11 Fun Facts About Trinidad, Cuba
1. In 1827, Trinidad established itself as the sugar capital of the country and one of the world’s most productive sugar producers. At this time, there were 56 sugar mills around the city and more than one million kilos of sugar cane were harvested in this banner year.
2. Trinidad prospered and soon the city flourished with investment. Plaza Mayor became the cultural, economic and political center of the region. The city’s squares housed some of the most impressive colonial mansions and churches on the island.
3. On the outskirts, large plantations with stately mansions and an ever-increasing slave population grew as the demand for sugar continued to mount. The Afro-Cuban influence in Trinidad was undeniable.
4. In the banner year of 1827, there were more than 11,000 slaves working in and around Trinidad. The slaves came from Africa’s west coast where Yoruba was the prevailing religion. The slaves were soon converted to Catholicism but they retained elements of their native religion in a new religion that came to be known as Santeria. The Rumba was a sexually oriented dance for courting that was practiced by the region’s slaves and soon spread to other points of Cuba.
5. Trinidad is surrounded by the Escambray Mountains to the north. The mountains once served as home bases for rebels but today are popular for nature lovers and hikers. To the south, tourists can follow a road to the white sands of the Caribbean.
6. Plaza Mayor is one of the most traditional surviving colonial squares in Cuba and in the world. It is lined with various light-colored buildings like Palacio Brunet, the mansion of sugar czar Sanchez Iznaga, La Parroquial Mayor church and the gallery of Casa Aldeman.
7. To the south of Plaza Mayor is the former residence of Cantero family, now popular as the Museo Historico Municipal. The structure was originally built in 1830 and was restored as part of Trinidad’s UNESCO World Heritage designation. The museum features Baccarat crystal, frescoed walls, marble statues and rich furnishings that typified the prosperity of the sugar barons of the 19th century.
8. Many People-to-People Cuba travelers enjoy cycling from Trinidad center to the idyllic fishing village of Trinitario where weekends at La Boca are parties waiting to happen. After the party, head a bit further south to the white sands of Ancon. Does your P2P tour include these popular stops. Contact Info@travelguidecuba.com.
9. Most People-to-People tours to Trinidad visit the sugar mill remnants in the UNESCO–protected Valley of the Sugar Mills, the Agabama Valley. The Hacienda Iznaga is located here. An intriguing destination, the famous tower where guards oversaw slave activity for the entire valley now offers a spectacular panoramic view of the valley and the old plantations. From this tower, visitors get a feel for the magnitude of the of the sugar empire in the region.
10. The remains of the San Isidro de los Destiladeros plantation are magically framed by boughs of a massive flame tree. The Agabama valley is known for its abundant supply of royal palms. As majestic as these plantations are, they cannot help but stir a host of eerie emotions.
11. A day in Trinidad must end with some local entertainment. Return to the Plaza Mayor and enjoy one of the new privately owned restaurants. Dance into the night or hire a professional instructor to teach you the salsa or any other popular Cuban dance. Chances are good that you will hear music whenever you are on the Plaza regardless of the time of day.
Travelguidecuba.com is not a licensed People-to-People tour provider but works closely with licensed providers to help interested travelers enjoy the magic of Cuba. Complete Cuba People-to-People tours are licensed (CT-2013-299822-1) by the United States Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control to engage, organize and conduct authorized people-to-people travel to Cuba that engages participants in meaningful interactions with individuals in Cuba. If you have any questions about travel in Cuba, contact Dave or Yordi at Info@travelguidecuba.com.