Trinidad : Colonial heart of Cuba


alan

By alan

Trinidad is a quaint colonial town located in central Cuba, in the province of Sancti Spíritus. Research any itinerary of Cuba and Trinidad always pops up. For this reason the tourist trade in Trinidad is well established, and for good reason. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988, it is characterized by its colonial architecture and stunning landscapes, nestled between the Caribbean coast and the Escambray Mountains.

We spent three nights in Trinidad at Hostal Marelis (25CUC per night, 5CUC extra for breakfast) and it was booked through BandBCuba.com, which comes greatly recommended! We arrived from Playa Larga in a private classic car (100CUC) and the journey took about 3 hours.

Day 1

We arrived quite late on day and so by the time we arrived it was dinner time. We found a nice rooftop restaurant near to our casa and we both indulged in some typical Cuban dishes. Throughout the meal, as is the custom in Cuba, we got to listen to a band playing some traditional Afro-Cuban music. Trinidad is a town with a good nightlife and music scene, so this was the ideal start.

Some Cuban music to accompany our meal!

Our next stop was the famous ‘La Bodeguita del Medio’ where, after a sip of a mojito, we were dragged up to do some dancing! (more mojitos needed). What an apt beginning to our Trinidad adventure! Next we went to the equally famous ‘Casa de la Musica’ which is an outdoor bar with live music. We had some beers here while listening to the music and mingling with some locals. After a quick stroll around the town in the dark of the night we returned to our casa to get a good night’s sleep.

Casa de la Musica

Day 2

Day 2 started with a gentle 30 minute hike up to the top of ‘Radio Tower Hill’. This mirador provides good views of Trinidad, the surrounding countryside and the nearby Valley de los Ingenios. We did this hike early in the morning to avoid the heat and we would recommend it due to the nice views you can see along the way!

The view from the top of Radio Tower Hill

After this hike we decided to explore Trinidad in the daylight hours. Trinidad is like an open air museum with all of its colonial architecture, and to walk around it is the best way to see everything. We visited Plaza Mayor, the Church of the Holy Trinity and Convento de San Francisco de Asis amongst others.

Church of the Holy Trinity in Plaza Mayor

Day 3

Pretty much every Trinidad itinerary will mention the beach, Playa Ancón, as a day trip. Tempted by pictures of clear blue water and white sandy beaches we decided to make the trip. One of the most popular ways of getting to Playa Ancón is to cycle the ~12km route. With this in mind we rented some bikes from our casa (5CUC) and began the journey. Along the way we got to experience Cuban culture, going through neighborhoods you wouldnt normally as tourists, overtaking numerous horse and carriages on the road, and spotting some birds. Overall the trip to Playa Ancón on a bike is definitely recommended! Unfortunately we didn’t feel too great when we arrived at the beach so couldn’t really enjoy the fruits of our labour!

Playa Ancón

This was our last day in Trinidad and the next day we headed back to Havana before catching our flight back home.

Our Recommendations

  • Enjoy the nightlife in Trinidad, visit Casa de la Musica and Disco Ayala (literally a disco in a cave) especially!
  • Wander around the cobblestone streets and try and soak in all the history.
  • Hike to the top of Radio Tower Hill and enjoy the vistas of the surrounding area.
  • Cycle to Playa Ancón and bring a packed lunch and your swimwear!

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