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The Pearl of the South impresses with its fabulous French architecture, nearby nature spots and idyllic sunsets.

Cienfuegos stands apart from its fellow UNESCO World Heritage cities in Cuba because it was the French and not the Spanish colonists that founded the settlement and adorned it with 19th century Neoclassical buildings. This legacy remains intact today and travellers can explore this compact city on foot, with plenty of time to appreciate each architectural beauty in the company of our immensely knowledgeable guides. Standout buildings include the sumptuous former Cienfuegos Sailing Club and the Alhambra-liked Palacio de la Valle overlooking the bay on Punta Gorda and the breathtaking Thomas Terry Theatre on the main square.

Some of our favourite casas particulares are clustered on the thin wedge of land of Punta Arenas, with glorious sunset and sunrise views to be soaked up on both sides of the water. Using Cienfuegos as a base, you can venture out into the countryside to spot pink flamingos and tiny hummingbirds at Laguna Guanaroca, admire the towering El Nicho waterfall at Topes de Collantes peer at thousands of plant species at the renowned Botanical Gardens.

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