Located near the Caribbean coast in central Cuba, the small town of Trinidad isn’t Cuba’s most famous city, but it is certainly one of the most charming. The town is more than 500 years old and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Just walking through the town’s colourful, cobble-stoned streets is an experience in itself, but here are five activities to help visitors make the most of their Trinidad time.
Visit Palacio Cantero
Trinidad is a pristine example of a colonial Cuban city and this former mansion, which is now a museum, is a physical illustration of how the well-to-do would have lived in Cuba in the 1800s. Be sure to climb the tower to get a panoramic view of the town, with the hills of the Valle de los Ingenios just behind Trinidad’s picturesque skyline.
Have a drink at Taberna la Canchánchara
The canchánchara—a simple concoction of honey, lime, water and rum that locals swear only tastes right if served in traditional clay cups—is the official cocktail of Trinidad. Bar la Canchánchara is the place to go for an authentic canchánchara, along with dishes of olives and peanuts and some live, traditional Cuban music.
Climb the Manaca Iznaga tower
Just outside of Trinidad, the Valle de los Ingenios is Cuba’s historic sugar production region and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The area, which is comprised of three valleys, contains the ruins of former plantations and sugar mill buildings. Tourists can visit the old Manaca Iznaga plantation for a lunch in the property’s 19th-century hacienda and climb a 184-step tower for views of the lush valley.
People-watch in Plaza Mayor
Trinidad’s central square consists of a palm tree garden surrounded by a series of museums, churches and candy-coloured houses, many of which sell inexpensive snacks from their front windows. Take the opportunity to interact with locals and bask in Trinidad’s colonial architecture.
Dance at Casa de la Música
Trinidad’s town centre really comes alive after dark when people gather at the Casa de la Música (adjacent to the Plaza Mayor) to hear live salsa music. Patrons line the long staircase leading up to the open-air venue to hear the music and enjoy the evening breeze and a rum cocktail (or two).
Snapshots of Central Cuba: Trinidad, Cienfuegos and Santa Clara
Explore Central Cuba's historic towns, where time stands still. Drink in a rustic, open-air courtyard bar with locals in Trinidad, dine in a 1900s mansion-turned-restaurant in Cienfuegos and visit the Che Guevara Mausoleum in Santa Clara.
Three Places to Go if You Really Love Books
In honour of National Novel Writing Month this November, an annual event where participants attempt to write a manuscript in 30 days, consider taking a literary-inspired vacation to Jamaica, England or Cuba to learn about Ian Fleming, Jane Austen or Ernest Hemingway.