Undulating mountains, sun-dappled beaches and pretty, pastel-hued towns – the central colonial hub of Cuba really packs a punch.
The jewel in the crown of Cuba’s southern coast, Trinidad is a 16th century town with UNESCO preserved colonial architecture. Flanked by the Escambray Mountains to the north and the Península de Ancón to the south, Trinidad is a beguiling corner of Cuba with endless attraction. Venture through the Guanayara National Park, an hour from town, to marvel at waterfalls and cool off in the pools; or grab a bike and cycle to the southern beaches, stopping off at authentic coastal towns like laidback La Boca on the way.
West of Trinidad is the French-influenced Cienfuegos, another UNESCO World Heritage gem with Gallic roots and plenty of soul. When you’ve had your fill of the town’s 20th century palaces, make for the wild Topes de Collantes nature park or set sail on a catamaran from the marina. History buffs shouldn’t miss Santa Clara, where Cuban revolutionaries led by Che Guevara overthrew the Batista dictatorship in 1958; while Sancti Spíritus is where to get a glimpse of Cuban life without the throng of tourists – a must for off the beaten track Cuba adventure holidays.