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tips for experiencing the life and culture of this unique island nation  


Trinidad, Cuba

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In the early sixteenth century, Spanish conquistador Diego Velazquez founded seven colonial settlements, known as villas. Trinidad Cuba was the fourth of Velazquez’s villas. Others, such as Santiago de Cuba and Havana, have become larger and more important Cuban cities, but Trinidad Cuba remains by far the best-preserved colonial town on the island, and one of the finest in all of the Americas.

Founded in 1513 as a center for gold mining and farming, Trinidad Cuba reached its peak as a hub for tobacco and sugar production in the early 1800s. After the Cuban sugar trade collapsed in the mid-1800s, Trinidad underwent a long period of decline. Thankfully, this economic stagnation meant that the town avoided development that may have destroyed the colonial town center. By the 1950s, the older parts of Trinidad were recognized as a major historic artifact and efforts were made for their preservation and maintenance. Trinidad became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1988. Today, thousands of people take a Trinidad Cuba vacation every year. They come for the history, but they stay for Trinidad beach life, and an intimate small-town atmosphere.

Trinidad is in central Cuba, about four hours by car or bus from Havana and about eight hours from Santiago de Cuba. There are also regular flights from Havana and Varadero. There are few hotels to choose from on a Trinidad Cuba vacation, but the city has a great selection of casas particulares, a kind of Cuban bed and breakfast lodging option.

The historic center of Trinidad is the Plaza Mayor. Many small museums and historic buildings dot the square and surrounding area. Main tourist sites include the Museo Romantico and Museo Historico, restored early nineteenth century houses; the Museum of Colonial Architecture; the Parroquial Mayor church; and the Museo Nacional de la Lucha contra Bandidos, with its famous bell tower.

Trinidad is not just famous for its colonial town center. Playa Ancon, the main Trinidad beach, is justly recognized as one of Cuba’s best beaches. Three excellent hotels dot the Trinidad beach: Costasur, Hotel Trinidad del Mer, and Hotel Ancon. This beautiful Trinidad beach is about twenty minutes from the main town.

A Trinidad Cuba vacation is an ideal way to see the Caribbean country. The old town should appeal to history buffs; the small intimate town gives a unique glimpse at authentic Cuban life; and Trinidad beach is a great place for relaxing under the warm island sun.

OVERVIEW for your visit to Cuba:

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