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Cuba

Valle de los ingenios

Made up of three valleys, San Luis, Santa Rosa and Meyer, the valley of Los Ingenios gets its name from the 50 or so ingenios, sugar plantations, that were placed there in the 19th century.

A view of the Valley of Los IngeniosMore than 12,000 African slaves worked there at the height of the sugar industry.

Stretched out over 25 miles between Trinidad and Sancti Spiritus, the valley offers views of a gorgeous countryside, dotted here and there with old haciendas, castels and slaves' houses.

 Torre Manacas-Iznaga (observation tower) In the center of the valley , la Torre Manacas-Iznaga is the symbol of the former glory of one of the most powerful families in the sugar aristocracy.

The tower made of stone, wood and iron is nearly 50 meters tall and has seven levels. The sheer height of the tower probably made it easier to keep a watchful eye on the slaves working in the sugar fields.

Before, there was a bell on top of the tower, which now lays at its base, which provided the rhythm for all the labor going on in the heart of the valley.

If you would like to climb to the top of the tower, it will cost you a dollar, but the view from the top is well worth the walk up the wooden stairs to the top.

Former Hacienda At the base of the tower, there is an old hacienda where craftspeople sell beautiful handmade table cloths and clothes.

Don't be afraid to bargain if you see something you like.

 

How to get to valle de los ingenios

From Trinidad, it's about 15 miles going toward Sancti Spiritus. You'll drive right through the heart of this valley used for the growing of sugar cane.

 

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