Cienfuegos Travel Guide

We stayed in Cienfuegos for 5 days and packed in everything we could from the flamingos, beach, castle/fort, botanical gardens, palace and Punta Gorda. Read about all the things to do in Cienfuegos here.

Cienfuegos is a really pretty town, with a 2km Paseo del Prado esplanade (longest of its kind in Cuba) which leads into the Malecon then Punta Gorda.

We found Cienfuegos to be very clean, really well kept buildings with a lovely boulevard closed to traffic. The shops here were way better than Havana with a lot more variety, however the souvenirs are the same as everywhere else.

The only real downside to Cienfuegos is the lack of restaurants, for a town this size we were expecting a much bigger choice. Things in Cienfuegos are also more expensive.

Where is Cienfuegos?

Cienfuegos is approximately 245km from Havana. We drove from Playa Larga which was only 117km. The road was pretty good, we got to travel at around 85 km/hour.

How to Get There

Cienfuegos by Bus

Havana to Cienfuegos: ($20 USD) – Leaves Havana 7:00, 10:45, 13:30 and arrives in Cienfuegos 11.35, 2pm, 6.10pm

There is only one bus company you can use from Havana to Vinales which is called Viazul. The bus station is not very convenient and will cost in a taxi ride to get to it, but it’s your cheapest mode of transport unless you’re travelling in a group.

Book and pay for your tickets at least a few days in advance online at or go to the bus terminal to book. Arrive 30mins before your bus departs. All Viazul buses are modern and air conditioned.

From Vinales by Car

We rented a car and drove ourselves to Cienfuegos from Playa Larga, which is a great option at only $60 CUC per day including full insurance. There were so many things to do in Cienfuegos we wanted the freedom of having a car.

Driving Tip

Install the app MAPS. ME before you leave home and download the map of Cuba. Once in Cuba make sure your location GPS is always turned on and you’ll get fantastic directions using this map. It even works with voice directions. This map works perfectly offline.

WiFi in Cienfuegos

In the middle of old Cienfuego town in the Parque Marti square you’ll find a good WiFi hotspot area. There is also WiFi down the Paseo del Prado outside the bowling alley, just look for all the people with their phones out. Also the Parque Villuendas has a great WiFi hotspot.

Best Time to Visit

We were in Cienfuegos October and the weather was great, even though it’s meant to be rainy season, it only rained for a few hours on one day. It’s also low season which makes for a very lovely trip to Cienfuegos.

Where to Stay

Casa Particulars

It seems that just about every house in Cienfuegos has a “Casa” sign on it, meaning they have a room for rent. In the low season I’m sure you can just rock up on the day and get a room no problem at all. But I wouldn’t chance this in high season.

Even though Airbnb has a number of casa’s in Cienfuegos it’s still missing loads of them. There are more on Homestay, however still not all of them are listed. I’m sure as time goes by the list will grow on both these websites. You can read more about our casa in Cienfuegos here.


There are a few hotels in Cienfuegos with the Hotel Jaqua supposed to being the best, however we went in for a look and it’s really dated. All the hotels are owned and run by the government. They are all self-star rated, to get the true rating always knock off at least one of the stars.

Where to Eat

There really isn’t that good a choice of good restaurants in Cienfuegos and what is available is quite expensive. We found the 3 restaurants right on the point at Punta Gorda too pricy for us with meals at $15 CUC to $18 CUC for what appeared to be quite average food.

However we did get to go to a few very nice restaurants, Dona Nora, Villa Maria and Te Quedaras Restaurant.

Best Things to See and Do

Here is our pick of the top best things to do in Cienfuegos to make your holiday there special. We’ve personally visited each of these activities and taken all the photos and video. You’ll find a full page on each excursion, just click on the heading to find out more information on what to do in Cienfuegos or click on one of the photos below to go directly to the page.

Playa Rancho Luna

 Playa Rancho Luna Beach in Cienfuegos

El Nicho Waterfalls

El Nicho Waterfalls in Cienfuegos

Punta Gorda

Punta Gorda in Cienfuegos

Teatro Tomas Terry

Teatro Tomas Terry in Cienfuegos

Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception

Catedral de la Purisima Concepcion in Cienfuegos

Palacio de Valle

Palacio de Valle in Cienfuegos

Pink Flamingo Tour at Laguna Guanaroca

Pink Flamingo Tour at Laguna Guanaroca in Cienfuegos

Parque Marti

Parque Marti in Cienfuegos

City Tour by Train

City Tour by Train in Cienfuegos

Jagua Castle Fortress

Jagua Castle Fortress in Cienfuegos

Botanical Gardens

Botanical Gardens in Cienfuegos

Casa Santa Elena

Casa Santa Elena in Cienfuegos

Villa Maria Restaurant

Villa Maria Restaurant in Cienfuegos

Te Quedaras Restaurant

Te Quedaras Restaurant in Cienfuegos

Dona Nora Restaurant

Dona Nora Restaurant in Cienfuegos