A RAINBOW AT YOUR FEET
As soon as the visitor arrives in Trinidad can feel the joy and soon he becomes contagious. Located on the southern coast of Cuba, in the province of Sancti Spíritus, this colorful city and its wonderful beaches transmit happiness to the visitor. The best way to feel the good vibes of Trinidad´s city, is from the heights!
Downtown Trinidad, emerging from its low houses, a tower rises visible from any point of the city. Shaped like a lantern, this yellow and white bell tower topped by a reddish dome has become one of the most iconic images of Trinidad. It is the bell tower of the former Convent of San Francisco de Asís, quite a symbol for the Trinitarians, just a few meters from the Plaza Mayor.
Today, this former convent is the National Museum Headquarter of the Fight against Bandits. For a symbolic entrance fee to the museum includes the ascent to the bell tower. Touring the museum is very interesting, but the views from its terrace and the tower are memorable, with the best panoramic view of Trinidad. Under our gaze, we will be able to see a rainbow made of multicolored houses making up the city. The views reach not only the town, but also the historic Sierras surrounding Trinidad in the distance.
Delighted with this spectacular view, we can visit the museum´s permanent exhibition about the fight against the counter-revolutionaries. Touring the collection of the National Museum is the best way to learn new facts about the history of Cuban independence.
This early 19th century building houses objects, such as clothing, photographs and vehicles, related to the war against the “Bandidos´´, the name given to the active militias between 1959 and 1965 against the revolution.
An iconic tower, a spectacular panoramic view, a large terrace, a sea of colors at our feet and a bit of Cuban history, all in one site visit! The museum and its tower is a worthwhile visit, isn´t it?
National Museum of the Fight Against Bandits (former Convent of San Francisco de Asís)
274 Cristo Street
THE CANCHÁNCHARA AND THE POT-BELLIED BOWL
In Trinidad, a delicious drink is produced whose formula is an open secret, but whose name is almost unpronounceable. All Trinitarians know their recipe and repeat it to visitors who learn it by heart. Mix two oz. of cane brandy, two tablespoons of honey, one tablespoon of lemon juice and ice. We already have the “Canchánchara”! It is easier to remember the formula than to pronounce its name.
The Canchánchara, strongly rooted in the city of Trinidad, was not born in bars or cantinas, but its origin is rather warlike. During the 19th century, the wars of independence against Spanish colonialism took place in Cuba. The so-called Mambises, Cuban pro-independence guerrillas, fought for the freedom of their country while trying to survive in the harsh living conditions of the Manigua, a region very swampy, humid and covered with rough undergrowth. They needed a drink to provide them with energy, protection against respiratory diseases and also strengthen their immune system.
The Mambises created an infusion by mixing brandy, honey and any citrus fruit. The guerrillas drank this invigorating drink hot, boosting their vigor and health. At the same time helping them to overcome the loneliness and the hardships of war. Thus the Canchánchara was born.
Thanks to the oral tradition of the island, the drink became popular and over time its recipe was improved. The current Canchánchara is served cold, as it is softer and more refreshing with ice. Trinidad is one of the most popular places to try this drink. There is even a specialized tavern to enjoy this fresh and famous beverage. A must-see for visitors!
It is an old mansion located downtown, named after the drink. In "La Canchánchara" you will be able to taste its original recipe, unique in the island, while enjoying live music. It is poured in a humble pot-bellied bowl, made of clay. The container has become a city simbol. I wonder how many pot-bellied bowls never return to La Canchánchara after being used!
All visitors come to Trinidad asking for La Canchánchara, eager to try this drink in a pot-bellied bowl, trying to pronounce its name in a thousand different ways and getting harder after having drunk several ones.
La Canchánchara Tavern
90 Calle Real del Jigüe
Trinidad 62600, Cuba
WHAT A WONDERFUL EMBROIDERY!
The Villa de la Santísima Trinidad was the third city in Cuba, founded by the Spanish colonists upon their arrival in the early 16th century. Trinidad has been able to preserve its architectural heritage over time, so this wonderful town is today a National Monument and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Trinidad does not only hold these architectural accolades made of stone and metal. Trinidad´s heritage is much more than its well-preserved architecture. The Villa has another treasure, like jewels covering the city, made by the hands, the tradition and skills of the Trinitarians. The artisans of one of the most beautiful and important handicrafts in the world. All together making Trinidad a Craft and Creative City of the World since 2018.
