No Spanish-colonial town in Cuba is quite as beguiling as UNESCO-listed Trinidad.
No Spanish-colonial town in Cuba is quite as beguiling as UNESCO-listed Trinidad, whose pastel-hued, terra cottaâ€“roofed buildings lie in the verdant foothills of the Escambray Mountains. Cowboys from the surrounding countryside regularly roam on horseback through the cobblestone streets, past churches and well-preserved colonial mansions financed by the booming sugar cane industry (and slave trade) in the early to mid-1800s.
Beyond the neo-Baroque monuments fronting Plaza Mayor, Trinidadâ€™s beating heart, local residents dance to salsa and son cubano music into the early morning hours. The merrymaking reaches its peak during the annual Fiestas Sanjuaneras, a four-day celebration held around the last weekend of June: expect rodeos, traditional games, and an eye-popping parade of masked revelers and floats that nod to the Afro-Cuban roots of much of Trinidadâ€™s populace.
Where to Stay
The adults-only Iberostar Grand Hotel Trinidad (53-41/996-070; doubles from US$253) occupies a restored colonial building just a 10-minute walk â€¨from Plaza Mayor.
The daily antique steam train ride into the Agabama Valley, whose sugar mills â€¨and plantations were once the source of Trinidadâ€™s wealth.
This article originally appeared in the June/July 2018Â print issue of DestinAsian magazine (â€śCaribbean Charismaâ€ť).