When you arrive in Cienfuegos, especially the oldest area of the city, you might feel you are visiting a French or other European city, as many of the buildings, with their eclectic neoclassic styles, seem transported from outside of Cuba.
That is precisely one of the features of the former Fernandina de Sagua that make it different from other Cuban cities. As you wander its streets, you encounter small and large palaces and mansions that allow you to learn a little of the history of this beautiful city washed by the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea.
Cienfuegos has one of the largest Cuban bays, 88 square kilometres wide, which allows visitors to enjoy the sun and sea at the Rancho Luna Beach. This beach, apart being beautiful, has all the facilities for the practice of sea sports and hotels to meet the demands of the most exacting guests.
Aficionados of diving and sailing also have the option to stay aboard modern yachts at the maritime base with all necessary facilities available.
Let us return to the oldest area of the city, one of the most important attractions, where the layout, with parks, monuments and buildings with colonial doors, railings, arches and stained glass, true architectural marvels, caused UNESCO to declare the historic centre of the city a World Cultural Heritage on June 15, 2005.
This city also boasts Paseo del Prado, a wide avenue, the longest in the country, flanked by beautiful buildings like the Palacio del Valle at the Punta Gorda Peninsula, with sui generis architecture of different styles including Venetian, Byzantine, Gothic and Baroque.
Another not-to-be-missed building is the Tomas Terry Theatre, opened in 1890, where, among others, famous Italian tenor Enrico Caruso performed. There is also the Botanical Garden, declared a National Monument on October 20th 1989, and the Reina Cemetery. The culture of Cienfuegos is rich in legends and traditions, one of which is the annual April culture week celebration, known as the Camarón Party, where visitors and locals enjoy platters of delicious fresh seafood.
If you want to know more about this Cuban city and enjoy a great seaside vacation besides, come to Cienfuegos, the pretty city by the sea, as all Cubans call it.