Trinidad has to be part of your Cuba travel itinerary. You’ll love the relaxed atmosphere. It is as if the time stopped in 18th century in this beautiful town. Trinidad is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which causes high amount of tourists but don’t let this fact stop you of visiting Trinidad.
You should spend couple of days in Trinidad, one of Cuba’s most charming towns, just to enjoy the stress-free lifestyle of the locals while strolling around the cobblestone roads surrounded with colourful buildings. Meet the man with a chicken on his head and greet the man talking to his donkey. Have the special cocktail in Taverna La Cancháchara, listen to Cuban and learn salsa in Casa de la Música.
Here are my tips for things to do in Trinidad.
Walk in the city centre
Alone the colourful colonial architecture of Trinidad in Cuba is worth visiting this town in the province Sancti Spíritus. Stroll around the cobblestone streets in the city centre and enjoy the pastel colours of the typical Caribbean colonial buildings. Cars are not allowed into the city centre which makes walking around even relaxer.
Almost every street in the colourful town of Trinidad leads to Plaza Mayor. The yellow coloured Palacio Brunet, once home of the wealthy sugar baron, Conde de Brunet, houses today the Musueo Romantico. The turquoise building is the former mansion of another sugar baron Sanchez Iznaga and houses today Museo de Arquitectura. Also Museo Historic Municipal and Iglesias Parroquial de la Santisima Trinidad are in Plaza Mayor.
Convento de San Francisco de Asis
The green yellow bell tower is definitely the most famous landmark of Trinidad. Today, the historic building houses the Museo Nacional de Lucha Contra Bandidos where you can learn about Cuba’s history. There are lots of photographs and artefacts documenting the Cuban Revolution. At the end you can go up to the bell tower for beautiful aerial views over Trinidad. It costs only 1 CUC.
Staircase of Casa de la Música
The wide cobblestone staircase is my favourite spot of relaxation in Trinidad. I’m not a salsa fan at all (I even dislike it, really…) but I very much enjoyed the cocktails in Casa de la Música 🙂 Every night starting from 7pm there is a live salsa music and dance show. When you’re in Trinidad, you have to witness this spectacle of hundreds of people dancing under the sky (even if you’re not a salsa fan).
If you stay longer than only one day you should make use of the beautiful Playa Ancón which is only 12 kilometres away from Trinidad. The taxi drive costs about 5-10 CUC. You can also rent a bike and cycle to the beach. You won’t regret it when you see the 4 kilometre long white sandy beach with crystal clear waters.
Hiking in Topes de Collantes
Another day trip goes to the Topes de Collantes, 20 km away from Trinidad. The 6 kilometres hike tour to Salto de Caburní is rather a challenging one due to the humidity, also thanks to the thick vegetation. Nevertheless you will enjoy the pure nature and at the end the cool waters of the 75 meters waterfall is the best reward for the exhausting 3-4 hours hike. My host of the Casa Particular I stayed at organised a return taxi for 35 CUC. The entry to the Topes de Collantes costs 6.50 CUC.
How to go to Trinidad: The best option is by bus. From Havana it takes 4 hour and from Santiago de Cuba it takes 8 hours. When you get off in the bus station of Trinidad there will be dozens of Casa Particular owners waiting for the new comers.
Funny story... I had a chit chat with a Cuban in the bus station in Santiago de Cuba. He asked where I'm heading to and what my name is. Then in Trinidad someone was waiting with my name on a paper but written incorrectly. This way I knew it was not my real pick up. So, I recommend to arrange a pick up with the owner of the Casa Particular in advance to avoid misleading taxi rides.
Where to stay in Trinidad, Cuba: I stayed at Casa de Miriam near to city centre. Miriam is an excellent host. She is very friendly and helpful. The double room per night costs 25 CUC. She serves breakfast (5 CUC) and dinner (10 CUC). You have to try her grilled lobster and Mojitos. Write her an e-mail to book a room: firstname.lastname@example.org.
By the way, AirBnB recently enabled their services for Cuba.
For more information about travelling in Cuba read my Travel Guide to Cuba. For more insights I recommend Lonely Planet's Travel Guide for Cuba.
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