Traveling to Cuba? Visit Trinidad! Even tho its a half day traveling (by bus) from Havana, it is worth the ride. This post will cover the charm, things to do, where to stay & some things to be aware of when in Trinidad.
Why I love Trinidad
The whole vibe gets you. Wander around in its cobblestone streets and be amazed by your surroundings! Bright, colorful buildings around you and music comes out of every corner. The buildings itself hint their colonial heritage, as one of the best preserved historic towns that’s on the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Trinidad seems to be untouched by time, by the looks of the vehicles. There are Russian Lada’s dated from the 50’s everywhere and occasionally you’ll see a horse-drawn cart pass by. Can you imagine?!
Take a walk towards the heart of Trinidad: Plaza Mayor. Filled with palm trees, colorful flowers & some benches to rest while getting really aware of everything around you. Especially since there are no cars allowed in this area. The city has a great laid-back Cuban vibe — I also recommend getting away from the main square to explore the rest, losing yourself into its streets & alleys.
Where to stay
When you get off the bus you’ll be bombed by locals who are desperate for you to choose their casa. We booked our casa in advance, but in Trinidad you could easily get a casa on the spot. I can not shut up about the need to choose a Casa Particular above a regular hotel! If you want to read more about what it is and how you easily book a casa, read my previous Prepping for CUBA! post.
Since we didn’t know how to get to the casa we took a bicycle cap. Turned out to be quite the adventure on the cobblestone roads (bumpy ride!) and a driver who didn’t exactly know where to go.. but we made it!
We stayed at Casa Rogelio Inchauspi Bastida. This blue building used to be the old pharmacy of Trinidad. It is filled with peculiar objects & a lot of green plants. We had breakfast every morning in the garden which displayed a lot of slavery artifacts. The room itself was at the first floor, offering a private patio with it & access to one of the balconies. Gorgeous views all over town, overseeing the streets & looking upon the famous Trinidad church tower & the surrounding mountains.
To book your stay at this casa, click here.
What to do
Highlight of any trip to Cuba in my opinion – the music! How couldn’t it be? Enjoy the salsa & the rumba every night at Casa de Musica – Open air live music! These iconic steps get transformed into a terras and the live music makes it so vibrant. Watch people start dancing, order a cocktail or two and enjoy the night.
Go on an adventure & book yourself a trip to one of the natural reserve parks. We went to Parque El Cubano and went for a hike. The hike takes you a hour to get to the top and there you’ll find a gorgeous waterfall. We went in for a rewarding dip, and oh my it was so worth it after the walk. Best feeling in the world.
If your more of a salt water type you can also go for a swim at Playa Ancon Beach. This blindly white beach is a nice get a way for ultimate relaxation. We were dropped off here after the hike & we just went for it. First a beer and a bite at the Grill Ancón beach bar – since it’s logo is a shrimp, naturally we order shrimps – followed by a stroll on the beach & a ocean dip. You have some small bars along the beach were you can buy a small bottle Havana Club Rum for just 2.50 CUP (that’s only 3 dollar). Made our own Cuba Libre & combined PIZZA slices that were sold by locals on the beach… like I said, we went for it. Fully.
There are so many other options and things to do to choose from. Since we only were here for 2 days we made above choices. Trinidad also offers trips to the old plantations, horseback riding & there is a discotheque build in an old cave.
Wine & Dine
While you might not write home about the traditional food – Cuba is better known for its coffee, rums & cigars – we were not disappointed in what Trinidad had to offer.
First encounter with the food in Trinidad was right after the long bus trip. We strolled around the corner of our casa and stumbled upon so many places to choose from! We went in a typical Cuban states restaurant & tried some of the local cuisine. Shrimps & chicken, with a lot – and I really mean a lot – of rice on the side. Not particularity special, but very traditional.
The same evening we went for tapas at Salón 1851. The tapas was fantastic! We were guided to the upper terrace and watched the sun set while we enjoyed the food. From fish dishes to slices of pizza, we tried a bit of everything they had to over. Very successful & very tasteful.
The second day was our adventure day – including our lunch on the beach. The evening we spent however in a most lovely restaurant, Los Conspiradores. OH MY, this was by far the best dinner I had during the whole Cuba trip. For prices that are unbelievable low you can enjoy a full lobster dinner, bottle of wine & live music. The staff was delightful. The surroundings were glorious as well, located right next to Casa de Musica. Flowers swirled around the balcony, all different kind of plants & even more flowers & a blossom tree.. Do I need to say more? When in Trinidad, definitely make sure to have dinner here.
A less amazing fact about Trinidad
Although the city was lovely at first glance, we couldn’t help but be in shock at just how many tourists and touts there were. It is bulked with tourists. Because the city is a lot smaller in comparison to Havana, the tourist stand out way easier. It’s certainly a tourist town – but even with other travelers around, Trinidad doesn’t lose its charm.
Tips & Tricks
- Traveling to Trinidad from Havana? I recommend to book a bus tour via one of the Hotels – they often buy a lot of space for their guests and have spots available. Much cheaper than booking online or taking a cap.
- Wear well fitting shoes! Trinidad consists out of cobblestone streets. Do yourself a favor and leave the fancy shoes at home.
- Get out there! Wander around. You’ll only discover the best parts of the city if you’re willing to get off the main routes.
- Want to do some things just outside of Trinidad? Ask your casa hostess for tips & recommendations. Often you’ll find he or she can arrange the pick up and tour, mostly for a better price.
- Trinidad is know for it’s lobster dinners, so by all means if your a seafood lover make sure to try out a full lobster dinner at least once while you’re there.
The mix of colonial architecture, laid-back local vibes, vintage cars & horse-drawn carts, plus all the outdoor adventurous possibilities made Trinidad one of my favorite destinations.