Tobacco, Sugar and Tourism

A city once dominated by sugar plantations, Trinidad has turned to tourism to keep the city alive. The architecture echoes the Spanish colonial period and the peak of Trinidad’s prosperity. The cobblestone roads mark the original city lines as the main urban center of the city is surrounded by abandoned sugar plantations and a few working tobacco fields.

While I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Havana, I highly recommend traveling outside of the capital to experience more of what Cuba has to offer. Trinidad is a small town on the southern coast. One of a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Cuba, the city was founded in 1514 by the Spanish. Visitors can walk the entire city in the day while experiencing a city frozen in time.

Nearby, visitors can take a day trip to Valle de los Ingenios, or Valley of the Mills. The valley was once home to a number of sugar plantations during the peak exportation years. Now, the area is mainly an attraction for tourists. Cubans turned the oldest plantation house into a restaurant that serves authentic Cuban cuisine.

Make sure to stop by the pottery shop, Casa Chichi, on the outskirts of Trinidad. The Santander family has worked as potters for over six generations as the craft is passed down from generation to generation. After trying the wheel out for myself, I can say it is not as easy as they make it look.

The colorful city of Trinidad comes alive at night, with live music and dancing around the city. About four hours from Havana, Trinidad is a must see when visiting Cuba.