Topes de Collantes
Topes de Collantes is a mountain region of the Sierra Escambray, approximately 20 km north of Trinidad.
The road twists and turns through spectacular scenery, with every bend offering new views of tropical vegetation, interspersed with plantation forests of eucalyptus and pine. Parrots (cotorras) and other bird species abound. Eventually you come to the undulating, wooded Parque Nacional Topes de Collantes.
For most visitors, the appeal of Topes lies in the walks, through beautiful scenery, and the exotic waterfalls nearby, especially Salto Vega Grande and the sweeping, uniquely shaped Salto Caburní, a 75-meter (250ft) fall. This hike involves a fairly testing 6km (4-mile) round trip.
The crenellated, 90 km long Sierra del Escambray is Cuba's second-largest mountain range, and it straddles the borders of three provinces: Sancti Spíritus, Cienfuegos and Villa Clara. In late 1958 Che Guevara set up camp in these hills on his way to Santa Clara and, less than three years later, CIA-sponsored counterrevolutionary groups operated their own cat-and-mouse guerrilla campaign from the same vantage point.
The park takes its name from its largest settlement, an ugly health resort founded in 1937 by dictator Fulgencio Batista to placate his sick wife, for whom he built a quaint rural cottage. The architecture went downhill thereafter with the construction of an architecturally grotesque tuberculosis sanatorium (now a health resort) begun in the late '30s but not opened until 1954.
Trinidad – Unesco World Heritage
Mansión Alameda is located in the UNESCO declared world heritage city of Trinidad in one of the most famous streets of this historic city and within walking distance of all renown sights in the centre of town. Trinidad’s picture-perfect location, between mountains and the Caribbean coastline, offers an abundance of natural attractions.
Cienfuegos is known as the “Pearl of the South. Arranged around the country's most spectacular natural bay, Cienfuegos is a nautical city with an enviable waterside setting. A factor that earned it a Unesco World Heritage Site listing in 2005.
Only some 12 Km (8 miles) south of Trinidad lies a spectacular stretch of beach, accessible either by way of Casilda or the more scenic route via the small fishing village of La Boca, where Trinidad’s river disgorges its waters into the sea.
Valle de los Ingenios
As you leave Trinidad heading northeast toward Sancti Spíritus, the road passes through the spectacular Valley of the Sugar Mills. Like Trinidad, this lush valley is a UNESCO world heritage site.