Holidays in Cienfuegos

Founded by French and Spanish immigrants in 1819, Cienfuegos is one of the "newest" major cities in central part of Cuba. This allowed for the implication of Spain's most modern urban planning concepts of the day, which in turn has resulted in the city centre being declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From imposing forts to repurposed mansions and palaces to Cuba's only Arch of Triumph, read on to see what makes Cienfuegos perhaps Cuba's most charming major city.

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Take in Latin vibes, explore Cuba's grand colonial past and relax on white Caribbean sands

Take in Latin Vibes, Explore Cuba's Grand Colonial Past and Relax on White Caribbean Sands

4.5 Stars

Take in the historic sites in Havana and Cienfuegos before total beach relaxation in Cayo Santa Maria

  • The Melia Habana is ranked second out of 81 hotels in Havana by TripAdvisor users and has amazing sea views
  • Relax, unwind and rejuvenate at the 5-star Meliá Cayo Santa María on 24-hr all-inclusive
  • Hotel La Union is located in the city centre of Cienfuegos, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, thanks to its classical architecture
  • Discover Havana’s timeless, charismatic and bustling streets with a Havana city tour included in the price
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Picture an active city with bustling avenues, wide public squares, and impressive 19th century architecture hugging the coast of a beautiful Caribbean bay. Imagine a Spanish fortress, a French-styled Arch of Triumph, and a lavish palace inspired by Moorish architecture. Welcome to Cienfuegos.

Since its founding, Cienfuegos has been completely unique among Cuban settlements. The influence of the city's French founders makes it an anomaly in Cuba right away, while its carefully-planned urban core exists in stark contrast to the majority of the island's chaotic city centres.

The famous Cuban musician Benny More sang that Cienfuegos was "la ciudad que mas me gusta a mi"-the city he liked best. Once you visit, it will be clear just why.

Historic Centre

With the exception of Havana, Cienfuegos is the Cuban urban area with the most for tourists to see and do. The entire city centre is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which should give you some idea as to how much is going on here.

Parque Jose Marti (Jose Marti Park) will most likely act as your point of reference-most of Cienfuegos' points of interest are located in the vicinity. Around the park you'll find the grand Teatro Tomas Terry (Tomas Terry Theatre) with its French and Italian influences, the Catedral de la Purisima Concepcion (Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception) featuring stunning French stained glass, and of course Cuba's only Arco de Triunfo (Arch of Triumph), which is located in the park itself.

Walking south along Calle 37 (37th Street) will take you to the Prado, the city's main pedestrian promenade. As you emerge onto a narrow peninsula you'll find a wide variety of late 19th and early 20th century mansions, now converted into museums, restaurants, and cafes. The most impressive is the final one-the Palacio de Valle, now a museum featuring a rooftop restaurant, with its Spanish and Moorish influences.

Finally, no trip to Cienfuegos would be complete without a visit to the Castillo de Jagua, a Spanish fort built at the mouth of the bay to protect the growing city from frequent pirate raids. Tourists can arrive via ferry or boat, both fantastic options for getting to know the city from the water.

Get Out of Town

Just because Cienfuegos is a stunning urban centre doesn't mean that there's not plenty to do outside of town!

If you're a nature lover, a fourteen kilometre drive will take you to the impressive Jardin Botanico de Cienfuegos (Cienfuegos Botanical Garden), home to more than 2,000 species of immaculately arranged tropical plants.

For the more adventurous, some 60 kilometres outside of the city sits Parque El Nicho, home to a charming series of waterfalls and jungle pools suitable for jumping and swimming. If you need a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, this is a fun but relaxing place to clear your head.

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Popular Holidays in Cienfuegos

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memories miramar havana + jagua hotel + be live experience varadero hotel

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From £1089 per person
comodoro hotel and bungalows + faro luna hotel + club amigo costasur hotel

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Jagua Hotel is located in the Punta Gorda area of Cienfuegos, overlooking the harbour. The city centre is just a few...

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From £1139 per person
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From £1249 per person
melia habana hotel + la union hotel + melia cayo santa maria + melia habana hotel

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The Melia Habana Hotel is located in the heart of the elegant Miramar district, overlooking the sea. This building has a...

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