Walking Tour: Photographic Trinidad

  • Start Plaza Mayor
  • End Casa Templo de Santería Yemaya
  • Length 2km; 1½ hours

In Trinidad, soft evening sunlight, striking colonial architecture and street scenes that have more in common with the 1850s than the 2010s conspire to create an ideal prowling ground for photographers.

Early evening, when the sunlight is less intense and the shadows longer, is a good time to undertake this walk. Start in Plaza Mayor, the colonial square that features in a thousand different postcards. With local life continuing at a lazy pace around you, there’s always a new way of snapping it with the Iglesia Parroquial de la Santísima Trinidad as backdrop.

The classic shot is looking northwest along cobbled Calle Echerri past colonial edifices to the tower of the Convento de San Francisco de Asís. Walk a block northwest and try to capture the small sunlit park opposite the convent with some human silhouettes. At the end of Echerri, stand back from the T-junction with Calle Ciro Redondo and wait…and wait. Something interesting will pass at the end of the street – a horse, a 1951 Plymouth, a bicycle.

Turn right on Ciro Redondo, left on Calle Juan Manuel Márquez and wander toward the shabbier, no less photogenic Barrio Los Tres Cruces. Slices of Trinidadian life play out here. Look out for ladies in curlers, cowboys, people dragging pigs, kids playing stickball in the neighborhood’s plaza, and old men sitting in doorways. A row of rainbow-colored, single-story houses in Calle Juan Manuel Márquez are given extra luminescence by the slanting evening sun. On Calle Samuel Feijó, horses and riders often congregate with the shadowy Sierra del Escambray looming behind them.

More street life awaits back on Calle Ciro Redondo. Strike up a conversation, flash a smile and capture the moment. Outside the iconic Taberna la Canchánchara there’s nearly always a 1958 Chevy being used as a communal seat, or perhaps a baseball backstop. Pass the Casa Templo de Santería Yemayá dedicated to the orisha (Yoruba god) of the sea. With dusk falling you’re back in Plaza Mayor.