Colonial Trinidad's centre is a UNESCO Heritage Site, and you are unlikely to leave without taking an inordinate number of photographs of this Instagram-friendly spot. The cobbled streets are busy, the houses are multi-coloured and the local people are fun, friendly and happy to exchange a word or two as you pass. The city comes alive at night with music being played in many bars and restaurants, and there is always something going on at Plaza Mayor. East of Trinidad is the picturesque Valle de los Ingenios (sugar mills), manor houses, slave watchtowers, slave quarters, and warehouses where Trinidad amassed its wealth in the 19th century.
Pretty Cienfuegos was settled by the French before Cuba became a Spanish colony. Tucked into a bay on the southern coast of the island, the city Benny Moré liked best is known for it's elegant architecture, feisty Caribbean spirit and French airs and. Well-deserving of its moniker, 'the Pearl of the South,' it is yet another Cuban UNESCO World Heritage Site, perfect for gentle wandering between stately 19th century mansions and the outrageous Art Deco palaces built by those with cash in the 1920s. The town id also an excellent starting off point for a day trip out to Castillo de Jagua with local fishermen, who will cook up the catch of the day for lunch.
The Santa Rosa Valley, just outside Trinidad, is home to beautiful horse riding trails and further inland the wooded Escambray Mountains are a beautiful area of rivers and waterfalls, ideal for hiking. Beach lovers are well catered for too, with white-sand stretches such as Playa Ancon a short distance outside the town. For those who prefer their sunbathing with an historical aspect, Playa Giron - the spot where the failed Bay of Pigs invasion began in 1961.