Valley of the Sugar Mills Landscapes, Trinidad. Cuba
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- Valley of the Sugar Mills, Trinidad. Cuba
- Destination: Trinidad
- Open: Daily
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Located near the legendary city of Trinidad, with its 277 square kilometres of land, is this wonderful work of nature in the mountain massif of the Escambray, in the province of Sancti Spiritus. The UNESCO named the Valley as a Heritage of Humanity in 1988. In it are located a total of 77 archaeological sites of what was the birth of the Cuban sugar industry during the Spanish colonization. There are eleven farmsteads, some of them totally reconstructed, others are considered ruins, three constructive remains of sugar mills, machinery and other useful factory tools, as well as a settlement where slaves lived. Warehouses and two bell towers complete the vernacular architecture in the three rural settlements.
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Valley of the Sugar Mills is located in Trinidad
As if it were stagnant in time, Trinidad gives the visitor the extraordinary charms of a vivacious museum-city embedded between the sea and the mountain. Trinidad comprises an area of 1 165Km2 and it is located to the center-south of Cuba, facing the Caribbean Sea, in the mountainous skirts of Guamuahaya or Escambray Mountains, belonging to the province of Sancti Spíritus. You can get there by roads that connect it with the rest of the country, and it has an airport for small and medium size airplanes.
Proclaimed World Heritage by UNESCO in 1988, the old Villa de la Santísima Trinidad founded in the 16th century shows togeher with its multiple architectural values, a wealth of traditions and cultures where Hispanic and African traits are combined. A culture of craftsmanship and ceramics has been transmitted notably from generation to generation. In this area the gentle atmosphere of small cities reigns, where the creative capacity and their residents' wisdom have contributed to preserve from the past their most important values.
Together with historical and cultural values of the territory, the attractiveness of the mountainous Escambray area, its beaches and the beauties of its sea bottoms, as well as its people's hospitality, are the particular features of this city. Trinidad is one of those cities that invites you to travel all around them. Its museums, squares and stone-paved streets make it possible to go back in time. Once in the territory you are invited to know the symbolic Manaca- Iznaga Tower, from where you can see the Valley of the Sugar Mills; Ancón and María Aguilar beaches, Caburní Waterfall, the Cave of the Skulls and Zaza Lake, host of periodic trout fishing tournaments. To visit its nearby keys among which Key Blanco of Casilda stands out are of great interest for those who are keen in the art of deep diving.
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This valley is literally a natural museum because it harbors the ruins of 12 sugar-mills from the 19th century. Visitors can see the bell towers, mills, barracks and instruments used for work and for torturing the slaves, amid aging trees and winding paths. At the San Luis Valley, renamed the Valley of Sugar-Mills, one can see vestiges of aboriginal culture, colonial architecture and sites were important battles were fought during the 19th century Wars for Independence, which marked the fall of this sugar emporium. During the first half of the19th century, greatly favored cities such as Trinidad were exporting up to one million arrobas (approximately 12 kilos) of sugarcane. UNESCO has declared it a World Heritage Site.
Valley of the Sugar Mills
The verdant Valley of the Sugar Mills is one of the main visitor draws outside Trinidad, with its remains of 60 mills, all supported in colonial times by the slave trade. The valley is now UNESCO listed, with a vintage American steam train (if its engine is working, otherwise it is by bus), bringing tourists from Trinidad to the Manaca-Iznaga sugar estate. The estate's manor house is now a restaurant, but it is easy to imagine the contrast between the lifestyles of the fabulously wealthy Iznaga family and their slaves. Close by is the Mirador de La Loma del Puerto, which offers an elevated lookout, high above the valley. The attractions of the Valle de Los Ingenios lie just 10 km / 6 miles to the east and are therefore perfect for a day trip.
“Return to San Isidro was disappointing ”
We had such feeling for San Isidro that we decided to revisit this October. Much to our dismay the lookout tower has been totally refinished, loosing all of its original character. The main manse, now has a roof being built over it which definitely takes away from the impact that we felt earlier. The outer walls are being sandblasted changing... More
“Amazing view ”
Make sure to stop and climb the tower. There is a lot of stalls here and some of the sellers track you down. This is the only place I actually bumped in to some really rude Cubans. BUT, the view is worth it, just stay away from people putting bracelets on your wrist or create animals of straw for "free".
“Really interesting ”
We went with an excellent guide (Francis - organised by our casa owner), who as a political journalist, had information and insights into Cuba, past and present. This should rank as one of the stops on the holocaust tour of the world - the amount of human misery and death caused by the intricately intertwined slavery and sugarcane industries is... More
Went here as pitstop on the way to Santa Clara from Trinidad. The driver almost tricked us as he didn't want to stop telling us this wasn't the place but we got out anyway. Only went to the tower but the panoramic views were spectacular.
If you have a good guide who explains everything to you it is a great trip. Personally I loved it and found the history of the slaves on the sugar plantation really interesting. I enjoyed seeing where and how they lived.
“Excellent pictures place ”
On the way to Trinidad you will have to stop and see El Valle de los Ingenios, you will get magnificent pictures of what once was one of the richest places in Cuba. It is a valley planted with sugar cane and other plants and trees, there is a rail road and a train which you can take and do... More
“Horse riding ”
Take the opportunity to ride a horse in this area of outstanding beauty. You will not be disappointed.
“pretty valley ”
went there by motorbike. This made us free to go/ drive wherever we liked to go. Its history is very interesting to know about.
“Wonderful place to buy hand made table clothes ”
We had a really interesting time at Valle de los Ingenios, climbing the tower, watching the pig roast and turning the sugar cane crusher. But best of all was all the linen on sale with the ladies touting their wares. I bought some great hand made (they told me it was all hand made...) table clothes, clothes table runners. All... More
“Gorgeous View!! ”
We visited this as part of a guided tour of Trinidad. It's a bit of a hike up the steps for us old 'uns, but WHAT a beautiful view, once you get up there.....well worth the effort !!
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