Today was my one and only full day in Cienfuegos and I was going to make it count.

I had arranged a free walking tour for 9:30am.   Again, I’m a lover of doing free walking tours when you first hit a new city.

It’s a great way to see the different attractions around the city plus a few you didn’t even know about.   Plus, there’s great stories to be told and history to learn.

Overall, I’ve probably been to well over 100 walking tours now (which, by the way, is crazy to say) and I can’t get enough of them

Anyway, I was happy to find one here in Cienfuegos as it’s not a huge tourist destination by any means.

Just me and Hector

I left my casa just after 8:30.   It was the most mild I’ve seen so far here in Cuba at a downright “chilly” 21C this morning.

I had hopes of grabbing something for breakfast real quick before joining the tour.   I walked a block over to the main street and after walking down a few blocks, it became pretty obvious that I was just gonna have to wait til lunchtime.

Even my last ditch effort to order a hamburger at a little peso shop was thwarted and they didn’t have it available.

Ah, viva Cuba!

As 9:30 rolled around, I sauntered up to the meeting spot where an older man named Hector greeted me.   As with my tours in Havana, I was the only person to join up for the tour.

Told you Cienfuegos wasn’t a huge tourist hotbed.

So, myself and Hector got to know each other a little bit.

He is in his 60’s and is a retired English school teacher and so, yeah, his English was perfect.

It was actually a delight to chat with him over the next 2 1/2 hours and getting to know each other.

Walking Tour

So, normally I don’t really promote or link businesses on here and I certainly don’t make any money from it, but from time to time, I find something that I want other travelers to experience.

Today, it was the Free Walking Tour Cienfuegos run by Strawberry Tours.

You already know that I’m totally on Team Hector so promoting his tour is the least I can do.

Not only that though, it was actually a really cool tour.

We walked around the city and popped into shop after shop to look around.   It’s stuff most walking tours wouldn’t do and I certainly wouldn’t have done on my own.

There was the market which actually just turned out to be a handful of stalls in a overly large room selling the same types of produce.   Someone there was selling orange soft serve ice cream and Hector treated me to a 40peso cone,

He treated me.

Yeah, you read that right.   And, yeah, it was only 40 pesos which is basically the equivalent to 15 cents, but that’s not the point.

There was also a really cool building with a bunch of people doing different repairs on all sorts of things from watches to electronics to shoes and clothing.

We stopped by a high end hotel and actually walked through the lobby and past the rooms to the outdoor pool.   It was like we were guests there.

We also went to an art gallery that had painting on the wall drawn by autistic people.   I found one I liked and naturally Hector knows the owner of the gallery and he said he’d help me get a good price for it.   He actually contacted the owner on his phone and, fingers crossed, I can snag that print tomorrow.

Of course we saw all the usual things we’re supposed to see like the Catetral de la Purisima Concepcion, José Martí memorial, and the Teatro Tomas Terry.

By noon we had returned back to our starting point.   It had been two and a half hours and, unlike some tours, it flew by like it was nothing.

And, despite my assumption that the tour was now over, Hector was more than willing to continue on.

I, on the other hand, was starving.   The only thing I had eaten so far today was that soft serve ice cream and I needed some food in me.

So, with that, we ended the tour.

Now, normally for walking tours I tip $5.   In Havana last week, I tipped $10 because, honestly, the Cuban people need the help.

For Hector though, I tipped him $20.

I told him how happy I was with the tour and that I’d tell everybody I knew about the tour and, hopefully, send some business thing way.

So, this is me telling you… go on his tour!

As for the rest of the day, I think I’m going to split up this blog into two parts.

I think Hector deserves a blog all to himself and, honestly, something pretty cool and a little serendipitous happened today as well and that kind of deserves a blog all it’s own too…

Cuba Trip 2024, Trip Journal, Cienfuegos, Cuba
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  • Ashley and family(USA) says:

    We are an American family Who visited Cienfuegos in 2018.We went by cruiseship and had Hector as our guide to Trinidad It was really an amazing experience.We are in Cuba now and if we go to Cfgos will contact Hector again.

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