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Palacio de Valle in Cienfuegos, Kuba, Bild: Christian_Schmidt / shutterstock

Cienfuegos – Cuban Lifestyle

Tropical sandy beaches, thick cigars, happily dancing people and a good dose of romance, all this distinguishes Cuba. But these are only the stereotypes that you know. But the island state in the Caribbean has so much more to offer! Take a look at the city of Cienfuegos. With about 150,000 inhabitants, it is one of the ten largest cities in Cuba. It has a special feature that makes it unique.

In 1825, the city was rammed into the ground by a storm and was completely destroyed. Thanks to a French urban planner, it was rebuilt in square sections, in blocks. Therefore, it is easier for tourists to find their way around and orient themselves. We’ll tell you what else Cienfuegos has to offer! Cienfuegos translates as “Hundred Fires” and is called the Pearl of the South. A title that promises a lot, but also delivers exactly that!

Imposing harbour district and romantic promenade

Cienfuegos, Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception from Plaza Jose Marti
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception from Plaza José, Image: Alexandre G. ROSA / shutterstock

In addition to the iconic classic cars, there are also magnificent buildings to be found in Cienfuegos. One villa chases the next and won’t let you get out of your amazement. Especially for architecture lovers, it is a real feast for the eyes to examine the local buildings with different architectural styles.

Along the promenade there are some restaurants that invite you to get to know the Cuban culture and taste its delicacies. Furthermore, local fishermen can be observed on rafts and small shops can be visited. In addition, the municipal stadium of the baseball team is very close. In the Caribbean , baseball is one of, if not the most popular sport of all. Some people from this area even play in the professional MLB in America! So there is a lot to see in this neighborhood, don’t miss it!

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An old town as beautiful as if from a picture book

Let us present you with a fact that already stands for the beauty and importance of the old town. Since 2005, it has been under the wing of UNESCO. On the Plaza Martí you can marvel at many beautiful buildings. The neoclassical architectural style is reminiscent of times long past and exhilarates a bit of melancholy. Many other architectural masterpieces adorn the magnificent old town. Small shops with craftsmen, cafés, restaurants and bars are also located there. Here you can enjoy a high-quality Cuban coffee with a wonderful flair and a special atmosphere and see classic buildings. This district is an absolute highlight for every romantic!

A national monument

Parque José Matí has been elevated to the status of National Monument thanks to its beautiful colonial buildings. Symbolically, he is guarded at the entrance by two fearsome lion burrows. In the middle of this square, a mighty compass disc is embedded in the ground. So what does a compass disc in the ground do, what is the point of that? Quite simply: the first settlers who traveled to what would later become Cienfuegos are said to have founded the city exactly over this compass. These settlers are said to have been French. In France , the Arc de Triomphe is very well known. These settlers wanted to take a piece of home with them to Cuba , so they built a triumphal arch in Cienfuegos in memory of their home.
The Tomas Terry Theatre was also built here. It is one of the most beautiful cultural institutions in Cuba and offers space for over 900 onlookers.

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Enjoy pure nature

In the Laguna de Guanaroca Nature Reserve you can observe many different animal species in their natural habitat. To ensure that this habitat is not disturbed too much by humans, only a few people are allowed to enter this reserve by boat. For example, there are always many flamingos there, even entire colonies that seem to be from another world. But many other tropical birds, crustaceans, turtles, fish, etc. are also at home there and can be observed. All fans of the animal world, but also admirers of the plants will get their money’s worth here!

Castillo de Jagua

Castillo de Jagua
Castillo de Jagua, Image: Anna ART / shutterstock

A fortress built in the 1740s by King Felipe V. Originally, it was used to protect the bay from pirates and mutineers. It is an imposing fortress that can even boast that it still has an intact drawbridge, which is very rare nowadays. It consists of several floors and a lookout post. From here you have a beautiful view over the bay and large parts of nature. Missing this view borders on a crime!

Result

In addition to the many architectural features, Cienfuegos has some other beautiful sights. The beautiful nature reserves, the white beaches with the clear water, the listed facilities and cultural features invite you to linger. Enjoy your stay in the old town with a full-bodied coffee and simply let the outstanding flair work its magic on you. The “Pearl of the South” is always worth a visit. See for yourself and treat yourself to a break that you have long deserved.