Saturday, 30 March 2013

Trinidad, a colorful pearl in the Caribbean

Thinking about going to Cuba? You can't miss Trinidad, because it is one of these places that you will remember your whole life with a smile. Its colourful houses and cobblestone streets will make you fall in love and will allow you to spend your holidays in a unique environment not easy to find nowadays. Yes, Havana has colourful houses too, but it is not the same, believe me. So make your way to the central part of the island to see this jewel.

The city was founded in 1514 by a Basque (he even went on to be the governor of the island) under the name of Villa de la Santísima Trinidad. The best is that Trinidad remains almost untouched since his creation. So much so that in 1988 was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites' list for being one of the best kept colonial cities.

A thriving sugar industry made possible building palaces and mansions that, even nowadays, you can breathe a Caribbean life like no other. And it is because in Trinidad time seems to have stopped and apart from seeing one American car and a motorcycle here and there, signs of progress of technology seem invisible at a glance. But the city offers a lot of things to see: museums, cobblestone streets, squares, churches or their many colourful houses won't stop surprising you. Their inhabitants are so kind like in the rest of Cuba and won't hesitate in start a chat with you with their warm Cuban generosity, help you finding your destination or tell you stories and anecdotes of the locality.

We went on the middle of the week, low season and the feeling of happiness, calm and party at the same time, lasted our whole stay. In fact, we liked it so much that we decided to stay one extra night. The plan was simple: some tourism, a bit of beach and a few mojitos at night in Casa de la Música.

What can you see there?

Trinidad is know in Cuba as the Museum City. It does not mean they have a great number of museums, but  considering the size of the city (around 60.000 population), they have quite a lot. The History Museum keeps a lot of documents and pieces of the Trinitarian history. The Museum of Guamuhaya Archeology keeps rests for the aborigine communities that lived in the city in the pre-columbian era. The Romance Museum, in the old home of the Brunet family, one of the richest in the colonial era, keeps loads of furniture and objects from that time. Museum of Colonial Architecture shows the architectural changes of the city since its start. And if you like action, you should visit the Museum of War Against the Bandits (against USA, of course).

Its Plaza Mayor (the main square) full of landmark buildings, is a place you won't stop seeing over and over again. It is not a meeting point for the locals as you should think, but it is main point.
The Cathedral worths a visit and it is an emblematic building, specially having into consideration that they are a secular state. So won't be surprised if you find the Santeria Yemaya Temple, dedicated to the goddess of the sea in one of your strolls in the city, as many of the Cubans practice santeria.

But hey, we are in Cuba and music has to be there. After your dinner in one of their paladares or restaurants, go to the Casa de la Música, where you can dance salsa with the Trinitians or just sit and enjoy their art. During the day Casa de la Trova offers a more intimate ambiance than the previous one making sure to keep the Cuban tradition. At the last hour of the night, if you are still interested in partying, go to Disco Ayala, allocated in a cave. 

And if you think that the town has not enough to offer, you can always visit Valle de los Ingenios and Salto de Javira, a wonderful waterfalls located around 30 minutes away from Trinidad. Or you can enjoy one of the best beaches in the island, Playa Ancona, that is not overcrowded at all. 

As accommodation I suggest one of the lots of particular houses that rent rooms totally equipped with air conditioning, full bathroom and where you can see how a Trinitarian house looks like from inside: their interior patio with all the rooms spread around it, apart from the decoration and daily life. Breakfasts with fresh fruit are the best. Really, do not book a hotel, with so many rooms, you will surely find what you are looking for.

And girls, one last tip: do not even think about wearing heels, really, it is not worth it, you won't be able to walk anywhere in the city and you will break a leg.

View Raquel Ritz Travel in a larger map

No comments:

Post a Comment

Really welcome to share your thoughts! Any commercial comment will be deleted in less than 24 hours.