- Plaza de Armas with many interesting historical buildings and the only Triumphal Arch of Cuba
- Punta Gorda district with its magnificent architecture (for example the Palacio Azul)
- Boulevard Paseo El Prado, runs through the city and along the bay
- Cemeteries La Reina & Tomás Acea
- The Casa de la Musica - music concerts with a large stage by the sea
- Fortress Castillo de Jagua at the entrance to the bay of Cienfuegos
- Diving and swimming at the paradisiacal beach Playa Rancho Luna (there is also a recommendable dolphinarium)
- Waterfall El Nicho amidst the wonderful nature of the mountains Topes de Collantes.
- The Botanical Garden - 97 acres of wonderful tropical flora
Cienfuegos - the province on the south coast of Cuba - is also called the "Pearl of the South".
The magnificent city of Cienfuegos is full of magnificent neoclassical architecture and is certainly one of the most beautiful cities in Cuba. A city tour will remain in the memory of the visitor, thanks its nice and clean ambient and the countless architectural delights.
The beautiful beaches in the area - including the dream beach Playa Rancho Luna - are small paradises under the palm trees, which together with the sights of the city guarantee an unforgettable stay.
The most popular destinations for nature lovers in the province of Cienfuegos are the waterfall El Nicho, the nature reserve Laguna Guanaroca and the botanical garden (Jardin Botanico).
Cienfuegos was founded in 1819 by a French immigrant. The wealth of the city fathers is reflected today in the ever-present neoclassical architecture of its magnificent buildings.
Thanks to the UNESCO funds that declared Cienfuegos to be the heritage of humanity, everything is in good condition and the visitor will be impressed by the "Pearl of the South", as the city is also called.
Start your city tour through Cienfuegos on the Plaza de Armas (also Jose Marti Park) in the old city center.
The concentration of historic, magnificent buildings that frame the space is overwhelming:
- The only triumphal arch in Cuba built in honor of the independence of the country.
- The theater Tomas Terry - probably one of the most magnificent cultural sites in the country.
- The magnificent town hall Palacio del Gobierno.
- Casa del Fundador - the oldest building in the city - was home to the founder of the city, Cienfuegos Don Louis D'Clouet.
- The church Catedral de la Purísima Concepción.
The Colegio San Lorenzo, the Casa de la Cultura, and the Museo Provincial (Provincial Museum) complete the perfect ensemble of beautiful architecture here in the old town center of Cienfuegos.
Just a few hundred meters away, in the west of the Jose Marti park you find Cienfuegos' oldest cemetery La Reina. Opened in 1837 the place has countless artistic statues.
It's the only cemetery in Cuba, where graves are also in the walls, as groundwater level in the area is too high.
East of the city center, the Paseo del Prado boulevard runs from north to south where the former upper class district of Punta Gorda is located.
On the way there you pass the long waterfront promenade, which after sunset becomes a meeting point for party people.
In the district of Punta Gorda you have the finest examples of neoclassic architecture in Cienfuegos. The Palacio del Valle and the Palacio Azul are the two most known gems.
The views from the terrace of the restaurant in the Palacio del Valle will remain unforgettable.
Sights in Cienfuegos
Fortress "Castillo de Jagua"
The third largest fortress of the Spanish crown in Cuba lies at the mouth of the bay of Cienfuegos and was built in 1738 for protection against pirates.
Visitors will enjoy great views of the area and a museum that tells the story of the Castillo de Jagua fortress. There is also a restaurant on site.
The location is easily reached by ferry from Cienfuegos and already driving through the bay is a worthwhile experience.
Waterfall "El Nicho"
Located in the far west of the Cienfuegos province, in the Nature Park Topes de Collantes, this destination is highly recommended for a day trip.
El Nicho waterfall and its enchanting surroundings invite you to swim and hike, and birdwatchers can observe numerous Cuban species here.
The journey (preferably by private vehicle) to the place is spectacular, leading over the spectacular, winding road of Cumanayagua.
The Botanical Garden of Cienfuegos and the "Laguna Guanaroca"
The botanical garden of Cienfuegos can be reached via a short detour on the way to the beach Playa Rancho Luna.
A sheer incredible number of palm species and many hundreds of other tropical plants make a visit to the garden absolutely recommendable to plant lovers.
The Laguna Guanaroca in the west of Cienfuegos offers first-class conditions for bird watching.
Flamingos, pelicans and many other indigenous bird species are resident here and can be spotted from a short distance.
Santa Isabel de las Lajas
The greatest star of Cuban music - Benny More - was born in the small town of Santa Isabel de las Lajas.
In the city museum you can see personal belongings of El Benny and if you are in the vicinity in September, you should not miss the International Festival of Music Benny Mores.
Santa Isabel de las Lajas and other surrounding villages are known for their deep roots in the Santeria, the Cuban faith that emerged from African religions and Catholicism.
Beaches in Cienfuegos Province
The beaches of Cienfuegos are located south and southeast of the city.
Although the Playa Rancho Luna is the best known and longest, the coastal sections on the way to Trinidad are also highly recommended and especially suitable for divers.
Beach Playa Rancho Luna
Located around 18 kilometers south of Cienfuegos, Playa Rancho Luna is a perfect beach with a number of large hotels. The sands here are bright white, the blue waters are crystal clear and warm all year round.
This whole coastline is protected by a spectacular coral reef that you can even swim out to at some points. It’s a popular snorkeling and diving spot with excellent visibility and some colorful marine creatures.
At low to medium depths you’ll see some beautiful coral formations and plenty or marine life. Go deeper and you’ll come across sponges, sea fans and coral beds. This is where you’ll find the Notre Dame reef, which stretches up to five meters. It’s the highest coral formation in the Americas.
There are a number of dive centers in Rancho Luna including Whale Shark and Cubanacan Nautica. Hotel Rancho Luna also has its own dive center. There're beginners courses, night dives, cave diving, wreck diving to choose from. From August to November you can see Whale sharks in these waters but don’t worry, they’re harmless!
Cienfuegos has everything to offer the visitor: a unique city in Cuba with great architecture, history, culture and a hot nightlife, top beaches with some of the best dive sites on the south coast and excursion destinations in a rarely beautiful nature.
Visit Cienfuegos - one of the most beautiful areas of Cuba!
- In Cienfuegos
- Central park "Parque Jose Marti" = "Plaza de Armas"
- Punta Gorda district: "Palacio Azul" & "Palacio de Valle"
- Waterfront "Malecon"
- Railway museum "Museo de Locomotoras"
- Cementery "Cementerio de la Reina"
- Cemetery "Necrópolis Tomás Acea"
- Excursions to the surroundings
- Old Spanish fortress "Castillo de Jagua"
- Waterfall "El Nicho"
- Santa Isabel de las Lajas - city of Benny More
- Laguna Guanaroca (bird watching)
- South of the city
- Playa Rancho Luna
- Playa Arimao
- Entrance to the Bay of Cienfuegos
- Playita Rancho Club
- Playa El Gusta
- Las Playitas
- Playa Bocanguila
- Playa Guajimico
- Southeast on the road to Trinidad
- Playa La Tatagua
- Playa Ingles
- Playa Fria
- Playa Rancho Luna
- Cienfuegos ("Jaime González" - CFG)
- Aguada de Pasajeros
- Hotel La Unión, Hotel Jagua, Hotel Rancho Luna
- Central park Parque Martí
- Fast food restaurant "El Rápido" at Punta Gorda