Founded in 1514 by Diego Velázquez, was the third Spanish town in Cuba. After the gold ran out in the region and Cortes had left to go and conquer Mexico, Trinidad slowly changed into a town whose wealth became based mainly on sugar, tobacco and livestock. This wealth was achieved by exploiting slaves brought in from Africa. Due to its isolated location on the island, for centuries Trinidad was a popular site for pirates and smugglers.
Nowadays, when tourists visit Trinidad, they literally feel like they are going back in time. Isolation was a great inconvenience for its original inhabitants but today Trinity is one of the best-preserved colonial cities in the entire Caribbean and belongs to the world heritage of UNESCO.
Nowhere else on the island will the traveler come as close to the old colonial Cuba. After a visit to the Valle de los Ingenios and the Museo colonial, one gets a realistic picture of life in these times - both the poverty of the slaves and the incredible wealth of their owners.
There are two ways of staying in Cuba. You can rent a private house - a casa particular in Trinidad or stay in a hotel in Trinidad, in nearby Playa Ancon.
There are over 400 private hostels in Trinidad. Even people who normally like to stay in hotels should consider living in one of the historic old homes. It's a wonderful experience - a complete journey through time.
The old streets of Trinidad that produce this unforgettable atmosphere of times past is what most fascinates the tourist when they arrive at this very special city in the south coast of the island. Stroll through the streets of Trinidad! and enjoy the picturesque little houses and the colonial architecture!
The Plaza Mayor in Trinidad, located right in the city center, is a wonderful place with a small park where it seems is if nothing has changed for the last few centuries. Small banks and street lamps of the past invite you to you sit up and breathe the air of that exact moment in time. Amongst the buildings surrounding the Plaza Mayor are the largest church in Trinidad (Church of the Holy Trinity) and the Museo Romantico (formerly known as Palacio Brunet).
This was the home of one of the wealthiest families in the area and now houses an impressive collection of decorative art from the nineteenth century. Passing through the many rooms of this former palace, you can see how luxurious life was for these people. Thousands of everyday objects and pieces of art are placed in a way that makes it look like the owners are just on holiday and could return at any moment.
This neoclassical church was completed in 1892. It contains the wooden statue of "El Señor de la Vera Cruz" (XVIII century) and a renaissance altar dedicated to "Nuestra Señora de la Piedad".
The Valle de los Ingenios is located about 12 km outside of Trinidad and has been around since the 17th century. This fertile agricultural land was cultivated and developed into one of the major sugar producing areas of Cuba, helping Trinidad to become one of the richest cities on the Caribbean island. Only in the middle of the 19th century, when they began to produce the "White Gold" from sugar beet, did things quiten down for Trinidad. In order to get a proper overview of the valley, you should go to the top of the "Torre Manacas-Iznga" (built at the beginning of the 19th century). This 45 metre-high structure is equipped with a bell tower that was used to oversee the thousands of slaves working on the sugar plantations. According to legend, a jealous plantation owner once locked his young wife in the tower and on bright moonlit nights she still haunts the upper floors of what’s often called the “slave tower”.
The "Valle de los Ingenios" has belonged to the World Heritage since 1988.
The National Park “Topes de Collantes” belongs to the second highest mountain range in Cuba – the "Escambray". At 800 meters above sea level you will find many endemic plant and animal species here, including wild orchids and several species of butterflies, all surrounded by pine, teak, cedar, bamboo and eucalyptus trees. If you want to escape the heat of the valley, this is the right place to be. The climate of the central mountain zone in Cuba has much cooler temperatures: lows of about 16 º C, highs of 25 °C and a relative humidity of 85%.
The largest hotel in Topes de Collantes in Trinidad is the "Kurhotel Escambray". It was built by Batista the dictator and doesn’t really seem to fit into the surrounding landscape. It does however offer some excellent spa facilities - including a swimming pool, sauna, steam room and fitness center. There is also the "Hotel Los Helechos" and the highly recommended "Villa Caburiní", which is the most beautiful property in Topes de Collantes. "