If you’ve never been to a country before it can be quite common to associate that country with it’s best-known city. But while it’s a logical thing to do, it’s not entirely accurate. Paris is not all of France. Sydney is not all of Australia. Tokyo is not all of Japan. Havana is not all of Cuba. While these cities would give you an overview of the cultural identity of the entire country, there are many other cities, towns, and regions that play a significant role.

This is why you should expand your travel plans beyond the best-known city in a particular destination. Chances are that you will get to know that major city on your trip for reasons that are both fun and practical. You would actually want to see that city, and also it’s probably where your plane is going to land.

Some people might find that they prefer visiting Trinidad Cuba when they compare it to Havana. It has a distinctive identity while still being undeniably Cuban. It’s less hectic than the capital while still being lively. And it’s also stunning to look at. You will wander around in sensory overload and there are countless reasons why you’ll love visiting the town. But so this article doesn’t take nine hours to read, we have chosen the six best reasons why you’re going to fall in love with Trinidad.

1. Dancing Under the Stars

There’s the joke that whatever day job people in Hollywood might have, whether they work as a waiter, retail assistant, or beautician, they all think of themselves as an aspiring actor, screenwriter, or movie director. You could be forgiven for thinking that something similar is happening when visiting Trinidad Cuba. Are these residents all dancers and musicians with some kind of other day job? This can be a way to explain the level of talent on display each evening at the Casa de la Musica in the centre of Trinidad. It’s largely an open air venue located off Trinidad’s main square.

The town is not so large, so you won’t have trouble finding it. The level of skill is really quite surprising, amongst the locals, anyway. They dance with amazing agility and style, alongside visitors who… well… don’t. But please, join in anyway. You would regret visiting Trinidad Cuba and not dancing under the stars.

2. A Beautiful Vantage Point When Visiting Trinidad Cuba

Trinidad is not a large place, so you will be able to see the Museo Histórico Municipal (located at Simón Bolívar 423) from practically all over town. While there is much to admire from simply looking at the handsome tower that juts up from the Museo, you should take the time to actually climb the tower when visiting Trinidad Cuba. For a small fee you can climb to the top to take in the view from this particularly lovely vantage point. There is also the actual museum itself, which takes in the town’s history (including the fact that Trinidad’s wealth once came from slave-produced sugar).

But the true attraction is the view from the tower, allowing you to see almost the entirety of the town and the nearby valleys. You can even be able to see the ocean. And speaking of the ocean…

3. Endless White Sand

OK, so maybe the white sands of Playa Ancón are not quite endless, but are close enough for your purposes. There’s no shortage of beaches and beach resorts on the island, but when visiting Trinidad Cuba you will be able to experience what is the firm favourite of a great number of tourists. A lot of the appeal is from the fact that the beach is just a short distance from the historical beauty of Trinidad itself, and the town is just 12 kilometres to the north. If you can handle the heat, you have the option of renting a bike and making your own way to the shore, but there are plenty of public transport options.

The beach has a few all-inclusive luxury resorts allowing you to stay in relative opulence, but most of the beach is open access, with plenty of kiosks and roving salesmen selling cold drinks, so you don’t even need to get up from your towel to enjoy a truly relaxing and indulgent day on the beach.

4. Valley of the Sugar Mills

Also a short distance from the town is where all that sugar production took place. Again, there are many public transport options to get to the Valley of the Sugar Mills, but the short train journey is the most fun (and convenient). The sugar plantations are long gone, and all that remain are the numerous sugar mills which are now in various states of ruin.

The area has an odd beauty when you take into account the loveliness of the valleys in conjunction with the dark history of the area. You should get here early since you will need to allow at least a day to wander around these valleys.

5. Hike the Escambray Mountains

The valleys surrounding the town are bordered by the Escambray Mountains, and it’s worthwhile exploring these slopes. Don’t attempt to do so by yourself, and it’s important to take a guided tour so you don’t get so far off the beaten path that you get lost. There are a number of tours that will take you through the Topes de Collantes park, one of the most  picturesque areas of the mountains.

6. Watch the World Go By

When visiting Trinidad Cuba you will notice that it’s a city in name only. It lacks the hustle and bustle of Havana or Santiago de Cuba, and this is part of its appeal. About the closest thing to a downtown is the area on and around the street known as Antonio Maceo. Along with Trinidad’s main square, this “downtown” is an ideal spot to park yourself and just watch the world go by…  albeit at a refreshingly relaxed pace.

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