Cienfuegos & Botanic Garden
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Approximately 6½ Hours
The city of Cienfuegos was founded in 1819 by French colonists and boasts a marvelous setting on a sweeping bay. Cienfuegos is fortified by its geographical location and by the impressive Castle of Jagua. A strong French influence lends Cienfuegos a distinctive air. There is a perfect symmetry to its urban layout, while two long pedestrian promenades and some neo-Classical architecture charm visitors and locals alike.
Don't miss the Cienfuegos Botanic Garden -- more than 200 sprawling acres with 2,000 species of plants, including outstanding landmark ficus and palm collections. The garden is just far enough from the city to feel restful and special. It surrounds the old Soledad Sugar Mill and stretches along the road that leads to Trinidad in the neighboring province of Sancti Spíritus. A naturalist guide will walk with you through the garden and share his/her enthusiasm for the flora and the setting.
Next, set out on a walk through Cienfuegos, taking you past José Martí Park and the Tomás Terry Theater, and along the pedestrian San Fernando Boulevard and Santa Isabel Boulevard. As you pass each landmark, your guide will explain its significance. You’ll hear all about Cuban life -- the ration system, dual currency use, and the stores where the locals shop. Watch for the Casa del Fundador, former home of the city's founder, Louis d'Clouet.
Take a panoramic drive through the Punta Gorda area, with beautiful panoramas and historic buildings such as Palacio del Valle. A local lunch and a beverage are included.
End your visit with a performance by a local orquestra or chorus before returning to the ship.
Actual tour duration may vary from 5.5 to 6.5 hours as the ship has to navigate the narrow channel to and from the anchorage during daylight hours.
Not advisable for guests using a wheelchair or for those with mobility limitations. Walking is required on uneven ground. Wear comfortable walking shoes.
Tour times are estimates and may be subject to change. Tours may run in different order to provide the best experience.
Regulation Notes Regarding Tours:
Pursuant to November 8, 2017 changes in U.S. regulations with respect to People to People travel authorization to Cuba, guests who wish to disembark in Cuba and do not qualify for other categories of authorized travel must participate in either a full-time group People to People program sponsored by either Holland America Line or a third-party U.S. sponsoring organization.
After guests have completed their required full-time schedule of People to People activities, they are welcome to explore Cuba on their own or participate in evening HAL excursions (not designed to be People to People programs).
This tour is designed to be in compliance with People to People guidelines.