Holguin and its geography

Holguin, eastern province of Cuba, is characterized by a complicated and unique relief, related to lithological (rock) and tectonic (structural) conditions. In the territory of Holguin three main regions can be distinguished:

  • The plains that border the coast and central-southern area of the province of Holguin (Plain of Nipe and Cauto), with heights between 0.50 meters, which present an abrasive character from the coast to the interior of the province, cumulative with fragments of marine terraces , beaches, in some sectors and marginal swamps with mangroves in others. The central-southern area, occupied by plains of marine origin, is why important rivers currently flow with the presence of fluvial forms and complexes, presenting a pronounced development of alluvial deposits.
  • In the western sector of the province of Holguin, the undulating and hilly denudative plains, which border the Maniabón elevation system and reach heights between 50 - 100 meters, with slopes between 0 - 8 %. The valleys are aligned, as are the elevation chains in an east-west direction and the effects of differential erosion are evident throughout the area. With heights between 100 – 300 meters, the system of elevations or hills of Maniabón appears with a unique morphology. In the heights and hilly areas, with slopes between 8 – 15 %, erosive – karst and denudational processes are observed that form typical hills with steep slopes and flat tops (mogotes). The highest elevation in this sector is Cerro Galano with 459 m.
  • In the eastern sector of the province of Holguin, the premountainous areas of Mayarí, Sierra Cristal and Sagua - Baracoa appear with heights between 100 - 300 meters and the mountainous areas of the same name, with heights between 300 - 750 meters and more, whose greatest elevation is the Pico del Cristal with 1,231 meters, the highest point of the province. These mountains constitute erosive tectonic blocks, where tertitic weathering crusts appear, with a high content of iron, nickel and other minerals.

Numerous rivers run through the territory of Holguin, highlighting the Mayarí, Sagua de Tánamo and Nipe, the first being the largest with 106 km in length, together with the Sagua they are the ones with the greatest flow, and numerous streams and springs are added.