Cienfuegos

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.

Parque Jose Marti, centre of Cienfuegos

Understand

Cienfuegos is the only city in Cuba that was founded by the French. As a result, it feels a little different than other Cuban cities, with wider streets. There are two main areas of interest to tourists; Pueblo Nuevo, the city centre; and Punta Gorda, a peninsula with lots of 1950's homes. It's a nice place to visit for a day or two, but after that, you might run out of things to do.

5 Septiembre, is the local periodical.

Get in

By car

By bus

The two daily Viazul buses between Havana and Trinidad stop at Cienfuegos, 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.

By train

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.

By plane

Jaime González 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 http://www.destinationcuba.com/.

Get around

Palacio Ferrer, Parque Marti

Both the centre and Punta Gorda are easy of walk around, but are about 3km apart. They are joined by Calle 37 (del Prado), which runs by the sea. If you don't fancy walking, the principle public transportation is coches or horse-drawn carts that seat 6 or 8 people. They go up and down Calle 37. The price is 1 CUP for Cubans or 1 CUC for tourists.

See

Pueblo Nuevo

Tomas Terry Theatre

Punta Gorda

Do

Buy

Eat

Drink

Sleep

Casa Particulares:

Stay safe

Before 2003 Cienfuegos had a reputation for teenage prostitutes. Girls would skip school to go to the airport three times a week for the flights from Canada and meet Canadian men. Beginning in 2003 the police cracked down on prostitution and now Cienfuegos has a reputation for the most vigorous anti-prostitution police patrolling in Cuba (and there are no longer flights from Canada). After dark be careful at nightclubs, restaurants, or on the streets; simply asking an innocent young woman for directions could get her arrested. Don't bring a Cuban guest into your casa unless she signs the guest book; several home owners lost their homes because tourists brought "girlfriends" home for the night. If a woman is arrested twice in a year for being with a tourist she is fined. If she's arrested three times she goes to prison for four years. (Tourists are usually not arrested or punished.)

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, January 02, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.