aircon bedroom, ensuite bathroom
Calle J. Mora 19, e/Cuba y J. Aguero, 50m from the sea. Tel. (24) 84-42-69 cell (5) 282-7279

EL PATIO © sogestour

LOS AMIGOS + PALADAR
Three aircon bedrooms, ensuite bathrooms
Calle Cespedes #15, e/ Peralta y Luz Caballero, , 50m from the Malecon.
Tel. (24) 84-41-15



VILLA EL AMPARO + PALADAR
One aircon bedroom, ensuite bathroom
Calle Joaquin Aguero # 135, e/Cespedes y J. Mora, one block from the Malecon. Tel. (24) 84-51-44

SOL y MAR + PALADAR
One aircon bedroom, ensuite
Calle J. Peralta 59 (Malecon), entre J. Mora y M. Grajales, on the Malecon facing the sea Cell 52 23 37 26 ou 52 40 21 64 Neighbour (24) 84-51-34







Content & photos © sogestour

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Updated 01.08.2014