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Fellow hobbyists, I just returned from a week in Cienfuegos. Since the available guidebooks are hopelessly out of date, and the newspaper is published only once weekly (Friday), I thought I might be able to provide some useful information for newbies and veterans alike.

Let’s start with the most important information. Where do you find the pussy in Cienfuegos? There is no doubt that the disco La Carabena is ground zero. The locals will tell you this is where all the bad girls go, and you do have to be careful with your money in the front pocket etc. The place is located about three blocks away from the famous El Rapido (across the street and away from the center of town). Every night (with the exception of Saturday, which was curiously empty), there were plenty of chicas to choose from. This place puts Rio’s ‘Help’ Disco to shame. Don’t expect the dancing to start before 11:30 p.m. One problem is that you will see the same girls every night, including two tall twins with big tits who looked like trannies to me (the same plastic surgeon perhaps?). There is a $2 cover charge, and all drinks are $1 apiece. Almost all of the girls there are regulars. The music is reasonable, with a mix of disco (mostly), with some salsa, reggae, and slow dances at the end of the night (4 a.m.). The big challenge is finding a girl who will provide something close to the “Girl-Friend-Experience”, since almost all of them are veteran jinateras who are more experienced than most of the guys they solicit. Don’t be afraid to just go out into the floor near someone who turns you on and start dancing. Dirty dancing is very much appreciated, and it is likely that the chica will turn around, stick her ass in your crotch, and start grinding. BTW, for those of you who have traveled around the world a bit, I nominate the bathroom at La Carabena as the foulest bathroom in the entire world that has the audacity to ask for money for using it. The first night I was told that locals pay 1 peso (5 cents), and tourists are expected to pay 50 cents per visit. The first time I gave 5 cents and entered the place. From that point forward, I just gave the bathroom attendant a big smile, walked past, took a big breath, and tried to hold it during the piss. Also, what is it with the lack of toilet seats in Cuba? Is this considered a luxury by Fidel? I tried to find out whether the girls sit directly on the cold porcelain or else squat over it like an Asian toilet, but none of the guys I asked seemed to know.

Other discos include Benny More (near Parque Marti in the middle of town), Arte EX (two blocks away from Carabena), and the basement of the Pallacio de Valle (several blocks further out of town along the Prado, across from Hotel Jagua). Benny More was a major disappointment. I went there Friday night, and it was not particularly hopping. The cover was $3, reflecting its higher status as a club appealing to the locals with money. There were more hombres than chicas there, believe it or not. There was one group of unattached girls there. Two of them deigned to dance with me, and then promptly moved to the other side of the dance floor. I can get blown off at any number of places in the NYC area, so I cleared out. Later, I was told that Benny More is for either locals out on a date with their boyfriends or pros who are expecting big bucks. I stopped in ArteEX on Saturday night, and they had a live band (local salsa band known as Arte Mixto) that was awesome. Four singers rotated lead responsibility, and they had a great rhythm section. Admission was free (once you got past the chained gate), and beer was 85 cents. Once again, this was an affair primarily for locals. Not sure what it is like on other nights. I peeked in the window of the basement of Pallacio de Valle one night mid-week, and it was pretty dead. But one guy I talked to said he had a good time there the previous Sunday.

El Rapido was pretty abysmal due to all the cops hanging around it. La Finca de Isabella is open, but only for food.

As for my own experience, I ended up with only two girls for the week. How is that possible in a sexually-charged third world country? Well, the first night I was too tired. The second night I had a great night of dancing with a girl wearing a beret, but when we got back to the casa I had rented for the night, she was okay but not very energetic. The next night I went to bed early, getting ready for the rest of the week.

My final night (Sunday) I went back to La Carabena for one final attempt. I noticed one girl dancing that I hadn’t seen there before. She was nice looking and built like a brick shit house. Turns out she was a student at the university, taking classes from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. and then doing sports until 6 p.m. We took off, and she arranged a casa near her home (middle of town) for $5. Nothing was negotiated, and there was mutual trust. It was not the total GFE, but damned close, and she had a body to kill for. When I was lying on my back, she did the up and down thrusting so I could suck on her big titties. Then she lay on top of me and started squeezing my dick with rhythmic movements of her tight pussy like no one has ever done before. When she was done with me, I gave her $20, which I would have to rank as the most enjoyable $20 I have ever spent.

As for other forms of entertainment, I know that some of the posters to other sites claim that the only thing the hick-town of Cienfuegos has to offer is flies hovering over the pizza at El Rapido. Well golly gee, it is pretty quiet during the week, except for the action at La Carabena. However, there are good excursions available to the mountains (e.g. the waterfalls and caves of El Nicho) and the historical city of Trinidad (more good music at lunchtime). And it is kind of nice to get out into the countryside to see farmers ploughing the fields with oxen or mowing the lawn with a machete. The coral is okay, but you need to go in the morning, since the visibility drops off in the afternoon. For the weekend, check out the newspaper and ask around. In addition to the great salsa band I heard on Saturday night, I also went to an excellent concert at the Theater at Parque Marti given by a folk singer from Havana with his backup band.

I hope this addition helps out future travelers. Take plenty of $US (you won’t need much, but better safe than sorry), learn a little Spanish (e.g. ‘te quiero’, ‘eres sabrosa’, ‘besame’, ‘abrazame’ ), and have a great time.

