Trinidad is one of the most beautiful colonial cities in Cuba and in the Americas. It is located on the coast of the Caribbean, in the region of Sancti Spiritus, between the beautiful virgin beaches of Ancón and the fascinating mountains of the Sierra del Escambray.
Founded in the early 16th century to honor the Holy Trinity, the city was a stepping stone for further conquests in the Americas. The existence of the city was backed by the sugar industry that flourished there and in the nearby Valle de los Ingenios from the end of the 18th to the 19th century. The city is an example of the prosperity of the period, portrayed by its architecture, from the more modest constructions to the majestic, luxurious ones. Trinidad is authentic and unique in terms of the forms, designs and materials that have withstood the passage of time. It’s no wonder that Unesco included Trinidad on the World Heritage List in 1988.
You won’t need a guide in your visit to Trinidad, and your best bet is just to walk through its narrow, cobbled streets and admire the baroque buildings in pastel colors, Cuban music and the pleasant establishments.
The Plaza Mayor is the heart of Trinidad. Just like many other Spanish colonial cities, the main square is the city center, with gardens and impressive churches. It’s the ideal starting point. Many of the main places that tourists should visit are at or near the Plaza Mayor, including the fascinating Municipal Museum, the Parish Church of the Holy Trinity and other museums and architectural treasures.
The Municipal Museum of Trinidad is in the beautiful Cantero Palace. Built in the 19th century, this mansion owes its grandeur to the Italian marble floors and the large open rooms. The museum explores the history of Trinidad and its surroundings. Climbing up to the tower will give you a fantastic view of the city and the Caribbean. There are other interesting museums such as the Guamuhaya Archaeology Museum, which features objects from the aboriginal communities of pre-Colombian times, the Colonial Architecture Museum, which portrays the domestic wealth of the upper classes in the 18th and 19th centuries, and the Romantic Museum in the Brunet Palace, with relics from the refined culture of Trinidad.
On the upper edge of the Plaza Mayor you’ll find the Parish Church of the Holy Trinity. The neoclassic façade appears to be whitewashed by the sun, contrasting with its interior treasures. It is the largest church in Cuba and contains a revered image, the Christ of the Vera Cruz (True Cross). The inside of the church features domed ceilings and impressive altar pieces of cedar and mahogany. This church is also renowned for its fine acoustics.
After exploring the colonial mansions and museums, you can relax at any of the open-air restaurants or cafés near the Plaza Mayor. At the paladares, private restaurants, you can enjoy the delicious local cuisine based on seafood.
After sunset, people leave the streets and gather in the taverns offering Cuban music and dance. A well-known place is La Canchánchara, a tavern that takes its name from a regional drink made using lemon juice, honey and rum. Other interesting places are the Casa de la Música, the Casa de la Trova and the Palenque de los Congos Reales. At any of these you can drink a beer or mojito while listening to live music.
Trinidad is a Cuban colonial jewel that brings together past and present, creating a romantic, timeless atmosphere. It is a magical place that you should visit when traveling to Cuba.
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