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Cienfuegos City in Central Cuba

An Overview by Authentic Cuba Travel

Once Fernandina de Jagua, Cienfuegos was awarded the title of "city" in 1880, and in July 2005, its Historic Center became a World Heritage Site, an award of international acknowledgement rewarding the splendor, preservation and particular architecture of an area stretching for 70 blocks. Among these blocks was the one serving as starting point for the foundation of the village by French colonists on April 22nd, 1819. This was the only Cuban city established by representatives of the gala nation.

Cienfuegos has also been known as the Pearl of the South, and others have called it la Ciudad de las Cupulas (the City of Domes), for the amount of buildings whose towers end in domes. The architecture of the city is one of its charms and it can be admired in the very Jose Marti Park, former Plaza de Armas, where a rosette indicates the exact place over which the blocks of the city started to rise.

Perfectly preserved buildings define the environment of the Marti Park. Among them we can find Tomas Terry Theater, where figures of international prestige have performed their art such as the Italian Enrico Carucco, Sara Bernhardt, and the Mexican movie star Jorge Negrete.

There is also the Colegio San Lorenzo, former School of Arts and Jobs; the Cathedral of Nuestra Senora de la Concepcion, with its stunning stained glasses; the Palacio de Gobierno; and the Casa del Fundador (The Founder's House), residence of Luis D' Clouet, founder of the village. The Arc of the Republic enriches the environment, the only of its type in Cuba, along with a bunch of marvelous sculptures such as those of the lions and the arbors, built in 1922. Near the historic center, you'll find the boulevard, with small businesses, libraries, banks, companies, offices, and a Casa del Habano (House of Habano Cuban cigar) of first class. La Union Hotel, small, but cozy, is one of the architectural beauties renovated a few years ago as part of the effort to preserve its patrimonial value. A walk along the Paseo del Prado, the longest in the Island, will help you assess the history of Cienfuegos' architecture, and a visit to the two cemeteries, La Reina and the monumental Tomas de Acea, must not be skipped.

The bay of Cienfuegos, stretching for 88 km2, is perfect for fishing in all seasons. Lately, its calm waters have been the location of many important contests of motorboating and international regattas. Palacio de Vale and Jagua Hotel in Punta Gorda, at the end of the bay, are the most visited and attractive spots for maritime tourism. Very close to this place, the Cienfuegos Club offers numerous nautical options.

The nearby Guamuhaya Mountains is an ideal place for hiking, taking baths in natural pools, waterfalls, and rivers, and visiting Soledad Botanical Garden, one of the biggest in Latin America, just 20 km from the city, featuring important collections of cactus and palms (more than 300 types).

Cienfuegos is a cosmopolitan and very lively city; boleros, ballads, trova and son do not stop playing at night. One of the cleanest cities in Cuba and with people so kind and welcoming, the Pearl of the South, Cienfuegos, is an excellent option to stay for a few days during your Cuba vacation.

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