Explore the city of Holguin

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Consider the city of Holguin your window into authentic Cuban life. Aside from a few tour buses that pop in for an hour here and there, the city is crowded with locals. You may find yourself sitting side by side with locals when you sit down for a bowl of helado (ice cream) with all the toppings.

Parque Calixto Garcia is the square in the centre of town. Make your way through the other three major squares downtown for a good overview of what makes this city tick. You'll see women getting their nails done inside a big store where items are priced in local pesos and not in the convertible pesos (CUC) reserved for travellers. And you'll also see groups of locals grabbing a quick bite to eat at an open-air cafeteria.

A cab from the beach resort areas can be expensive, so it's best to take the whole family or split the cost with fellow travellers who also want to explore the city. Holguin is most alive on Saturday and Sunday nights.