The last April I had the opportunity to visit Cienfuegos, wanted to settle a debt that I had with myself, know one of the most beautiful cities in Cuba and at the same time do some work.
We had planned everything, we would travel in National Omnibus to Cienfuegos and we will stay at Hostal Colonial D+D where we booked for almost a week. We arrived late at night around one o'clock in the morning to the bus terminal after a journey of about 4 hours. Diley the hostess was waiting for us and welcomed us with great sympathy, for first time after several years talking by phone.
Cienfuegos "La ciudad que más me gusta a mi" says a poster of the Bay of Cienfuegos quoting the words of the famous singer Benny Moré. Cienfuegos is known as the Pearl of the South (La Perla del Sur), it is an elegant and relaxed city.
The city is divided into two parts: the historic center, declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO and Punta Gorda, a narrow strip of land that is sinking in the waters south of the bay best preserved of Cuba.
The Historical Center of Cienfuegos is a must-see, with wide, straight streets, walks and parks invite you to stroll and enjoy the best attractions and things to see in Cienfuegos.
In many guides and websites you can find that Cienfuegos is a transit city and only worthwhile for one night, but it really is not, to see all the sights of Cienfuegos need at least 2 or 3 days.
The Historical Center of Cienfuegos worth for a day, the Paseo del Prado and the Malecon is one of the first things to visit in Cienfuegos, which stretches from the Ingles river to Punta Gorda, is the longest walk of Cuba and it is an excellent place to observe the life of Cienfuegos. At the intersection of Avenue 54 starts San Fernando Boulevard which runs to Parque Marti and at the same intersection can see the Benny Moré statue
"El Parque José Martí " is located in the historic center of Cienfuegos, it is one of the symbols of culture and identity of cienfuegueros and stands out for its Arc de Triomphe, unique of its kind in Cuba. "El Parque José Martí " was declared a National Monument on November 20, 1982 and a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. It is considered a must-see attraction in the city that harmoniously combines the neoclassical pattern of the nineteenth century with the eclectic code of the twentieth century and concentrates a large number of buildings of high architectural, cultural and historical value. "El Parque José Martí " recently take life, as many cienfuegueros meet to connect to the Internet through the Wifi is installed.
From Parque Martí you have access to several interesting buildings like the "Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción", built between 1833 and 1852, but since 1835 were held there religious services, has two towers of 20 and 36 meters respectively where precious treasure stained glass and paintings of great artistic value.
Another place to see in Cienfuegos very interesting is Reina Cemetery founded in 1837, the only one in Cuba that retains its burial niches above the ground level due to high groundwater levels.
Punta Gorda is the old quarter of the upper class of Cienfuegos characterized by houses of luxury and palaces with turrets highlighting the Palacio Azul and the Yacht Club Cienfuegos, but most resplendent and attractive is a bit below, the exotic Palacio de Valle, a marvel of architecture and one of the emblematic buildings of the city of Cienfuegos, its construction began in 1913 and was completed in 1917, the work was entrusted to Italian architect Alfredo Colli and the foreman Juan Suarez at a cost a million and a half pesos for that time.
The Palacio de Valle was an architectural whim. In it Gothic, Romanesque, Baroque and Italianate influences combined with the Moorish style that was in vogue in the Spain of the XII and XIII centuries. It is assumed that craftsmen involved in this work of different nationalities and experts for each specialty.
It's the best beach in Cienfuegos, water is blue and the sun shining. It is considered one of the best beaches on the south coast of Cuba and is only 18 kilometers from the city. Protected by a coral reef is good for snorkeling and visiting stunning seabeds. You can also visit the Dolphinarium in Cienfuegos, one of the best in the country.
In the Nicho you can not only enjoy the fresh atmosphere, vegetation and beauty of waterfalls, but also pocetas can take a bath in crystal clear water. El Nicho is located at the gates of Topes de Collantes Natural Park and is the name of a beautiful waterfall Hanabanilla River, which also have the opportunity to observe birds and a beautiful natural landscape. The "El Nicho" is 55 km from Cienfuegos and can be difficult to reach if not on an excursion organized by some travel agencies or the private house itself.
Founded in 1901, it is the most important of the island, not only for its antiquity but also because it has valuable collections of plants, unique of its kind in America. It was declared a National Monument on October 20, 1989 and is located 17 km east of Cienfuegos. It houses more than 2,000 species of plants including 23 kinds of bamboo, figs 67 and 280 different palms.
The Laguna de Guanaroca was created by the river Arimao before go to Cienfuegos Bay, has a heritage of three thousand hectares. Its environment is extremely attractive because of the large populations of mangroves and wildlife refuges of native birdlife. It is ideal for watching pink flamingos, sea cormorants, gannets, ducks and Florida Manatees place.
The Fortaleza de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles de Jagua is located at the entrance to the Bay of Cienfuegos, in a community with strong maritime traditions. It is the only Spanish military fortress, built in the late eighteenth century Renaissance style. Many tourists prefer to make the crossing in La Patana, which departs from Pier Real at 8.00am and 1.00pm and returns the Castle at 10.00am and 3.00pm, the crossing time about 1 hour.
Finally I would say that Cienfuegos is a beautiful city with great attractions that it is not possible to visit in one day. Do you animate to Travel to Cienfuegos?
Bahia de Cienfuegos
Arco de Triunfo Cienfuegos