The old Yayabo Bridge (Puente Yayabo) which spans the Yayabo River is a national monument. It was built in 1825 and is the only way to access the city from the Trinidad side of Sancti Spiritus. The old stone structure has four rounded arches that reflect into the calm water making a picture perfect sight on windless days. The area around the bridge is the oldest portion of Sancti Spiritus. Avenue Menendez is the road running over the bridge and leading into the city center. Apart from the trains station there is very little to see on the southeastern side of the bridge.
Valle de los Ingenios
East of Trinidad, on the road to Sancti Spiritus, visitors will find the lush Valle de los Ingenios. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this valley, also known as Valle de San Luis, contains numerous relics and monuments, from the 19th Century when the sugar cane plantations and mills were flourishing. Uniquely tied to the history of the sugar cane industry is that of the slave trade and the role of slaves on these plantations. The Valle de los Ingenios is a great place to drive or do a horseback ride through to take in the beautiful scenery of green sugar cane fields, palms trees, and mountains that fence in the valley, as well as explore the history of the area.
Visiting the town of Trinidad is like stepping back into another time period. The beautifully restored homes, church, and other buildings, along with the cobble stone streets and lack of modern architecture in the city center give the town a truly Colonial feel. This historic area of Trinidad was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. Much of the architecture dates to between the 17th and 19th Centuries when Trinidad was a wealthy town, prospering from both the sugar and slave trades. Today Trinidad is one of Cuba's most popular tourist towns and the streets are often packed with foreigners. Vendors and touts ply the streets daily, offering travelers a range of goods or services. Some of the homes in the city center are run as guesthouses, offering independent travelers accommodation in the heart of the city.
Santi Spiritus City
Sancti Spiritus, the capital of Sancti Spiritus Province, is the oldest inland city in Cuba. Originally founded in 1514 on the Rio Tuinicu, the town was moved to its present site on the Yayabo River in 1522. Unfortunately pirates burned the town to the ground in 1665 and much of the history prior to this was lost, including archives and architecture. The city flourished in the late 17th and 18th Centuries. Today Sancti Spiritus is a beautiful colonial town with colorful architecture and cobbled streets, many of which are for pedestrians only making it a pleasant place to stroll and sightsee. The area near the old bridge on the westside of the Yayabo River is the oldest portion of the city with small side by side houses painted in a variety of colors. The old city center of Sancti Spiritus is a national monument.
Parroquial Mayor del Espiritu Santo
The Parroquial Mayor del Espiritu Santo in Sancti Spiritus is the oldest church in Cuba. The original church on this site was built in 1522 and made of wood construction but was rebuilt in 1680 in stone. Today the Parroquial Mayor del Espiritu Santo is a Romanesque and baroque design. Highlights of the church are the fantastic wood ceiling and the 30m / 98ft bell tower. The church is also famous for the sermon of Fray artolome de las Casas that he delivered here, and became the beginning of his effort to help the Amerindians. The Parroquial Mayor del Espiritu Santo is a national monument.