A bird’s eye view of Trinidad, Cuba, from the top of the tower in the Historical Museum (a former convent), looking south to the Caribbean Sea, about 7 miles (12 kilometers) away
On our second day in Cienfuegos, we traveled by van for a little more than an hour hour to the province of Sancti Spíritus to see the well-preserved Spanish colonial outpost town of Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1988. Located about 7 miles (12 kilometers) north of the southern Cuba coast, Trinidad is known for its colonial old town and cobblestone streets. Aside from the occasional car, it looks as it did in the late 18th and 19th centuries when wealthy sugar merchants built their mansions. Trinidad’s neo-baroque main square, Plaza Mayor, is surrounded by grand colonial buildings. The town was founded early in Cuba’s Spanish settlement era, on December 23, 1514. The well known Spanish explorer who led an expedition that caused the fall of the Aztec Empire in Mexico, Hermán Cortés, recruited heavily in Trinidad for his 1518 expedition. Regarding the contemporary economy, Wikipedia notes: “Nowadays, Trinidad’s main industry is tobacco processing. The older parts of town are well preserved, as the Cuban tourism industry sees benefit from tour groups. In contrast, some parts of town outside the tourist areas are very run down and in disrepair, especially in the centre. Tourism from Western nations is major source of income in the city.”
Plaza Mayor, the central square in Trinidad, Cuba, is surrounded by grand colonial buildings and cobblestone streets
We spent the morning exploring the casco histórico (historic district), walking along the cobblestone streets surrounding Plaza Mayor. Our lunch was at the popular paladar (privately owned restaurant) Casa de los Conspiradores, just off Plaza Mayor. Afterward, we enjoyed a private performance featuring Afro-Cuban music and dance at Casa de la Música.
Down the street from Plaza Mayor is Convento de San Francisco de Asis, Trinidad, Cuba
A local paladar, a family-owned restaurant, Trinidad, Cuba
Water delivery to the paladar (restaurant), Trinidad, Cuba; for western visitors, bottled water is the best bet
A typical cobblestone street in Trinidad, Cuba
A rare sighting of an American 1950s “classic car” in Trinidad, Cuba; note that the majority of the restored cars in Cuba are to be found in Havana
A view of the street from inside the Historical Museum, Trinidad, Cuba
A cobblestone residential street in Trinidad, Cuba
A nicely restored colonial era building in Trinidad, Cuba
A local resident walking home with his fresh loaf of bread, Trinidad, Cuba
One of the well-restored colonial era buildings adjacent to Plaza Mayor in central Trinidad, Cuba
Typical tourist ware in a street stall in Trinidad, Cuba
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