La Gran Piedra Santiago de Cuba At just over 1234 meters (4000 Feet) above sea level La Gran Piedra in Santiago de Cuba is accessed by 459 step climb to the “The Big Rock” or, in Spanish, La Gran Piedra. The viewing platform at its peak guarantees a cooler climate to help you freshen up after the onslaught of step after step. Even though the climb sounds fearful, it takes no more than 20 minutes but, do bring some comfortable shoes along. Legend has it that on a clear night one can see the lights of Montego Bay Jamaica from La Gran Piedra, however on the humid day we visited the visibility was greatly reduced. This fantastic site was declared a biosphere reserve by those great folks at UNESCO in 1987 and at just 20km from the center of Santiago de Cuba its certainly worth your time, especially because the Santiago de Cuba Botanical Garden is close by and it's easy to combine both in one trip. The massive 50x25x30 meter rock is of volcanic origin, thought to have been pushed to this altitude by the movement of tectonic plates in the Caribbean region. Probably the most amazing view available in Santiago de Cuba and definitely worth the 459 [...]
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Plagued by bandits, buccaneers and pirates, Spanish king Philip V decided to build a fortress in Cienfuegos to protect the entrance to the city's bay in the 1740s. It was originally called the Castillo de Nuestra Senora de los Angeles de Jagua due to the name of the location known as Jagua, just outside the city. The Jagua Fortress or in Spanish Castillo de Jagua. It was declared a National Monument on October 10, 1978 and opened as a museum [...]
The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception is located on the main city square called Parque Marti and was completed in 1819. A building of immense beauty it is the pride Cienfuegos residents. The Cienfuegos Cathedral has a neo-Classical façade with two large red bell towers of differing heights, three arched entrances and French stained glass windows of the Twelve Apostles. It also boasts beautiful French ornate carvings. The first ever house of worship of Cienfuegos has been [...]
The Valle Palace is located in the Punta Gorda area of Cienfuegos, just a few minutes outside the downtown area. Easily one of the true architectural jewels of Cienfuegos it displays a myriad of influences from Gothic to Romanesque, Baroque to Italianate tendencies, and all mish massed into one building. From all angles the building is truly breathtaking. Today the Palacio de Valle Cienfuegos is used for cultural events. It also features a rather good seafood restaurant with a bar. [...]
For many the promise of petting and swimming with dolphins is a once in a life experience. The Dolphinarium of Cienfuegos offers excellent shows, dolphin acrobatics and the inimitable Dolphin contact with visitors. At just 15 CUC entrance fee, this show should not be missed. Located 5 minutes from downtown Cienfuegos the Dolphinarium of Cienfuegos is one of the few in Cuba which allows guests varied levels of contact with Dolphins. For those with the courage, two dolphins are trained [...]
Visitors to Cienfuegos consider this one the city's most important attractions, in fact walking through the caves of El Nicho Mountains, experiencing the amazing wildlife, flora and fauna of the area is true serenity in itself. All the way through the reserve you'll find picturesque waterfalls inviting you to bathe in the crystalline clear waters of the natural pools at the base of each cascade. These are probably some of the most attractive natural rock swimming pools in the western [...]