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Central America Trinidad (Cuba)

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With a little bit of sadness I remember Trinidad ten years ago. Forgotten, yet beautiful small town. The only night attraction used to be the very local „casa de la múzica“ with plastic chairs and worn out tables. Here we came to listen the sounds of „trova“ while sharing a bottle of cheap rum with Cubans and the other very few foreign visitors. Bad news for tourist, good one for Cubans. Those times are over. Trinidad today is a very busy city with restaurants on every corner, bars and souvenir shops, all that thanks to a high demand. Each midday, buses come bringing hoards of tourists from the nearby beach hotels. Even thought, Trinidad is still a beautiful colonial city with colorful houses, patios full of palm trees and tall windows with fine fenders. The streets are narrow, rusty and full of cobblestones. Trinidad got rich in the 19th century from the trade of sugar cane and since 1989 it was declared by UNESCO a world heritage.
What here: In the convent San Francisco (the tallest building in the city...if I am not wrong) is a revolutionary exposition „Museo Nacional de la Lucha Contra Banditos“, that „politically correctly“ describes the fight against disturbers of the Cuban revolution. From the convent tower you can get a nice view of all Trinidad. Entrance fee 1 CUC. Two blocks away, passing the main square with palm trees, is wide stairway. Here each night life concerts are held and it can get really crowded. Should you wish to see something else than beautiful colonial houses walk about ten blocks away. Hidden behind the walls of the touristy zone lays poverty. The social and economical differences among Cubans that are working in tourism and those that are not are bigger each day.

Nice beach „Playa Ancón“ is situated about 8 km from Trinidad. There are few big hotel resorts as well as public beaches with shades (but no beds).

Other option is to visit the old "Hacienda Manaca Iznaga" in the sugar cane valley "La Valley del Ingenio" about 40 minutes from Trinidad on the way to Sancti Spíritus.

Where to stay: Trinidad center is filled with „casas particulares“ marked by a typical symbol of a blue anchor. There are many guys around willing to help you find just what you are looking for (for a small fee of-course). Usual price for a double is from 25 to 30 CUC. One of the places I would like to recommend is Casa Rintintín (3 rooms with own bathroom):
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There are few „casas particulares“ on the beach (in a small village La Boca) and various big hotel resorts on Ancón beach.

How to get here: Driving your car from Havana following the highway number 1 it will take you about 4 hours. A little more if you stop in Cienfuegos on your way. Viazul buses come twice daily and make a stop in Cienfuegos.