The World Crafts Council, affiliated with UNESCO, preserves and promotes handicrafts worldwide. This association created an international network of Craft Cities to strengthen the links between artisan communities, innovate new techniques and promote creative tourism. Only thirty cities in the world bear this title, and one of them is Trinidad, a status deserved for its craftsmanship in baskets, ceramics, embroidery and unraveling.
When visitors walk through Trinidad, they discover a wide range of handcrafted jewelry displayed in marketplaces, above them embroidery stands out. This art is the most developed in the city and has its origins in the Spanish background. For centuries the embroidery technique has been passed down through the different generations of women in the region, thus preserving its ancestral secrets intact.
Visitors are mesmerized by the marvelous art of embroidery, acquiring pieces of household linen or clothing, always made with excellent needlework techniques such as crochet, unraveling, bobbin lace or the original design of the colonial grilles, drawn with needle stitches.
In addition to these textile treasures, in Trinidad you can see other handicrafts such as pottery, basketry, ceramics and painting. Thanks to these crafts, the popular culture of Trinidad floods the streets of the town with beauty. Blessed Trinitarian hands wrapping the city with their magic!
THE BEAT OF TRINIDAD!
Cuba also has an intangible and ever-present heritage. Music is present in every corner of the island, and it finds in the city of Trinidad a good stage. The house of the music is a large colonial mansion. A large mansion from where millions of chords dance in the air every day, making everyone vibrate. Welcome to the Casa de la Música!
In 1996 the Trinidad Music House was inaugurated in an elegant 1700´s mansion. La Casona is a restored building located on top of a hill. It has a magnificent staircase to the Plaza Mayor. The purpose of creating this music center was to promote, disseminate and record Cuban music and eventually launch it to the market.
Inside there is a record store owned by the producer and owner of the business, a store of Cuban musical instruments and an exhibition of the most important Trinidadian musicians. La Casona has a huge patio with rooms to listen to music and celebrate different events, such as weddings or birthdays. Among its facilities we will also find a restaurant specialized in high quality Creole food.
The most distinctive part of the Casa de la Música is the staircase, a perfect place to photograph and to be photographed. At the top of the stairs there is a terrace with spectacular views of the Ancon Peninsula, the south coast of the island and the Trinitarian Villa. A delight for the senses!
Both day and night there is a great mood, many people sit along the steps to have a drink while enjoying the great atmosphere created by the music. It is already an emblem of Trinidad and a meeting point for Trinitarians and visitors. By the way, it is also an excellent place to find a good wifi connection.
To complete this extraordinary and vibrant atmosphere, a stage with live music and dancing floor is located in the upper part of the staircase. You can dance Cuban rhythms on a daily basis until 2:00 a.m.
Music is always present along the stairs, and even though the musical notes don´t come out in the photos, you can still feel them!
Casa de la Música
Calle Cristo s/n
Trinidad 62600, Cuba
MANSION TO CONSPIRE!
In the heart of downtown Trinidad, there is a small family house that goes unnoticed, but when you find out its history, the imagination runs free. Its walls witnessed an important episode in the town´ s past. History is still throbbing inside the house, sewn to its walls like Trinitarian embroidery.
Built in the early 18th century, this mansion is today a symbol of the city. It was the meeting point for the Trinitarian leaders of the so-called Conspiracy of the Cuban Rose Mine, in the year 1848. This is where the members of a movement whose purpose was to separate Cuba from Spain met and hatched their plans when the abolition of slavery was decreed, yielding to British pressure. Among the insurrectionist plans of this group was the annexation of Cuba to the North American Union. The conspiracy was neutralized after the Spanish government was warned of the plans and the uprising was eventually prevented.
Today, this large house located at the foot of the steps of the Casa de la Música is a tourist attraction for several reasons. Besides being a witness to the conspiracy, the building has an enchanting beauty. The wooden corner balcony covered by a canopy gives the house a great attraction and highlighted by the warm ochre color of the facade.
