Getting Down Underground at Cuba’s Disco Ayala
A lot of nightclubs around the world boast of having some sort of underground status. It’s usually marketing schtick, of course, meant to hype a venue’s cool factor and provide some cover for charging ridiculous drink prices. Recently, though, I heard of a nightclub in Cuba that truly lives up term.
The club is called Ayala and you can find it in a small and historic town called Trinidad, centrally located along Cuba’s southern coast. Trinidad, Cuba dates back to 1514, and by most accounts, not a lot has changed there since the days when sugar was king on just about every Caribbean island. Check out this description from Wikipedia:
Tourism officials like to say Trinidad is a museum in itself. Those visiting the 500-year-old city will find Spanish colonial architecture, underscoring a colonial ambiance that marks the tiny city one of the country’s greatest attractions. Only a few square blocks in size, historic Trinidad is famous for its lovely, cobblestone streets, pastel coloured houses with elaborate wrought-iron grills, as well as beautiful palaces and plazas.
Historic attractions may fill your days here, but at night the place to be is underground.
Club Ayala is a real cave located just on the outskirts of Trinidad near the Ermita Popa Church. A Guayanese friend who partied here a few years ago tells me that they actually have to smoke-out the bats before opening to patrons each night! Seating areas are carved from the rock walls, while stalactites hang from the ceiling, creating a uniquely subterranean disco setting. Pulsating lights and the latest beats fuel non-stop dancing and reveling on-par with the hottest clubs from South Beach and New York, to England, Paris and all points in-between.
Here’s a quickie video to give you an even better sense of the Club Ayala scene: