Trinidad & Valle de Los Ingenios, sugar capital • Cuba

Explore the visual history of Trinidad and the Valley de los Ingenios, Cuba's timeless gems. Our 5-minute video guides you through the rich past of these remarkable locations, offering a unique view into a world full of colonial houses and storied traditions. Experience the roots of a prosperous era, shaped by the struggles and triumphs of landowners in the time of the sugar trade. See the places that bear witness to a bygone industry and appreciate the legacy they left behind. Get ready for an unparalleled cinematic journey through the lens of history. It's time to travel back in time, no passport required.

This film was made on the basis of photos and videos taken during the trip Cuba (EN)

vimeo chapterA click on this icon above displays the list of chapters of this film about Cuba. A click on a dot goes directly to a chapter.

Reading the text below will help you better understand the historical context of the sites shown in this video.

00:46 • Trinidad

03:27 • Valle de los ingenios



Trinidad is the third city founded by the Spaniards in 1514. It was founded by Diego Velazquez to whom we also owe the cities of Santiago, Sancti Spiritus and Havana. Its official name when it was founded was "Villa de la Santisima Trinidad. The city has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988.

Trinidad is important for its turbulent history like that of many Cuban cities located on the coast. She had to face many pirate attacks. Piracy was the means of struggle between the colonial powers of the time. Some worked on behalf of the English or the Dutch.

Sugar capital

Trinidad was the main sugar trading center in Cuba during the 18th and 19th centuries. Who says capital of sugar at that time also says capital of slavery. The sale of sugar produced by free workers has greatly enriched the landowners and many mansions are part of the colonial architectural heritage of this city. Trinidad has not always been a pleasant city to visit, with its cobbled streets and restored buildings.


Valle de los Ingenios


Around the city stretch 3 interconnected valleys, known as the Valley of the Mills. Their names are San Luis, Santa Rosa and Meyer. Sugar cane, introduced in 1512 by the Spaniards to Cuba, was the only crop in these valleys which would have more than 50 sugar mills and exploit more than 30,000 African slaves. The Africans succeeded the natives decimated by the diseases imported by the conquistadors, as well as the mistreatment that the invaders inflicted on them.

It was also to transport sugar quickly to important ports that Cuba built a railway line, more than 10 years before the first train circulated in Spain. A special line connected the Valle de los Ingenios with Trinidad and the port of Casilda.

Cuba was the world's largest exporter of sugar in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The valley was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site at the same time as Trinidad because of its historical importance and its testimony to the beginnings of the sugar industry in the West Indies.


Spoken comments in the film: 

Trinidad is one of the most beautiful colonial cities in Cuba. Located on the south coast in central Cuba, Trinidad was once the most important city in the region for the sugar trade. At the gates of Trinidad extends the Valley of los Ingenios (which means the valley of the mills). It is in this valley that were the large plantations of sugar cane as well as about fifty sugar mills at the time of the splendor of Trinidad.


The towers that we see in the Vallé de los Ingenios are watchtowers. They were built to watch over slaves and prevent them from escaping.



 - YouTube video library - Crisis - Scoring Action, (© Crisis - Scoring Action by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.



 - YouTube video library - Waiting - Andrew Langdon


Disclaimer: Despite its appropriateness, copyright issues prevent the use of cuban traditional music in "Trinidad & Valle de Los Ingenios, sugar capital • Cuba", hence the use of royalty-free music. Despite our careful selection, some might regret this decision, which is necessary to avoid potential lawsuits. Although difficult, this decision is the only viable solution.

What's the weather like in Trinidad and the valley de los ingenios?

street in Tribnidad, Trinidad and the valley de los ingenios • Cuba
la valle de los ingenios (the valley of the mills), Trinidad and the valley de los ingenios • Cuba

la valle de los ingenios (the valley of the mills)

festive welcome in a restaurant in Trinidad, Trinidad and the valley de los ingenios • Cuba

festive welcome in a restaurant in Trinidad

a chess club in Trinidad, Trinidad and the valley de los ingenios • Cuba

a chess club in Trinidad

nature around Trinidad, Trinidad and the valley de los ingenios • Cuba

nature around Trinidad

Trinidad Cuba

© 2020 - 2024 • Jean-Marie Putz, PutzProductions