Cienfuegos -- which translates literally to "one hundred fires" -- is known as the "Pearl of the South," and it is an attractive city sitting on the Caribbean Sea. It is particularly famous for the colonial Spanish architecture that can be found there; this, alongside the ancient American cars operating as taxis, gives the city a very authentic feel. The main square is one of Cuba's most spectacular (the Cathedral and Theatre are the highlights), with a copy of the Arc de Triomphe at one end. There is the ever-present statue of Jose Marti as well as a couple of good bars and cafes with live music.
The main pedestrianized street has a wider-than-average selection of food shops and a few good bars and souvenir places and if you follow it down from the Square it brings you out at the statue of Benny More, the musician who is Cienfuegos's most celebrated son. The main road runs down to a little spit of land, where there are great sea views; the bar on top of the Moorish palace is the area's best spot to watch the Caribbean sunset and be serenaded by yet more Cuban musicians.
Cienfuegos hostels -- and those in the country on the whole -- are a little different than hostels in other countries; beds are provided in private homes known as casas particulares. The casas provide a first-hand opportunity to see how Cubans live; usually they will provide breakfast and also be able to offer an evening meal better than you will get in many restaurants. They are excellent sources of information on the local area and can often fix up transport, activities, and guides to help you get the most out of your stay. Outside Cienfuegos itself there are a number of good beach options, which are worth exploring if you are there for a few days.
Hi, I'm Howellsey,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Cienfuegos hostels. Welcome.