Founded by French emigrants from Bordeaux and Louisiana in 1819, renamed “the Pearl of the South” Cienfuegos was built on the natural,
deep and large Bay that has its same name (Bahia de Cienfuegos). The bay offers a natural shelter and it’s ideal for nautical, water and diving activities.
Divers from all over the world come here to explore the “Notre Dame”, an amazing formation of coral shaped as columns.
Considered the crown jewel of 19th-century Cuban architecture with its well preserved Historical Center, declared World Heritage by UNESCO, Cienfuegos is noted for its different styles of architecture as well as for its historic and cultural sites of interest: from – “Castillo de Jagua”, an imposing fortress recognized as one of Cuba’s most important military structures built in the 1740s to protect the bay from the pirates – to the Cathedral “Nuestra Señora de La Inmaculada Concepción”.
The Cultural Centre, a palatial home that now hosts after-school activities like dance and music for local students
“Palacio Valle” is a representation of the Middle East architecture for its arched windows and Moorish tile work. Located at the very end of Punta Gorda, the palace has a terrace that gives a spectacular view of the city and its bay.
To reach Punta Gorda from the city just walk through the “Malecón”, the seaside boulevard lined with palm trees.
Cienfuegos is today the area of major producers of sugar cane, mango, tobacco, and coffee and it’s also recommended for eco-tourism and thermal spas, where visitors can enjoy an ambience of both nature and repose.
The botanical garden of the city and the El Nicho waterfalls are definitely the places to visit for nature lovers.