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El Valle de los Ingenios, Cuba

Valle de los Ingenios, a large valley that was once one of the most productive agricultural areas in the whole country, home to dozens of the sugar refineries on which Trinidad built its wealth during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Today just one remains, althought the draw here is not the refinery itself but the buildings of one of the old colonial estates, located at Manaca-Iznaga. From here, the train continues on to a few more stops.

Valle de los Ingenios, a large valley that was once one of the most productive agricultural areas in the whole country, home to dozens of the sugar refineries on which Trinidad built its wealth during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Today just one remains, althought the draw here is not the refinery itself but the buildings of one of the old colonial estates, located at Manaca-Iznaga. From here, the train continues on to a few more stops.

You can also make the journey direct in a 1919 steam train with lovely old wooden carriages which leaves Trinidad.
The journey leads through a lush landscape with the ruffled peaks of the Sierra del Escambray visible to the north and stops at a tiny station platform that’s two minutes’ walk from the old house and tower [45 meters], the main attractions here. The huge bell that once hung in the tower, used to ring out the start and finish of the working day, sits near the front of the house. A dollar fee lets you climb the precarious wooden staircase to the top of the tower for views of the entire valley. The Rough Guide to Cuba.

The journey from Manaca-Iznaga must be wonderful. I have no ideia, since the train never leaved it. If you succeed to go further than Manaca-Iznaga, please tell me how it is!

We just stood there in the middle of the day with around 35º C. The train was the only shadow. For more than once, we thought we would leave, but that never happened.

Next to the train, there was a bar that spent the whole time playing 3 mexican songs, on and on, and had hot (natural temperature) beer in plastic bottles. Because there was nothing to do there, after a couple of hours people start to drank. And because there was nothing happening around there, some Cubans jumped to the carriage and it became part of the bar!

We stood there like 4 or 5 hours untill they sent other train from Trinidad to pull us back. I haven’t done more than 10 km. And you know one thing about lovely nineteenth century steam trains? They leave some tiny black spots on your clothes that just won’t disappear…

So, if you go to Cuba, do this trip, it feels like you never know what can happen…!! ;)

written by saidseni

2 comments

  1. juanito

    Muy buen articulo. Me gusta mucho. Por cierto los horarios se encuentran en http://horariodetren.com
    almost 5 years ago · report as spam
  2. juanito

    y en http://thebusschedule.com
    almost 5 years ago · report as spam

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Deutsch.