Vinales to Cienfuegos - Hotel La Union

A fairly long 6 hour drive to get from Vinales to Cienfuegos. Most of it is on the "motorway" where you will find more horses and carts than cars, and more hitch hikers than horses and carts. The only real challenge is getting round the "Havana Ring Road". You find the motorway into Havana suddenly stop without warning - and by that I mea you are barreling along and the road just stops after going under a bridge. You have to extricate yourself by getting back and up onto the bridge. Then wend your way east with a few more similar waverings on the road, until you pick up the eastbound "motorway" out of Havana. Anyway, by now we were old Cuba hands and had learnt to navigate without the benefit of any road signs

Eventually into Cienfuegos, which turned out to be easy to navigate as it way on the grid system - alternate one way streets, and we found our hotel La Union without too many difficulties. They have a parking over the road in a locked garage. You just leave your car on the street, give reception the key and they sort out putting the car in and getting it out.

Click on any of the small pictures below to get a large image

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The La Union Hotel is a nicely
..restored colonial style building..
. with a well done swimming pool
in a small courtyard

We were only here for one night, but enjoyed this hotel and the town. The La Union is a lovely hotel restored to its former 1860's glory, located in the town centre & surrounded by UNESCO listed buildings. 49 rooms. The lovely views from the rooftop over the bay & plaza at night (rooftop bar) are dominated by the bell tower of the Cathedral. While the rooms & their furnishings are old they are comfortable & interesting. Secure parking, lovely pool, included breakfast was good by Cuban standards!.

We particularly enjoyed the hotel pool which was good by any standard. Breakfast I thought was good by Cuban standards - though I did hear a Canadian woman loudly complaining in English to Spanish speaking staff that there were no rolls for her to eat with her breakfast. Basically in Cuba, you make the best of what comes your way.

We ate at Dinos pizza place just over the road - the hotel restaurant was full of groups and did not appeal. Whilst being a fairly ordinarily Pizza restaurant, it had the advantage of being just over the road from the hotel, and the pizza was a welcome change in diet.

map cienfuegos

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Punta Gorda
Colonial hotel on the point
Colonial buildings everywhere
The roof top bar would be good!
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The main interest in the town is
around the main square, with the
.. cathedral and the old Teatro
.. Tomas Terry

We walked round the main square to take in the cathedral and theatre and other buildings, then walked down to the sea and along the seafront to the Punta Gorda, where the rich had their houses in pre-revolutionary days. We tried to get a drink at the Palacio de Valle (photo top row right above) whose roof top bar was recommended by the guide books, however the waiter in the downstairs bar would only allow us in if we first bought a coffee from him - as I was not interested in his scam, I passed the opportunity to visit the roof top bar - however I would add that the site of the Palacio has bee ruined by a large modern ugly Hotel being built in its grounds and now dominating the Palacio.

The round trip was a pleasant 4 miles walk from the hotel back to the hotel. Lesser souls than we would have succumbed to the persist ant pedal rickshaw men's attention, and taken a ride back into the town centre!

Cienfuegos to Trinidad

Our Cuban Holiday