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Cienfuegos Province

Cienfuegos Province

PROVINCE 261 El Nicho ? If has a has ? If Cuba Punta Gorda © Lonely Planet Publications Planet Lonely © Cienfuegos Luna Rancho de las Lajas Santa Isabel Bienvenue AREA : 4180 SQ KM 4180 SQ KM : AREA „ POPULATION: 398,569 398,569 POPULATION: „ View the classical the classical View Track the legend of Benny Track the legend of Benny Hike El Nicho to bracing Stay in a cool hotel next to the next to the Stay in a cool hotel Stay in an amazing casa particular (welcome) to – or should that be – or should that to Cienfuegos province (welcome) Beach Break Beach Break ) p271 ( beach in Rancho Luna Cooling Down ) and cool down in an invigorating p272 ( waterfall Benny in Lajas ) p270 Moré in Santa Isabel de las Lajas ( Life Punta Gorda in Cienfuegos’ classic Punta neighborhood ( p267 ) Graveyard Fascination Fascination Graveyard finery in Cienfuegos’ two monumental finery in Cienfuegos’ two monumental cemeteries ( p266 )


„ „ „ „ „ HIGHLIGHTS HIGHLIGHTS Though ostensibly white, Cienfuegos’ once-muted African ‘soul’ gained a loquacious Cienfuegos’ once-muted ‘soul’ gained a loquacious African white, ostensibly Though The setting helped. Caught dramatically between mountains and sea, the province’s south- between mountains and sea, the province’s dramatically setting helped. Caught The While Cuba’s Gaelic infusions have traditionally come via Haiti, Cienfuegos’ lineage is lineage is traditionally come via Haiti, Cienfuegos’ have Gaelic infusions While Cuba’s

„ hybrid Catholic-Yoruba religious culture alive. alive. culture religious hybrid Catholic-Yoruba a handful of Santería brotherhoods continue to keep the traditions and beliefs of Cuba’s of Cuba’s continue to keep brotherhoods beliefs the traditions and a handful of Santería wasn’t Cienfuegos’ only Afro-Cuban improviser, and close by in the settlement of Palmira, the settlement of Palmira, and close by in improviser, wasn’t Cienfuegos’ only Afro-Cuban small provincial village of San Isabel de las Lajas. Emerging from a brutal slave history, Moré from a brutal slave Emerging of San Isabel de las Lajas. village small provincial parable Benny Moré, a great-great-grandson of a king of the Congo who hailed from the parable Benny Moré, a great-great-grandson mouthpiece in the 1940s and ’50s in one of Cuba’s most versatile musicians, the incom- most versatile Cuba’s mouthpiece in the 1940s and ’50s in one of with coves and caves, while out at sea teeming coral reefs beckon at Guajimico. coral reefs at sea teeming while out and caves, with coves strenuous jungle hike. Lapped by the warm Caribbean, the surrounding shoreline is flecked the surrounding shoreline by the warm Caribbean, Lapped jungle hike. strenuous Nicho, an outpost of the Natural Park, and a fine place to cool off after a and a fine place to cool off after Park, Natural Topes de Collantes Nicho, an outpost of the ern coast is a minirainbow of emerald greens and iridescent blues that reaches its apex at El and iridescent blues that reaches of emerald greens ern coast is a minirainbow industriously incorporated into their fledgling neoclassical city with creativity and zest. and zest. with creativity into their fledgling neoclassical city industriously incorporated They brought with them the ideas and manners of the European Enlightenment, which they which Enlightenment, and manners of the European brought with them the ideas They and impervious to the squalid conditions, the original French colonizers arrived in 1819. arrived colonizers and impervious French the original to the squalid conditions, traced back to in the US and in France. Undaunted by fickle weather Undaunted in the US and Bordeaux in France. traced back to Louisiana pearl beside the island’s best natural bay. pearl beside the island’s a Paris, it is enshrined in the finely sculpted provincial capital that glistens like a polished capital that glistens provincial the finely sculpted it is enshrined in a Paris, Gaelic heart, and if it has the lee of the crinkled ; in it’s hidden here

