The name “Gibara” comes from the word giba, or hump, and refers to the Silla de Gibara, a hill which, seen from the sea, looks like a horse’s saddle. Gibarans swear this is the one Christopher Columbus mentioned in his log when approaching Cuban shores, but although he did first land in Holguín province, the hill he wrote about is generally taken to be El Yunque in Baracoa. The spot where Columbus first disembarked in Cuba on October 28, 1492, is Playa Blanca, about 20km east of Gibara, in the Bahía de Bariay; it’s marked today by a small monument on the hillside near the pretty, pale-sand beach.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Cuba features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Video: a 1 minute guide to Cuba

Video: a 1 minute guide to Cuba

From the gorgeous countryside of Viñales to the brilliant beaches of Varadero – not to mention the atmospheric, timeworn streets of Havana – Cuba is a begu…

17 Nov 2017 • Colt St. George videocam Video
Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

That ever-growing travel wish list might be putting some pressure on your pocket – but there are plenty of destinations where you'll get more bang for your b…

11 Oct 2017 • Emma Gibbs camera_alt Gallery
12 tips for backpacking Cuba

12 tips for backpacking Cuba

Cuba’s captivating, colourful streets and carnaval­ feel make it appealing for travellers year­-round. And, as relations with the US thaw, the country's p…

23 May 2017 • Freya Godfrey insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook