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We didn't get the opportunity yet to do this excursion, but our friend Karen generously give us her photos and day-trip report so we could built this section of the website.
INTRODUCTION : Trinidad is without any doubt the most beautiful and best maintained colonial city of Cuba, for its exceptional architecture and its historical centre classified since 1988 a "World Heritage Site by UNESCO". This excursion is, above all, for those who are passionate about history and architectural treasures, but also for those who want to see the Cubans, where they live, their lifestyle...
Cost: $57US/Adult, $46US/child
Program of the day:
- Departure from hotel at 07h30 AM
- The bus ride lasts approximately 3 hours. Distance CSM-Trindidad = 211 km. We passed by the city of Jamaguay and villages form the province of Sancti Spiritus.
- First stop in the valley of "Los Ingenios" (14 km before Trinidad) at La Torre Manacas-Iznaga where a welcome cocktail was served. This 45-meters tower is the symbol of the former glory of one of the most powerful families in the sugar aristocracy. The tower made it easier to keep a watchful eye on the slaves working in the sugar fields. There is a small market at the base of the tower, the saleswomen are a bit agressive there. The big bell which was once at the top of the tower, now lays at its base and near it there was a man selling cigars (probably fakes).
- We then continue towards Sancti Spiritus et passed by the Iglesia Mayor. Sancti Spiritus and surronding towns are, like Trinidad, charming colonial cities with bright colors, where the architecture was well preserved (wire nettings, colonial buildings, etc.). Everywhere the streets are paved with stones dating back to the 1820's.
- Our second stop: The house of Pottery where we could see the ceramists working and make a few purchases at very low prices.
- Third stop: TRINIDAD. We visited the Museo Romantico where we were able to admire an original furniture of the places of residence of the Cuban bourgeoisie of the XIX-th century. The inner courtyard is magnificent. Note: it's not allowed to take photos inside the museum.
- Visit of the Plaza Mayor where is erected the "Iglesia Parroquial Mayor de la Santissima Trinidad", the only cathedral of Cuba (and one of the rare in the world) to have no bell tower. This central place is lined by the best museums of the city.
- Quick stop at the tavern «La Canchanchara» where we could sample the specialty of the same name. This drink is made from rum, sugar cane juice, honey, lemon juice, water and ice. Delicious and strong!
- We then go for lunch to the restaurant "El Cubano" located in the montains of the Sierra Escambray. We traveled in the "Russian Limo" (old and sturdy army truck). Even if it was very pleasant, I (and other people too) would have prefer to skip this trip. I think it would have been better to have lunch in central Trinindad to be able to enjoy more free time to stroll around the charming streets and do a little shopping.
- After lunch we were back to Trinidad central place, but only for a short while.
- Return to hotel at 19H30.