Trinidad, an unrecognized beautiful Cuban destination
Cuba is one of the highest-ranked destinations of the Caribbean. Infamous for its colourful architecture and vintage cars, travellers mostly flock in Havana – the capital. That is because they haven’t heard about Trinidad yet. This city in the centre of Cuba and a UNESCO World Heritage Site is a must-visit.
A well-preserved colonial town
Trinidad is one of the first Spanish-built cities of Cuba. Founded around 1514, it has quickly become the heart of the sugar industry and thus a place for the rich plantation owners. The latter liked to show off their wealth through colourful homes. Palaces and large plazas have also been built to emphasize Trinidad’s fortune. Most of the constructions remain as they were, making to town join the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1988. What mainly preserved old Trinidad – because more modern houses obviously erected through the years, is that the historic centre is a pedestrian zone. It is therefore recommended to wear comfortable shoes when in there because you will have to walk around the cobblestone streets! The best place to start your free Trinidad tour is definitely the Plaza Mayor, the heart of the town. It’s a typical square bounded with greenery, colourful buildings that are now home to restaurants and the Convento de San Fransico. The bright yellow tower of the latter, known as the Bell Tower, is an infamous landmark. It’s also a museum where you’ll find exhibitions about the Cuban revolution. After that, head to Palacio Cantero nearby. It’s a mansion housing the Museo Historico Municipal where you can learn about the colonial era.
Close to must-see places in Cuba
Trinidad is quite far from Havana – about a 7-hour bus ride from the capital. However, it’s located near by places you wouldn’t want to miss when in Cuba. For instance, the beautiful Ancon beach which is only 15 minutes from Trinidad. On the outskirts of the town is also set Topes de Collantes national park. It is home to stunning waterfalls and very nice hiking trails. One of the most popular hikes is the one that makes you go through a coffee plantation and leads you to a 62-metter waterfall that drops into a natural but cold pool. That trail is called Salto de Caburni. In the valley outside the town, Valle de Los Ingenios, you will find what remains of the sugar plantations of the 18th and 19th centuries. Around 30,000 slaves worked in the mills back then. That is how Trinidad became one of the top sugar producers in the world and a wealthy town. As you can see, there are a lot to see in the Cuban city. It’s impossible to visit all of Trinidad in a day and you wouldn’t spend your time doing the 14-hour trip every time. It is therefore wiser to rent a villa or a room in a casa particular. The latter is often cheaper ($35 per night) and doesn’t need to be booked beforehand. Besides, a stay in Trinidad will let you enjoy its lively nightlife rocked by the never-stopping music.