Cuba’s Perla del Sur (Pearl of the South), the seaside town of Cienfuegos gains its title from the spectacular bay it possesses. Founded in 1819 by French settlers, Cienfuegos is the closest thing Cuba has to a Paris. The French influence can be seen in local customs as well as the city’s incredible architecture which is occasionally laced with arcs and stain-glass windows. Cuba’s most elegant city is certainly unique, made up of wide paved city streets lined with palm trees and neo-classical mansions, Cienfuegos is a true beauty to behold. The Urban Historic Centre – a UNESCO site – is where you will find most of the city’s stunning buildings. However Cienfuegos has more to offer than just attractive architecture. Be sure to visit the old Spanish fortress of Castillo de Jagua, built to defend against pirate attacks, the city’s remarkable botanical gardens, and spend a day or two unwinding on one of the town's beautiful beaches.