Cienfuegos Cuba is the biggest town in the Matanzas region. It’s a historical place and it’s worth a quick visit if you are on your way to or from Trinidad.
Once we arrived at the Cienfuegos Bus Terminal, we chose to walk to the downtown area which is only 5 blocks away. We began to look for accommodation on Avenida 56 with Calle 37 as this is very close to the city centre. Immediately we felt that Cienfuegos was a much busier and bigger town than Trinidad.
We rang the doorbell on a couple of “casa particulares” until we found a room on Calle 37 very close to the shopping street – Boulevard San Fernando. We got a double bedroom ensuite with A/C for 25 CUC including breakfast.
We left our backpacks in the room and we went out to explore the city. There are few nice things to visit in Cienfuegos Cuba and we believe one full day is enough to do everything – at least the most important things!
Here is our list of things to do in Cienfuegos Cuba that we visited on a hot and sunny day.
- Parque Jose Marti – This is probably the most beautiful part of the city with a lot of history and things to visit. It’s a nice rectangular park surrounded by buildings of historical interest.
- Palacio del Gobierno – It’s the first building you’ll see on the left if you come from Boulevard San Fernando. It has a Dome and is grey in colour. Unluckily, you cannot enter.
- Mirador Jose Ferrer – It costs 1 CUC to get in. It´s an ancient building and on the roof there is a little tower that you can also climb for a 360° view of the city. Astonishing! It’s really worth a visit.
- Teatro Thomas Terry. 2 CUC per person to visit this 19th century building. It’s really beautiful.
- The Catedral – dating back to 1833, the inside of the building merits a look.
Once we finished in the centre we decided to head to Punta Gorda, the most southern point of the peninsula. You can either walk (it’s a long 2 hour walk) or take one of the many bicitaxis that will take you the distance for 2-3 CUC.
We walked towards to Cienfuegos Yacht Club where there is lovely bar overlooking the bay.
Further on towards Punta Gorda is the Hotel Jagua, opposite this there is a place called The Palacio de Valle that you cannot miss. It is an amazing colonial style building that reminded me a lot of some of the buildings in Piazza San Marco in Venice. It is open for lunch and dinner but is particularly magnificent at sunset as the terrace bar has the most incredible and romantic view of the whole bay.
Also in this area, opposite the south side of the Palacio de Valle there is another white building with a restaurant called “Pelicano”. It also has a wonderful terrace, but in my opinion Palacio de Valle is better.
Just 5 minutes from you and you will finally reach Punta Gorda. I was kind of disappointed when we got here because it is just a garden with a bar and a few benches. It is nothing special and the view is just so so compared to Palacio de Valle but we enjoyed a lay down for a while after all the walking.
Unable to face the return walk in the sweltering heat, we chose to take a bicitaxi that for 2 CUC brought us at the beginning of Boulevard San Fernando.
To get to Punta Gorda: take Calle 37.
At night we chose to have dinner at a restaurant called Te Quedaras on Boulevard San Fernando. Here, there is a nice terrace overlooking the street and the food is tasty. If you visit during the summer be sure to try a mango juice as they are in season and taste like heaven! There is a live band playing Cuban Music to accompany you while you enjoy the setting and the food.
1 full day and 1 night is enough to visit this place!
How to get here:
We came by bus with Viazul from Trinidad and stayed for 2 nights. The bus took 2 hours from Trinidad to Cienfuegos. There are 2 buses daily – one at 7.30am and the other at 8.15am. Be sure to be there a little bit early as it tends to be very busy.
Where to sleep:
When it comes to finding a place to stay, it is not as easy as heading to Booking.com or Hostelworld etc. The best thing to do is search for a casa particulare which is the equivalent of a Bed and Breakfast. You will certainly find one when you arrive as they are so widespread but if you want to be organized before you leave home, check out the below website.
If you need a bank go to Calle 37 or to the Union Hotel -one of the best hotels in town.
1) At the corner of Parque Jose Marti at the beginning of Calle 29, there is an Infotour point where you can get a free map and suggestions.
2) The sun is very strong during the day so take care!
Cost breakdown in CUC:
|Category||Notes on Cienfuegos Cuba||Total|
|Excursion||2 entrace Mirador Jose Ferrer||2|
|Hotel||Casa particular Double room 1 night ensuite||20|
|Taxi||Bici taxi from punta gorda to city center||2|
If you enjoyed our post on Cienfuegos Cuba, or if you want further tips for a trip to Cuba, be sure to check out our post Cuba Travel Tips where we give advice based on our stay.