Today, the mansion houses a restaurant to delight the visitor, not only for the good gastronomy, but also for its pleasant atmosphere. You can lunch on its iconic balcony, while listening to the musical notes coming from the famous staircase. On the first floor, in addition to the dining room, there is a small art gallery where you can purchase small art pieces as souvenirs.
The cuisine has a very good reputation, as well as its drinks. The coffee latte is among the most popular beverages in town!
Do not miss a visit to this emblematic Trinitarian site, its walls have witnessed many secrets still kept. Located near the Plaza Mayor, the Casa de los Conspiradores awaits you with a coffee latte from its intriguing balcony...
Casa de los Conspiradores
32-38 Cristo Street
Trinidad 62600, Cuba
South of the town of Trinidad, a peninsula in the shape of a land tongue juts into the Caribbean Sea with some of the most sensational beaches on the southern coast of Cuba. It is the Ancon Peninsula, a projection of the island where the currents of Caribbean waters have been forming a spectacular sandy area of 4 kilometers long. Welcome to Ancon Beach!
Crystal clear and calm waters bathe this beach, its white sands invite you to rest and disconnect on sun loungers, with relaxing baths in the Caribbean. Along Ancon Beach we can find many bars and restaurants whose prices are affordable despite being in front of the sea.
Playa Ancon hides other great charms that are not visible to the naked eye. The sandy area has two spectacular underwater treasures! We challenge you to discover them. Throughout the peninsula you will find more than twenty dive sites where excellent professionals will help you find these treasures thanks to the practice of different aquatic activities such as snorkeling or scuba diving. Do you dare?
The first hidden treasure off the coast of Playa Ancon is a magnificent barrier reef, a platform populated by corals that can reach up to 5 meters in height, an unforgettable view. Here coexist more than 40 different species of corals, among them the precious black coral. The marine fauna of the area is complemented by a whole world of colorful tropical fish and marine sponges. Tunnels, caves and narrow channels complete this natural marine paradise.
The second treasure guarded by these waters is part of Cuba´s history. As if it were just another museum in the town of Trinidad, there is a complete underwater collection of ships, galleons and schooners sunk at the bottom of the sea after pirate and corsair assaults. It is spectacular!
Having accepted the challenge of exploring the seabed of Trinidad´s coastline, at Ancon Beach you will be able to practice sport while enjoying its beautiful corals, discovering its rugged underwater reliefs and pirate ships. If you have not yet started diving, there is no better way!
THE WHOLE TRINITARIAN HISTORY IN A PALACE.
To visit the municipal museum of Trinidad is a way to learn about history in a truthful, pleasant and comfortable way. It is like doing an intensive master´s degree about the city, its people and the region. After the visit, we understand many aspects and circumstances of the present. Trinidad has a wonderful historical museum, a recommended visit to better understand this wonderful town. The building also holds a dark story from the past!
The Municipal History Museum is located in the Palacio Cantero, a testimony to the cosmopolitan style of the early 19th century. This neoclassical mansion was built by one of the great sugar producers of the region, Mariano Borrell y Padrón. After his death in 1830, his heirs sold it to a German doctor named Kanter (Cantero), who amassed a fortune in Cuba under very suspicious circumstances.
A wealthy slave trader died of poisoning (very timely death) and the German doctor married his rich widow, who also died prematurely (even more timely). Once a widower and the owner of a large fortune, Cantero was able to buy extensive sugar cane farms, as well as the palace of the Borrell family, which became known as the Palacio Cantero. Today, the mansion still bears the German´s surname, as well as many of the riches displayed inside.
The Palacio Cantero has housed Trinidad ´s Municipal History Museum since 1980. Inside, we are welcomed by a majestic lobby with magnificent arches decorated with paintings and an elegant Italian marble floor.
Visiting its rooms decorated in neoclassical style is a journey through the history of the town, from its founding by Spanish settlers to the present, through the harsh slave trade, the initial splendor of the sugar industry and its subsequent crisis or the independence struggles. This entire Trinitarian biography is shown through documents, objects related to piracy and slavery, and works of art.
Divided into four rooms, the museum, with a nineteenth-century atmosphere, develops the history of Trinidad thanks to the protection of the town against pirates and all the secrets of its sugar industry. Be sure to climb its tower, from which you will enjoy a great view of the old town, a nice climax.
