The other Trinidad: Cuba’s not-so-secret gem

Posted: 03-Dec-16 10:47

True fact – the dual island nation of Trinidad and Tobago isn’t the only place on the planet where you can find yourself marvelling at Trinidad’s staggering beauty. Cuban city Trinidad, now a UNESCO World Heritage site, offers tourists plenty to marvel at, from its cotton industry past to fantastic architecture and more…

The other Trinidad: Cuba’s not-so-secret gem

The Caribbean tourist economy is blessed with many destinations you’d call “big hitters”. And by that we mean places that have established a spot for themselves in the international traveler-conscious, featuring high on bucket lists and must-see itineraries across the planet.

The decadence and British aristocratic air of Barbados, St. Lucia’s omnipresent romance (it’s currently riding high as the honeymoon capital of the world), the ruggedness of Dominica. You could arguably add the dual-island nation of Trinidad & Tobago to that list, too, the very name of which conjures images of lush tropical jungle, great cricket teams and a short hop, skip and jump to the South American mainland.

In contrast, less people know about the Caribbean’s other Trinidad, one several hundreds of miles further north, but no less idyllic or balmy when it comes to the climate. This is despite the fact that the city of Trinidad, in the province of Sancti Spiritus, is one of Cuba’s most endearing and sought after tourist hotspots.

Founded in 1514 by Diego Velazquez, as is described in an article on the news website Caribbean 360, Trinidad has a rich but tainted past, becoming a major hub for the slave trade during the 17th and 18th Centuries, at which point wealthy landowners and merchants were rapidly building large, luxurious mansions, with the local cotton industry further adding to the economic prosperity of colonialists.

Despite the obvious negative connotations of a town built on the back of forced labour, modern visitors to Trinidad can’t help but fall for its colourful charm. Streets lined with pastel-hued houses afford the kind of Kodak moments people come to this island for in the first place, with the central square, Plaza Mayor, also amongst the main attractions, along with the nearby Church of the Holy Trinity, a neoclassical gem that demands attention.

The city is home to several other sites of religious significance, not to mention the Museum of Colonial Architecture; an art gallery inside the sprawling Casa de Aldeman Ortiz; and the epic Palacio Brunet, a staggering home that was first constructed in 1812 and still boasts its stunning frescoes and marble-clad floors. Thanks to these examples, and more, since 1988 the entire town has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site, indicative of its overwhelming beauty, and adding another reason why so many people look to stop off here as they explore this magnificent country.  


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