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Trinidad - Glance to Cuba's Colonial Past

Duration: 2 Days

trinidad - glance to cuba's colonial past

This two-day tour will introduce you to the charming city of Trinidad during your holiday in Cuba, where you can explore ancient cobbled streets, peaceful plazas and endless museums to gain an insight into the island’s rich colonial past.

Located in the province of Sancti Spíritus in central Cuba, between the Escambray Mountains and Caribbean Sea, Trinidad is considered the “colonial treasure” of the island. Famous for proudly hosting some of the most beautiful historical architecture in Latin America, the city was declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988, as was the neighbouring Valley de los Ingenios (Valley of the Sugar Mills). This picturesque region, made up of three valleys San Luis, Santa Rosa and Meyer, was a centre for sugar production from the late 18th century until the late 19th century.

The lush Caribbean countryside is dotted with former sugar mills and slave houses, amidst stately palaces and mansions, taking you back to a bygone era when Trinidad played a key role in the Caribbean slave trade and the sugar trade brought the city great wealth. Enjoy an overnight stay in a mountain lodge, where you can relax and take a refreshing swim in the river, before heading onwards to Trinidad city the following day.

Founded by the Spanish in 1514, Trinidad is one of the best preserved cities in the Caribbean, if not the world. Relatively small and compact, the city can be toured in a few hours by foot, or you could alternatively take a romantic horse-drawn carriage ride. Relive history as you explore cobbled stone streets lined with beautifully restored colonial houses, painted in an array of bright pastel colours and adorned with wrought-iron balconies and red tiled roofs.

You will also notice the luxurious palaces and villas of the sugar barons, which stand as testament to the great wealth during this period. In the 18th and 19th centuries the sugar trade was booming and Trinidad reaped the rewards. Economic decline later, however, meant that modern construction was restricted, but this is what makes the town so special today. It’s as if time has stood still.

The old town is dominated by a fusion of Moorish, Neo Classical and Baroque architecture, and this is where you will find some of the city’s most beautiful buildings. The 19th century Iglesia Parroquial de la Santísima Trinidad (Church of the Holy Trinity), the largest church in Cuba, is just one of the highlights of the area. It was rebuilt in 1892 on the site of an earlier church on Plaza Mayor (main square), and is famous for its much-worshipped wooden statue of Christ ‘Senor de la Vera Cruz’ (Lord of the True Cross) and elegant neo-gothic marble altar dedicated to the Virgin of Mercy.

Other tour highlights include the early 19th century Iznaga Tower, a traditional cigar factory and a pottery shop. After all that sightseeing, stop for lunch in a local restaurant and enjoy a refreshing drink in the famous La Canchanchara taverna. As always, Cuba’s historic treasures, natural beauty and welcoming people will captivate you.

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