The gorgeous crumbling colonial heritage sites are one of the main reasons so many tourists head to Cuba every year. With one of the world’s best collections of colonial architecture to explore, Cuba’s colonial trail is a treasure trove of delights for history enthusiasts. Here’s a few tips for exploring Cuba’s colonial heritage for yourself so that you can really make the most of it and see all of the best bits:
Start in Havana
Crumbling old Havana is the capital of Cuba and its central hub. Founded in 1519, there’s an amazing array of colonial architecture to marvel at from the famous El Morro Castle to the Museo Del Ron. The El Morro Castle was built to protect the bay of Havana from attack and to this day the marching guards continue to set off the cannons there every morning at 9am. Despite the crowds, Havana is one of the best places to spot colonial buildings so be prepared to get up early and to wander off the beaten track to stumble upon hidden gems with colonial homes dotted around the town.
Head to Central Cuba
Once you’ve exhausted the streets of Havana and enjoyed one too many Mojitos in the cosy Cabana bars, you’ll be ready to head to central Cuba to continue the colonial heritage trail. The city of Trinidad is the perfect place to begin thanks to its UNESCO World Heritage Status. Having completely escaped any modern development from tourism, it remains both charming and rustic with gigantic colonial mansions lining the streets. You’ll be sure to feel like you’ve been transported back in time and remember to watch out for the horse and carts as they transport people through the streets.
The next and final stop is eastern Cuba where the early colonial cities of Santiago de Cuba and Camaguey reside. Here you’ll find huge elegant homes that once belonged to the first governor of Cuba and an amazing 17th century castle built to prevent anyone from attempting to attack the city. You can visit Eastern Cuba to experience it all for yourself finding out about the unique history of Cuba’s oldest Colonial settlements.
With so much colonial architecture to explore you’ll be spoilt for choice when you head to Cuba, the hardest part of your trip will be deciding which areas to explore first.