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Revision as of 19:21, 28 October 2008 by Chapayev (talk | contribs) (added listing Palatino)
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Cienfuegos , the Pearl of the South, is a small city in the Central Cuban province of Cienfuegos. The historic center of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


5 Septiembre, [1] is the local periodical.

Get in

The two daily Viazul [2] buses between Havana and Trinidad stop at Cienfuegoes, as does the daily bus between Varadero, Santa Clara, and Trinidad. This last bus arrives from Varadero heading for Trinidad at noon, and arrives from Trinidad heading for Varadero at 4:00pm (it is missing from the Viazul website). Travellers heading east and wishing to catch the 8:00am Viazul bus from Trinidad to Santiago de Cuba can sometimes arrange for an early morning minivan through Viazul. Ask at the bus station.

There are two trains that run from Havana: a very slow daytime train (every second day) that returns the following day, and a somewhat faster late-evening train (every second day) that operates via Matanzas and returns overnight. Trains may also leave for Santa Clara (very) early in the morning and return in the evening, and leave for Santa Clara and Sancti Spiritus in the afternoon, returning the following morning. Check that the trains are running in advance.

The airport has three flights a week: leaving Miami at 8am Mondays and Fridays, returning 10:45am; and leaving Miami 5:30pm Wednesdays and returning later in the evening (8pm?). A roundtrip ticket is $509. The airline is a charter. The telephone number is (800) 493 8426, the website is

Get around

The principle public transportation is coches or horse-drawn carts that seat 6 or 8 people. They go up and down Calle 37 (del Prado). The price is 1 CUP for Cubans or 1 CUC for tourists.


  • Tomas Terry theatre. Victorian theatre in the main square in Cienfuegos, has nice cafe.


  • Freshwater fishing. Drive to the nearby secluded mountain lakes to fish for the plentiful bass.
  • Harbour boat trip. Take a boat trip round the harbour, stopping off at an island and chatting to the locals and enjoying a mojito.
  • Malecon. Walk along and hang out at the malecon (sea front) in the evenings.


  • Artex, Av 54 e/ calles 33 y 35 (two blocks west of Parque Marti). Good shopping for gifts, such as shower curtains printed with paintings from the Museo Bellas Artes.


  • Yacht Club. Quite touristy but pleasant to eat in the formal restaurant upstairs or the informal snack bar in the basement.
  • Palatino, Av 54 e/ calles 25 y 27 (south side of Parque Marti). Nice, quiet restaurant for lunch. The grilled tuna salad sandwiches are delicious!


  • Benny More. A nightclub which features Salsa Music and dancing.
  • Palacio. Adjacent to the Hotel Jagua south of the Malecon, this is an amazing building, lavishly decorated in Moorish style. There is a fairly standard fare restaurant, but it is worth climbing to the rooftop bar for a drink sitting under an arched gazebo looking over the city and the harbour.


  • Hotel Faro Luna. Staying at the Faro Luna is like being at your own villa, only 25-30 rooms a beautiful pool overlooking the Caribbean and attentive staff.
  • Hotel Jagua. This is a large hotel to the south of the city, around 2km from the city centre. The building itself is a square concrete block and fairly unattractive. However, the rooms and facilities are pretty good by Cuban standards. For cheap water and drinks, visit the shop outside the hotel, opposite the entrance, rather than the hotel shop itself and pay half the price.
  • Hotel Pascacaballo. This is a big, modern resort-hotel at Rancho Luna, on the coast, opposite Castillo de Jagua. Lunch was awful, unless you like jello and canned vegetables. The hotel looked like it was maybe a quarter full.

Casa Particulares:

  • Teresita y YhanesAve 52 Nr. 4323 e/43 y 45, Tel. (053) (043) 517646 Very nice central place with very helpful owners. Depending on season from 15 CUC per room.
  • Sr. Jose Luis Alvarez Leon y Sra. Beatriz Ortega Turiño. Ave. 60 No. 3301 e/ 33 y 35, Tel. (053) (043) 528535 independent apartment with kitchen and all commodies. The owner of the housemakes really good food as well.
  • Casa de Nadia Hernández Garcia. Ave 16 #4307 Altos (upstairs) e/ (between) calles 43 y 45 (streets). Nice location in Punta Gorda, big room with a refrigerator, air conditioner, and bathroom. Very nice family. Good food and laundry. 25 CUC, plus 4 CUC for breakfast and 10 CUC for dinner. Plus Nadia is a lawyer if you need legal advice!

Get out

  • Santa Clara. Take a day trip to Santa Clara, approx 1 hour away, to visit the museum and resting place of Che Guevara.
  • Delfinario. There is an dolphin show at Rancho Luna, south of Cienfuegos, near Castillo de Jagua. Shows are daily 10am and 2pm, tickets are 10 CUC. The show has audience participation, for example, a dance contest for kids where the winners get kisses from the dolphins. You can also swim with the dolphins for about 50 CUC.
  • Castillo de Jagua. This is an 18th-century fortress built to protect Cienfuegos against (English) pirates. There's an abandoned nuclear power plant behind the castle, built by the Soviets but never finished.

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