Municipal History Museum (Palacio Cantero)
423 Desengaño Street
Trinidad 62600, Cuba
A WALK IN PASTEL TONES.
The Villa de Trinidad has successfully preserved its centuries-old heritage. Recognized by UNESCO in 1988 when the Historic Center of Trinidad was included in the World Heritage List. Let´s walk through the most significant sites of the old town with more than 500 years of preserved beauty.
Known as "the museum city", the central area of Trinidad is made up of cobblestone streets converging on the quiet Plaza Mayor, a space full of light and peacefulness around which the main architectural jewels of Trinidad lie. This esplanade offers an unforgettable walk through the treasures in a setting of pastel tones.
From the Plaza Mayor is well worth a short walk among its parterre to find out the inside and feel the tranquility. Its gardens, white benches and palm trees spread peace of mind. We begin our short route by visiting the Church of the Holy Trinity, the large parish church overlooking the Plaza Mayor. It stands out for its exceptional size, one of the largest churches in Cuba and also for its well preserved and beautiful colonial architecture. Its spectacular amplitude is in contrast with the white austerity of its interior, except a superb carved wooden altar.
To the left of the church is the magnificent Brunet Palace, home of the Romantic Museum. This porticoed gallery mansion houses an extensive collection of objects belonging to the wealthiest families of the region. Built in 1812 by a wealthy family who owned a large sugar production, inside it highlights its romantic style rooms and adorning the kitchen spectacular painted clay tiles.
On the opposite side of the Plaza Mayor is the Palacio Ortiz. This modest yellow building houses the Benito Ortiz Art Gallery, with extraordinary embroidery, ceramics and Trinitarian jewelry. To finish the tour of the Plaza Mayor, to the left of the Palacio Ortiz there is a light blue building with plenty of history, the Museum of Colonial Architecture!
After this short tour, we encourage you to continue exploring the cobblestone streets crossing the Plaza Mayor, between colonial houses and without much traffic. A great walk with no fixed direction!
Trinidad Main Square
Trinidad 62600, Cuba
Church of the Holy Trinity
Calle Cristo s/n
Trinidad 62600, Cuba
Romantic Museum (Brunet Palace)
Calle Cristo s/n
Trinidad 62600, Cuba
Benito Ortiz Art Gallery (Ortiz Palace)
43 Real del Jigüe Street
Trinidad 62600, Cuba
Museum of Colonial Architecture
83 Ripalda Street
Trinidad 62600, Cuba
THE FRESHNESS OF CÉSPEDES PARK
Let´s enjoy a break in the southern part of the city, overthere we find the Céspedes Park where we can sit on one of its many benches under a longed-for shade, a well-deserved moment of relaxation.
This square was the first popular social space created in Trinidad to develop the cultural, economic and social life of the town. It was founded in the most modern area of Trinidad in 1818 under the name of Plaza del Mercado (Market Square), located in the esplanade next to the Church of San Francisco de Paula. A few years later, the square changed its trade use to become Trinidad´s first social space, called then Carrillo Square in honor of the Governor and project promoter, Pedro Carrillo. The new Plaza Carrillo became the right nerve center for the active life of Trinidad.
The arrival of the 20th century brought important transformations to the square, such as changes in the ground, fences, gardens, and new name! Because the square had a bust of the relevant pro-independence leader Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, it was renamed Céspedes Park, lasting until nowadays. Although some people still call it Plaza Carrillo. Sometimes it is difficult to change a deep-rooted habit.
Céspedes Park is located close to the Plaza Mayor, surrounded by important leisure and cultural buildings, such as prestigious restaurants, palaces and the City Hall. The real charm of the park is to be a first-hand observer of Trinidad Villa life.
The square is a meeting point for Trinitarians. The adults sit on the benches chatting about their affairs while the children play and run around. In the evening, it is the place chosen by young people to meet, talk and laugh. Better still, it is one of the best points to get wifi connection. All in a quiet and very safe environment, whatever the time of day.
In its central area is a large pergola covered with vegetation, providing shade and surrounded by a very natural beauty. It is a quiet, fresh and safe place. Perfect to take a break in our visit and witness the Trinitarian daily life.
Céspedes Park / Carrillo Square
Jesús María Street s/n
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