It’s all pastel coloured houses, French colonial architecture and pint-sized Cuban culture on Cienfuegos holidays. Travellers come here for a genuine taste of how life runs at a slow, relaxed pace. Soak up the atmosphere of this charming UNESCO-listed coastal city capturing Instagram-worthy shots of those famous vintage cars, sipping Hemingway daiquiris in the vibrant rooftop bars of former palaces and dancing to salsa bands that congregate in central Plaza de Arms. Expect baby blue mansions, beautiful lagoons and lush green vegetation in off-the-beaten track, tourist free spots.
There are the French stained glass windows inside Cienfuegos Cathedral, a huge network of indigo pools at El Nicho Waterfall and the double row of palm trees that lead you down the path to the majestic Botanical Gardens – one of the most famous in the Americas. Climb the winding staircase of Palacio Ferrer to stand tightly inside the mosaic tiled cupola for striking views, walk to Punta Gorda as light hits the bay and Cubans come out for a morning’s work of shrimp fishing and dive along immaculate coral reefs in the calm waters along the coastline.
It’s the historic centre and beautiful bay that make holidays to Cienfuegos the ‘Pearl of the South.’ While not somewhere to spend a week, it’s the picture-perfect place for a mini stopover of ice-cold rum sunsets under swaying palm trees and a genuine peek into the indomitable spirit of the Cuban people as life plays out in this charismatic waterfront port. Chat to one of our Cuba experts about how to include Cienfuegos in a wider Cuba itinerary.