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What is now known as Bariay National Monument Park was the site that Christopher Columbus crossed to get into Cuban territory on October 28, 1492 and discover the most beautiful land that human eyes had ever seen.

Located 37 kilometers from the city of Holguín, Bariay Park is a protected area due to its biological diversity and constitutes a component of the cultural identity of the island.

Among its natural riches are the well-known beaches of Guardalavaca, Esmeralda and Pesquero, as well as numerous caves, rivers, bays, with a very diverse vegetation and an extensive underwater platform.

From this singular park of 25 square kilometers, you can also see geographical features of the holguinera region, described in the journals of the Admiral, such as the hills of Maniabón, the famous Mezquita de Columbus and the Silla de Gibara, with the shape of the saddle for horseback riding.

Visitors can also explore the site where Columbus’ ships anchored and admire the monument made from replicas of objects made by the natives to commemorate the half a millennium of the clash between the two cultures.

The dance of the areíto, a dance performed by the Taino aboriginal people, performed by current inhabitants of the area, is also one of the charms of visiting this place.

In Bariay Park, Cuban flora and fauna are mixed with the blue of the Atlantic Ocean, to show the traveler a landscape very similar to the one found by Columbus in his first trip to the island.

For Visits: East Coast of Bariay Bay in Playa Blanca. Rafael Freyre Municipality. Holguin. Cuba (“21.082243; -76.02384”)

by: Lys Alfonso Bergantiño

photos: Reinaldo A.V.