Vacations are about recharging.

During my week in Trinidad de Cuba this summer, I stumbled on an amazing park where nature and history combined to create a beautiful oasis for hiking and swiming.

5km from Trinidad, Sendero Huellas De La Historia is situated on top of a local mountain. The park is accessible from a trail on the banks of Guaurabo River. Stop for a refreshing mango juice at the restaurant before crossing the bridge to enter the park and a time in the colonial past. The trees surrounding the entrance are dedicated to the slaves from the old Ingenito Sugar Mill.

The plate on the tree says,

Soy un arbol muy viejo. Cuando mis ramas eran ovenes y mi tronco mas delgado presencie la forma en que vivian los esclavos de esta do tacion.

I am a very old tree. When my branches were young and my trunk thinner, I saw the way the slaves lived here.

Continue along the path and enter the trail “Traces of History”. The tree-shaded trail takes you across hanging bridges, picturesque inclines, tropical plant life  and a reconstructed native indian cottage. The hike is challenging in parts so take water.

At the end of the trail Salto de Javira awaits to provide a refreshing swim. This is a popular watering hole for locals and tourists alike so go early if you want to avoid crowds.

You’ll be disappointed if you didn’t bring your bathing suit because you will want to take a jump off the cliff and a swim into the caves and under the water falls. Also make sure you purchase the entrance ticket that includes the waterfalls.

I am truly happy places like this exist. It commenorates  the colonial era without diminishing any aspect of what life was for everyone. The struggle and brutality of slavery on colonial plantations is transformed into something beautiful that everyone can enjoy.  Everyone’s ancestors should be remembered and honoured.