When to go
Cienfuegos has a hot, steamy city but the drier season for visitors is Nov-Apr when the weather is usually sunny, mostly dry and less humid. Hurricane and tropical storms are possible Aug-Nov.
Getting local currency
You can use sterling cash or a credit card to purchase Cuban Convertible Pesos at banks in Cienfuegos. There are also casas de cambio (cadecas) for cash transactions. The rate of exchange for euros tends to be less favourable.
The more valuable convertible peso (CUC) has been reserved for use in the tourism sector and foreign trade. In October 2013, as part of a package of economic reforms its value will be gradually unified with the lower-value CUP, ending a system resented by ordinary Cubans.
GMT -5 hours; usually there is daylight saving in the summer but it is a moveable feast.
Cienfuegos is 270km by road from Havana, 56km from Santa Clara, 61km from Trinidad.
Sancti Spíritus (106km) small, unspoilt colonial town; Trinidad (61km) the best preserved colonial town.
Fiesta de los Amigos del Mar: Cienfuegos, first week of July, sailing regatta and demonstrations of a medley of watersports.
Carnival: Cienfuegos, July-Aug.
Festival Internacional Benny Moré: Cienfuegos, Sept; celebrating the city’s most famous son, the internationally respected singer Benny Moré.