When you’re traveling to Cuba, #aaackman thinks you should check out the small cities around it and all they have to offer. Some of the more popular ones are Trinidad for the shopping, Varadero for the beaches, Viñales for the caves and Cienfuegos for the history. While you’re in Cienfuegos here are few things to get your trip started.
Hotel – Cubanacan Boutique La Union
A mid-sized hotel with boutique style and services, La Union is a beautiful, neo-classical, colonial building in the heart of Cienfuegos. It offers an amazing view of the city and the bay from its terrace, La Venus Negra, a perfect place to end the day along with good mojitos and great friends.
Restaurant – Gato Verde
Trip Advisor gives this little café five stars! Immediately upon walking in the door, every guest is greeted by the owner, Marylyn. She speaks perfect English and loves to give tourists a complete lesson in the culture of Cuba. Reviewers say her laugh is contagious and she makes coffee that is made to perfection (could you need anything more?) If, however, you’ve had your coffee fix for the day, the bar tender, Osmani, makes the best cocktails in town. The best part? He is more than happy to make your drink extra strong if need be!
Things to Do – La Guanaroca
Talk about a site to see. This lagoon is located just outside of Cienfuegos and is a refuge for all kinds of different species, including a big colony of 2000 flamingos. Be sure to get there early because only 40 people per day are allowed in. You are rowed out into the lagoon where the guide gives a brief talk on the ecology and history of the area. Be sure to brush up on your Spanish to get the most out of your conversation with your rower. The drive from the city and the wait that may come, depending on how busy it is, is definitely worth it and will likely be the highlight of your trip.
Rancho Luna Beach
Just 11 miles from Cienfuegos, this famous beach is a spot you’ll want to visit. When you get there, you’re greeted by servers that give you a chair and a menu with food and drink options for the whole family. While you’re there, you can scuba dive, snorkel and participate in other water sports as well as play miniature golf, tennis and beach volleyball. Just be sure to pack your sunscreen, bug spray, towels and beach toys for the kids. And don’t forget to bring toys for the Cuban kids as well. It’s a great way to make friends and connect with the Cuban people!
Poco Bonito (meaning “little bit pretty”) is an art gallery in Cienfuegos with the most beautiful artwork. The gallery was named after a hip-hop album made by a couple of Cuban artists and they decided on the name because it captures the diversity and tolerance of Cuba and is a clever way to look at the nowadays country. The team is made up of three talented painters, a sculptor and touring artists each unique in their own way. They all paint from their hearts with passion and ambition that comes through in each piece they create. Prices vary but are overall extremely reasonable and is worth the pop-in if you happen to be in Cienfuegos.