It’s hard to believe that almost three months have passed since we returned from Cuba. That enigmatic island nation really got under our skins and we’re already planning a return someday. In the meantime, we’ve got lots more pictures to post.
After four nights in Havana, we boarded a Viazul bus to Cienfuegos, a city about four hours down on the southern coast. From there, we’d go on to Trinidad, a bit further east. But stay tuned – that’s the subject of our Road Trip, Part 2!
We were very impressed with Viazul – the Chinese-built buses are clean, modern, and on time. Round-trip tickets for both of us, from Havana to Cienfuegos to Trinidad and then back to Havana cost about $118. Check out the Viazul website at www.viazul.cu.
We spent two nights in Cienfuegos at Vista al Mar, a cozy casa particular (home stay) that was right on the water in the Punta Gorda area.
We really enjoyed our short stay in Cienfuegos, a lovely city filled with beautifully preserved, historic-landmark buildings in the French style (owing to the fact that the town was settled by French immigrants in the early 1800s). I had originally thought the town was named after Camilo Cienfuegos, one of the heroes of the 1959 Castro revolution, but it’s actually named for José Cienfuegos, captain general of Cuba a couple of centuries ago. Cienfuegos was established as a strategic trade location and to this day is a bustling port town.
Also of note, Cienfuegos is very near the Bay of Pigs — a very scenic area that’s notorious for President Kennedy’s disastrous invasion attempt in 1961. Today it’s known for outstanding diving and snorkeling, and friends who’ve done it tell us that the marine life is spectacular due to the Bay’s undiscovered, unspoiled nature (which can be said of so much of the natural world in Cuba). It’s high on our list for our return visit.