Steeped in history, the captivating old colonial city of Trinidad is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and with its cobbled streets – complete with cannons that stick out from between the cobbles – and its colourful, characterful buildings it’s easy to see why. The Plaza Mayor in the city centre (above) is wonderfully preserved and is home to the lovely Iglesia Parroquial de la Santisima Trinidad, an art gallery and a number of museums, one of which, the interesting Museo de Arqueologia Guamuhaya, once welcomed the German naturalist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt. The curious museum is devoted to local archaeology and its exhibitions take visitors on a journey from prehistoric times to the 20th century.
Away from the main square, a handicrafts market snakes its way through the maze of narrow streets and it’s well-worth a browse, especially for pretty tablecloths and exquisite wooden carvings. For spectacular views over the city, climb the bell tower at the Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco, then for a spot of revolutionary history, visit the Museo de la Lucha contra Bandidos on its ground floor. The museum is dedicated to the revolution and features a poignant gallery that includes a photograph of every revolutionary who died during the conflict.
Nearby is Canchánchara, a bar famous for its namesake cocktail (above) – a blend of white rum and honey, heated with lime juice. Served in small terracotta bowls, it’s delicious and as I start to sip my drink the band strikes up and I spend an enjoyable afternoon sipping cocktails while listening to the irresistible live music. Dinner is a fantastic affair at the Taberna el Barracon. The food is exceptional and I enjoy a tasty salad with pickled cucumber, tomato, green beans and cabbage, followed by a magnificent plate of lobster, shrimp and fish cooked in the chef’s special sauce and served with plantain chips.
As night descends, the fun continues at the Casa de la Musica. Situated on a series of stone steps beside the Plaza Mayor, the Casa de la Musica is the place where Trinidadians gather each evening to listen to live music and dance. The outdoor event takes place every night, even in bad weather – when the heavens open, the musicians will wait for the rain to stop before they start playing again. The bands are incredible, as are the dancers. One performer picked up a table using just his teeth, while four of them used their gnashers to pick up a table that had a woman from the audience sitting on it! It’s great fun and not to be missed.