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Trinidad, Cuba: Maximize Your Vacation

Trinidad, Cuba was built on the back of the 19th century sugar and slave trade. The enormous, conspicuous wealth that it gained over the years shaped the town. The vainglory of the era can be seen in every Spanish colonial mansion, church, plaza and cobblestoned street, which stands as a testament to thousands of lives that were mistreated in a way no human being should ever endure.

Nightlife

Photo credit: James Emery/Flickr

Photo credit: James Emery/Flickr

Those cobblestone streets venture out into the Escambray Mountains north of the town; to the south, the road leads straight to the sun loungers lined up on the luscious white sands of the Caribbean.

New private restaurants can be found all around the town, fueling the nightlife with their wild partying through to the early hours.

Afro-Cuban moves, disco and salsa beats booming out of clubs compete in hauling people in.

You can also learn to dance salsa, the soundtrack to much of Cuban life and the most sensual energetic dance you’ll ever witness.

Culture

Plaza Mayor is the town’s pivot, around which sit the 1892 La Parroquial Mayor church, the Palacio Brunet (Museo Romántico), Sanchez Iznaga mansion (Museo de Arquitectura) and the frescoed gallery of Casa Aldemán Ortíz.

Just south is the former 1830 Cantero sugar palace (Museo Histórico Municipal), whose interiors are embellished with Baccarat crystal,marble statues, frescoed walls, handsome furniture embedded with delicate mother-of-pearl imagery, ostentatious Sèvres vases, English porcelain canteens and embroidered lace.

The iconic bell tower of the old San Francisco Convent (Museo Nacional de la Lucha Contra Bandidos) dominates the town.

The Countryside

Photo credit: Mark Rowland/Flickr

Photo credit: Mark Rowland/Flickr

While in the Agabama valley, soak up the sun, the palms and antique relics which reveal the wealth of the region, before settling down to some hard work crushing sugar cane on a working press.

After refreshing guarapo (sugar cane juice) plus a squirt of lemon to neutralise the super-sweet taste, dig into a full hog roast lunch. If you love pork scratchings (chicharrones), this is your idea of heaven.

Ancón Beach

Photo credit: David Grant/Flickr

Photo credit: David Grant/Flickr

The white sands of Ancón are a sight to see and feel. If you consider yourself to be a active person, cycle from Trinidad to the fishing village and popular Trinitario weekend party spot of La Boca before swinging south to the beach.