Cienfuegos is a charming waterfront city situated on the bay of the same name. Its picturesque nautical setting has earned it the title, “the Pearl of the South,” a description that has endured for centuries.
Diving enthusiasts rave about the reefs along the coastline, where a formation of coral columns known as Notre Dame provides an undersea maze to explore. The region’s calm waters are also ideal for sailing, boating and kayaking.
The unique culture in Cienfuegos is attributed its ancestry as a French enclave. City highlights include an architecturally noteworthy group of buildings that were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005. Be sure to stop by the stunning Cultural Centre, a palatial home that now hosts after-school activities like dance and music for local students.
Castillo de Jagua, an imposing fortress built to protect Cienfuegos from menacing pirates, is widely recognized as one of Cuba’s most important military structures.
Legend has it the castle is haunted by ‘the Lady in Blue,’ a ghost in a blue brocade gown.
The legendary Benny Moré, one of the most famous Cuban musicians, grew up in nearby Santa Isabel de las Lajas. You can visit his birthplace, now a museum where the Cabildo de Congos organizes traditional festivals every year.