Saturday Nights….
Just a quick bit of info on Daddio’s post. He’s right that La Caribena is “ground zero” for hobbyists in Cienfuegos. But the reason he found it “curiously” vacant on Saturday night is that is the BIG night for discos in Cuba. Many places that are not open all week throw open their doors on Saturdays…and, basically, every young person in Cienfuegos goes to a disco on Saturdays. The result is that you, like them, should avoid La Caribena on Saturdays. Just follow the crowd of slinky-dressed young ladies, and go wherever THEY go. The “scene” in Cienfuegos shifts virtually week-to-week, as one “in” spot is replaced by another. But follow the crowds, and you’ll have a great time on Saturdays. I’ve been to Cienfuegos about 6-7 times, so you can trust the info.

Cienfuegos is the best, and most under-reported, spot for “hobbyists”…possibly in the world. Don’t agree at all, however, that Benny’s Disco is the place to pick up girls. Maybe your type is a bit different than mine. But those girls at Benny’s are way in the top-end of experienced and over-priced girls. Probably doesn’t seem that way to you because, by world standards, basically NOBODY in Cienfuegos is overly hard or over-priced. But you’d do a lot better going to the more modest-priced spots, where the chicas flock in hordes…especially on weekends. The pro-am ratio is much better, prices are better, and the atmosphere much more relaxed.
As for needing a guide…what for? Cienfuegos is really a dinky little place, and any half-experienced “hobbyist” can get the place totally wired in a couple of days. That’s the charm, and half the fun, of Cienfuegos.

I do not have really detailed info, as I unfortunately went to that place one and a half years ago and didn’t have the chance to go back, but if you go there for the first time, just stop wherever you are and ask any young guy to bring you “Omarcito”. He’s a really good guy, 30 years old, doesn’t talk much, speaks some English (we spoke Spanish tough). You’re sure to meet a good friend, to save money and get really cosy houses and beautiful chicas. He will tell you where to go, and once there he will tell you everything about the girls, believe me VERY useful. He wouldn’t allow anybody to have only 2 sessions in a whole week! If you don’t feel like going out, you just ask him to bring you somebody home, most of times he managed to bring you the exact girl you were looking for. Whats wrong with hiring guides!? is it they’re too helpful? You don’t need to show you’re a cool traveler when you’re traveling (have you the “lonely planet complex”?), you just have to have fun and take the most of it. I think that Beny Morè was just fantastic, good music, good rum, nice people and a group of 4/5 beautiful girls. You don’t need to pay them more, you will just treat them as they are, women, and eventually you’ll pay something, later (if they don’t ask for anything, they’re just trying to impress you: Ive read that some 2000 European men married Cuban girls in the last couple of years!) I miss it so much! Have fun, and if you meet a white girl from Sanctu Spiritus called Dianiset, tell her that her Italian friend didn’t forget about her (the guy of “dos gardenias para ti”- sad bastard!) and don’t try with her, as I will cut your balls!take care and excuse my English

You can pick up 80% of the girls and at least 2/3 of them are not pros. Cienfuegos is filled with simple happy country people and the girls are soft and nice. If you speak a little Spanish and relate to people you can meet and date most single women here. I Rented a Scooter for $20/day, and then I would talk to local girls on bikes as I rode slowly beside them. There’s a very nice bay cruise out of Hotel Jaqua for $3. Bennies Disco is near the center of town and is the best club to pick up girls in again mostly non-pros. The cost of living is low here for $75-$100US a day you can live and party like a king. I stayed at Hotel Llianas for $20US per night. I flew into Havana as normal and then went to Cienfuegos.

Cienfuegos Cuba Travel Warning
If you are traveling to Cienfuegos in the near future be warned that Customs is now confiscating all belongings that they think may be “gifts” for Cubans. Historically, Customs in Cienfuegos would make tourists pay large taxes on electronic gifts such as stereos and VCRs. However, now all costly electrical gifts are confiscated and NOT returned.

This practice of confiscation began about 1 month ago in mid-May. More recently, Customs has started confiscating ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that could be considered a gift. On my most recent trip of June the 17th I watched while they confiscated everything from baby clothes to baseballs from Canadian tourists from Toronto at the airport in Cienfuegos. Even items that are undoubtedly gifts for small children such as stuffed animals were confiscated.

I spoke to several of the people who had items confiscated to find out that none of the items are being returned. When these people asked Customs as to why such items are now being confiscated they were advised that this rule “always existed” and tourists were only allowed to bring “one item a year into Cuba”. Many of the tourists who lost items had been to Cuba more than 20 times and never experienced similar problems.

Customs also advised one tourist that they intend to begin confiscating all gifts in all Cuban airports in the near future.

Fidel, enjoy the baseballs and baby clothes. Make sure your buddies get everything I brought for the poor children I know. I will not be coming to Cuba again any time soon!

Hotel Jagua
The only 4 star hotel in Cienfuegos. It would not be considered a 4 star hotel in other countries. The dinner buffet is okay here for $15.00

Benny More
near Parque Central more upscale place with higher prices. Cover is 3$. The girls are more professionals and expensive, they ask for 50$ but its easy to bargain them down.

an outdoor bar between center and La Caribeña. It’s free, cheap drinks and it’s packed with girls looking for tourists. Some are really cute and good-looking. Just smile at them and they (or their pimp) will approach you. It’s very easy to find a girl for the night here, as there are so many of them. They can be had for 15-30$.

La Caribeña
is a few blocks south of D’Prisa. It’s a popular place with the locals and has alot of working girls. Cover is one dollar. A bottle of rum costs 3 dollars. It’s also a good place for dancing. I met a young mulatta and took her back to my place. She fucked like crazy and was pretty hot, had a great body with nice rack.She was happy with 20$.

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