Cienfuegos is located on Cuba's southern coast. Sometimes referred to as the ‘Pearl of the South', it's calmer, neater and breezier than Havana. The old part of Cienfuegos was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 2005, thanks to its distinctive 19th century Spanish urban planning - the town is laid out neatly in a strict grid pattern. The buildings in the city reflect a mix of architectural styles, including a good number of art deco buildings, which line the straight boulevards running north to south, east to west.
Parque José Martí, named after a prominent Cuban hero, is the city's central square and a pleasant place to take a break from sightseeing. Out of town you'll find the Cuba's oldest botanical gardens, the Cienfuegos Botanical Garden and the Jagua Fotress, which lies across the Bay of Cienfuegos. It was built in the 18th century to guard the narrow channel that connects the bay to the Caribbean Sea from the region's notorious pirates. Today, it's an interesting historical rampart, which offers spectacular views of the surrounding area.