With its sweeping bay, Cienfuegos, popular with French settlers, was established in 1819, late for Cuba.
Spacious Francophile streets offer an alternative to the small-scale chaos of other Cuban provincial capitals, and the tranquil town retains an unsullied, old-fashioned air, with horse-drawn carriages still the main transport.
Cienfuegos is made for wandering and absorbing everyday provincial life. The Paseo del Prado, the longest street in Cuba, is all about people-watching. Parque José Martí, the main square, is for catching up on wifi, admiring the beautiful Catedral de la Purísma Concepción and Teatro Tomas Terry.