This French enclave in Cuba is a must-visit if you want to wander off this holiday season. Cienfuegos in Cuba is a wholesome package with something for everyone. Try to get lost in this modern, organised, spacious, but tiny city. By Deepali Sharma

Cuba’s ‘Pearl of The South’ has an awe-inspiring French milieu with a raw Caribbean vibe. The European settlement that built this modern city also helped it achieve the title of UNESCO Heritage Site in 2005. Not only does the name attract wanderers, but this small eclectic city is the most charming place you’ll probably ever experience.

The young city was founded in 1819 by the French with an aim to develop the coastal land as a European holiday home. The city is considered to be the quirkiest city in Cuba (and rightfully so) with mass diversity and extravagant architectures. Now an industrial hub, Cienfuegos boasts impressive natural landscape with the Sierra del Escambray Mountains in the background, and not to miss the coastal breeze from Jagua Bay.

The structure of the city is a beauty by itself. The avenues are constructed spaciously in an organised grid structure, and split into two parts. One is the well columned central area with the famous Prado avenue making up of Calle 37, the centre point of the city with the heart at Jose Marit Park. The other part is the sleek Punta Gorda, land carving into the bay with marvellous palaces built by the elite in the 1920s.

The Cuban city is a paradise for every kind of traveller with different needs. If you love marine life, go coral diving in the bay; and if it’s adventure you’re looking for, going hiking in the mountains. Aesthetes must visit the Tomas Terry Theatre for the love of Creole architecture as well as Arco de Triunfo. Arco de Triunfo is the reason Cienfuegos is called the ‘Paris of Cuba’- the only one in Cuba dedicated to Cuban independence.

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