Bienvenido Cienfuegos Province CIENFUEGOS PROVINCE train service outof thecity islessreliable with train service and The bytwice-daily Víazulbuses. The cityof Cienfuegos islinked toTrinidad Getting There& Around Park inadjacentSancti Spíritus province. as anoutpostof theTopesdeCollantes Natural managed bythestatetouristcompany Gaviota Parque ElNicho is intheEscambray Mountains Parks &Reserves on Cuba’s south coast. structuresone of military themostimportant deJaguafort, theimposingCastillo ( p272 ), and 17thcenturiestheSpanishbuiltabayside ofWith theonset theeraof piracyinthe16th circumnavigationhis pioneering of theisland. byduring deOcampopassed later Sebastián voyagesecond totheNewWorldand14years bay, withasurfacearea of 88 sqkm)onhis deCienfuegos(Cuba’sthird-largestthe Bahía for ‘beauty.’In1494Columbus‘discovered’ deJaguacipality, Cacicazgo –anative word Taíno Indianswhocalledtheirfledglingprin- The first intheCienfuegosarea settlers were 262 History Havana (182km) Girón (113km); To Playa CIENFUEGOS PROVINCE ` Girón Playa Canal de 22º30'N Soplillar INUGSPOIC • Cefeo ••Cienfuegos CIENFUEGOS PROVINCE 10' 03' 80º00'W 80º30'W 81º00'W El Rincón Caleta Buena Aguada de Manguito Pasajeros 22º00'N Yaguaramas M atnzs P rovince 81º00'W C ARIBEN Cienaguita Autopista Nacional S EA Constancia Mangles Catorce deJulio Punta Alto Juraguá Abreus Mangles Altos Ensenada de

Cienfuegos Río

Ciego Montero Dam Punta Gavilán Map (p272) See CienfuegosArea Cienfuegos Congojas

Bahía de ují Balneario Ariza Punta Itabo Cartagena La Milpa Punta Diablo La PuntaArriba The province’s smallertownscanbereached ClaraandHavana. toSanta sporadic services zone with its elegant Prado and salubrious zone with itselegantPrado andsalubrious into twodistinctparts: thecolonnadedcentral thecityissplit listing in2005.Geographically, that earneditaUnesco WorldHeritage Site its mostarchitecturally homogeneous, afactor of butalsooneof Cuba’snewestsettlements, waterside Foundedin1819,it’sone setting. Cienfuegos isanauticalcitywith asuperb Cuba hasaParis thisismost definitely it. French panache. spiritandfeisty Caribbean If from aroundtheislandwithitsenlightened (Pearl of travelers theSouth)haslongseduced hassle-free, Cuba’sso-calledPerla delSur only cheerleader. Refined,elegant,genteel and Moré.Hesinger Benny wasn’tthesettlement’s de Cienfuegos quotingthewordsof native like thebest),reads abillboard ontheBahía La ciudadquemásmegusta amí pop 139,137 CIENFUEGOS consider shorter distances, a taxi. For oryourownwheels. via truck,localbuses Santa Isabel González Airport Caunao de lasLajas Palmira El Naranjo, Jaime Arranged aroundacalmnatural bay, El Salto Cruces Espartaco Guaos San Antón Pepito Tey Yaguanabo To (134km) Arimao Camarones Paradero de Yaguanabo de Camarones San Fernando Villa Guajimico Valle de La Sierrita Boca de ὄ La Vega Hacienda 80º30'W Crucitas Santo Domingo

Potrerillo Carretera Villa Yaguanabo Caleta de El Nicho San Juan (1156m) Muñoz Pico de Embalse

Avilés Central

Barajagua Infierno

Martín Cueva


12miles 20km 0 0 Sierra del Sierra Santa Clara V ilaCr Hanabanilla El Saltodel Hanabanilla Embalse P rovince

Collantes Topes de lonelyplanet.com Autopi P rovince S píritus


S ancti Trinidad sta (thecityI

Spíritus (62km) Iznaga Nac

Encrucijada io

To Sancti


Carretera Central

22º30'N 80º00'W 22º00'N