Cienfuegos is a city on Bahía de Cienfuegos, a bay on Cuba’s south coast. It’s known for its colonial-era buildings.Cienfuegos is a compelling place to visit. With its colourful facades, wide streets and charming French colonial architecture.
Best Time to Visit
Average temperatures in Cienfuegos vary little. Considering humidity, temperatures feel hot for most of the year with a low chance of precipitation most of the year. If you’re looking for the very warmest time to visit Cienfuegos, the hottest months are August, July, and then June.
Top Places to Visit in Cienfuegos
1. Catedral de la Purísima Concepción Church
On the eastern side of Parque José Martí, Cienfuegos’ cathedral dates from 1869 and is distinguished by its French stained-glass windows in an otherwise austere interior that is awaiting restoration. Chinese writing discovered on columns is thought to date from the 1870s. The cathedral is nearly always open; you can also join the faithful for a service (7:30am weekdays, 10am Sundays).
2. Provincial Museum
The main attraction on the south side of Parque José Martí, this dignified museum proffers a microcosm of Cienfuegos’ history. The frilly furnishings of refined 19th-century French-Cuban society form the majority of displays, but there’s also a rare insight into the province’s prehistory. Go upstairs for the highlight: the mirrored work Como ven los hombres de la guerra, via which you get a close-up on the room’s incredible ceiling murals.
3. Castillo de Nuestra
Predating the city of Cienfuegos by nearly a century, this fort, to the west of the mouth of Bahía de Cienfuegos, was designed by José Tontete in 1738 and completed in 1745. At the time it was the third most important fortress in Cuba, after those of Havana and Santiago de Cuba. Extensive renovation in 2010 gave the castle the makeover it sorely needed. In addition to a cracking view of the bay and a basic museum outlining the history of nuclear energy in Cienfuegos, the castle also has a reasonably atmospheric restaurant down below.
4. Necrópolis Tomás Acea
One of two national-monument-listed resting places in Cienfuegos, the Acea is classed as a ‘garden cemetery’ and is entered through a huge neoclassical pavilion (1926) flanked by 64 Doric columns modeled on the Parthenon in Greece. This cemetery contains a monument to the marine martyrs who died during the abortive 1957 Cienfuegos naval uprising. Compared to the Cementerio la Reina, it’s newer and better maintained.
Keep heading south on Paseo del Prado and the street becomes the Malecón as it cuts alongside one of the world’s finest natural bays, offering exquisite vistas. Like all sea drives (Havana’s being the archetype), this area comes alive in the evening when poets come to muse and couples to canoodle.