13th April 2011

Cienfuegos [7], known as the Pearl of the South, was originally founded by French colonials from Bordeaux and Louisiana in 1819, and sits on a large bay.  At the mouth of the bay is the Castillo de Nuestra Señora de Los Angles de Jagua, a Spanish fort in remarkably well preserved condition that predates the town by 100 years.  We reached it by a small ferry boat after a 30 minute taxi ride.


Walking from the historic centre of Cienfuegos along the Malecón towards Punta Gorda, we came to the Cienfuegos Club, an elegant 100 year old turreted building which was formerly a rich man´s Yacht Club.  Restored to better than new condition, it has a beautiful terrace and a good restaurant overlooking the bay.  We stopped in for a mojito and dinner of garlic prawns.  Surprisingly, only a handful of people were there to enjoy the sunset.  Further along is the Palacio de Valle, looking like an Arabian Nights castle, plus other pre-revolutionary mansions and palaces.


Cienfuegos railway station

Old Jesuit College being restored

Cienfuegos Cathedral

Lattice work on an old house

Customs House

Blue Casa de Cultura

In a loud voice SOCIALISM - written on a city wall

Our room in Norma´s Casa

The Malecón

Cuba Radio in an old mansion

Club Cienfuegos

Palacio de Valle

Palacio Azul

Castillo de Jagua at the mouth of the Bay


Prawn trawler heading out to sea

Fishing boat lie at anchor near the fort