In his song 'Cienfuegos,' Benny Moré described his home city as the city he liked best. He wasn't the settlement's only cheerleader. Cuba's so-called 'Pearl of the South' has long seduced travelers from around the island with its elegance, enlightened French airs and feisty Caribbean spirit. If Cuba has a Paris, this is most definitely it.
Arranged around the country's most spectacular natural bay, Cienfuegos is a nautical city founded in 1819 by French émigrés, whose homogeneous grid of elegant classical architecture earned it a Unesco World Heritage Site listing in 2005. Geographically, the city is split into two distinct parts: the colonnaded central zone with its stately Paseo del Prado and graceful park; and Punta Gorda, a thin knife of land slicing into the bay with a clutch of outrageously eclectic palaces built by the moneyed classes in the 1920s. - Lonely Planet