A vast area of swaying cane and working plantations, the whole swathe of land southwest from Bahía de Nipe and west of the Pinares de Mayarí is given over to sugar. There’s nothing here for the casual visitor, though true Castro devotees may wish to make a pilgrimage to the tiny community of Birán, 44km southwest of Mayarí, near which, at the Finca Las Manacas plantation, Fidel Castro was born on August 13, 1926. He spent part of his youth here, until he was sent to school in Santiago, and he still owns the farm. Home to the former school, post office, bar, butcher’s, cock-fighting arena and a hotel, the tidy and well-maintained farm also holds the Sitio Histórico de Birán museum, with a collection of photographs, clothes, Fidel’s childhood bed and a 1918 Ford. Near the entrance are the well-tended graves of Fidel’s father Angel Castro and mother Lina Ruz.

Finding the finca is something of a challenge: from Holguín follow the road east to Cueto, then turn south onto the road to Loynaz Hechevarría; turn east at the sign to Birán and carry on a further 2km north.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Cuba features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

18 brilliant pictures of life in Cuba

18 brilliant pictures of life in Cuba

It has been a big year for Cuba. After US-Cuba relations were improved in summer 2015, an influx of tourists started to head to the country – the first half …

09 Dec 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
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. The country's popularity is skyrocketing, and visit…

10 May 2016 • Freya Godfrey insert_drive_file Article
Delving into the Daiquiri: Havana’s favourite drink

Delving into the Daiquiri: Havana’s favourite drink

Cuba’s cocktails chart the country’s ambivalent relationship with its neighbour to the north, America. This is most obviously demonstrated by the Cuba Libre…

24 Feb 2016 • Henry Jeffreys insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month