Fernandina de Jagua first, and later named Cienfuegos City and also known as “Pearl of the South”, is located in the southern coast of the island with coasts to the Caribbean Sea. It borders with the province of Villa Clara to the north, west of Matanzas and east with Sancti Spiritus. The city of Cienfuegos is the capital of the province of the same name and it’s one of the most peaceful and nicest cities in Cuba which was declared by UNESCO in 2005 a World Heritage Site.
Cienfuegos is a port city, which was and still is the centre of great maritime and commercial activity. The Cienfuegos Bay has 88 square kilometres in area and it’s the third largest in Cuba. The bay was discovered by Christopher Columbus during his second trip in 1494 but was not until some years later that its activity began. In 1738 the construction of the Jagua Castle began to guaranteeing the security of the Bay from the pirates attack.
There is no evidence of important settlements in the region until the arrival of French families from Burdeo and Louisiana. Its leader French emigrant Louis D’ Clouet came to an understanding with the Captain General of the colonial government Jose Cienfuegos and constructed the first 25 blocks with concepts of the 19th century and with the French style of order and geometric rigor, high ceilings, elegance and architectural harmony still predominating in the historic centre of the city. On April 22nd, 1819 the Fernandina de Jagua colony was founded.
In 1830 the name of the Villa was change to Cienfuegos in honor of the then Capitan General. Fifty years later the city was proclaimed and gained its beauty and name of “Pearl of the South”. At the end of the 19th century the city turned into the fourth most important of the country.
Considered as an architectural jewel, the city stood out by its eclectic style construction, turning it into a resume of true styles like neo-classic, art nouveau and art deco. The perfect sketch of its streets, the refinement and good taste of the buildings in the historic centre declared National Monument. It gathers various important building like, the House of the Founder, Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción Cathedral, the Tomas Terry Theater and the Ferrer Palace as well as the Jose Marti Park where you will find the only existing Arch D Triumph of Cuba. The city has much more to show a vacationer, the Prado Avenue, Valle Palace the Historic Naval Museum and the Reina Cemetery. Outside the center of the city you can find Nuestra Señora de los Angeles de Jagua Fortress, Tomas Acea Cemetery and the Botanical Gardens considered one of the most important in the world.
Cienfuegos is a city that attracts visitors for its calm and it is surrounded by architectural beauty, history and culture. This is the land of famous Cuban singer Benny More better known as the ¨Barbaro del Ritmo¨. In the city of Santa Isabel de las Lajas many of his famous songs are heard as well as rhythms like son, mambo, charangas and boleros.
In Cienfuegos the hotel infrastructure is on the rise. A vacationer can find appropriate recreational options like diving, water sports, nature tourism and thermal baths. Water sports have become popular in the calm and favourable waters of the Bay of Cienfuegos.
Guajimico stands out in the region for special singular cave systems which flows into beautiful beaches, marine grounds of incalculable beauty and a variety of unique flora and fauna. Another beautiful region is El Nicho, located 500 meters above sea level, with a complex of waterfalls that make up incredible natural pools.
The Yaguanabo Valley is surrounded by prominent heights; the Ciego Montero Baths located 23 kilometers from the city and are particularly efficient for skin ailments, arthritis and circulatory problems.
To reach Cienfuegos from Havana you can travel on the National Highway up until the town of Aguada de Pasajeros and from here by the interior roads. Cienfuegos is accessed from Santa Clara and Trinidad; by interior roads which communicate with the Guamuaya Mountain group and of important tourism interest. This southern city also has an international airport which welcomed flights from different locations both national and international.