From quad biking in Cappadocia to Camel Trekking in Morocco, whenever possible I like to try a new activity when travelling. In Cuba, horses are everywhere – a symptom of spanish colonialism suspended by the socialist economy. The town of Trinidad is home to roads lined with rainbow coloured houses where the sound of hooves hitting cobbles fills the air. With cowboys roaming the streets, I was easily tempted into trying horse riding properly for the first time.
There are plenty of horse riding tours offered in town, but I decided to go with Trinidad Travels due to its recommendation in Lonely Planet and reviews on TripAdvisor. It’s at a slightly higher price point than alternatives, but with an english speaking guide/owner and great reputation in a ‘sea of cowboys’ it’s worth the investment. Starting at 8.30am before the other tours set off, we walked to the outside of the town to pick up our horses for the day and lead them out to the countryside before mounting.
The day was spent riding through the Topes de Collantes, a large nature reserve covering the lands of former sugar plantations. The old railroads still cover the route – we had to stop once to wait for the slow chugging tourist train to pass but they are infrequent and the area is typically quiet with only other riders and local carts about. After a few hours of riding we reached a popular waterfall, featuring two tiers of natural springs, a cave and cliff jumping opportunities. This was a chance for me to try out the GoPro Thomas Cook Airlines leant me for the trip, as the waterproof case allowed me to swim and find alternative angles.
After cooling of fin the waterfall, we rode out further before stopping for lunch at what seemed like the world’s most secluded restaurant. While sampling sugar cane juice and a healthy dose of omelet (as standard for a vegetarian in Latin America) with rice and beans a local farmer serenaded us with local folk songs. Before long it was back on the saddle for the journey back – arriving in town at 3pm I quickly collapsed onto my casa particular bed in an exhausted heap, but with a new found love of horse riding.