By the port of Bariay, today within the limits of this province, the Great Admiral Christopher Columbus disembarked on October 1492, thus beginning, with the discovery of the Americas, a new era in the history of mankind. Legend has it that the admiral, while setting foot on Cuban soil and amazed at the natural wonders, the beauty of the beaches, and the exuberance of the vegetation, pronounced a phrase that has been remembered ever since: "This is the most beautiful land human eyes have ever seen".
A few decades after that, in 1525, Captain García Holguín founded the city and it started to develop. In the 18th century, the port of Gibara was already among the first of eastern Cuba as to commerce of slaves and sugar. Attracted by the richness of the colony, many pirates and privateers chose Holguín as the scenario for their attacks. Ruins of fortresses, built to protect the city from the constant raids, are still preserved.
On January 18, 1752, Holguín was declared a municipality becoming eventually the important city it is today.
During the struggles of the Cuban people for independence from Spanish rule, taking place from 1868-1878 and 1895-1898, the irregular coasts of the ancient territory of Baní served as arrival point for expeditions aimed at supplying men, weapons, ammunitions and information for the insurrectionist forces. During those independence wars, there were numerous combats in today's municipalities of Holguín and Báguanos.