All you should know about Trinidad is that we stayed there for 5 days – more than in any other location in Cuba. And two friends of ours stayed there for even one day more. That’s how much we loved it! It is quite a popular destination among tourists, nevertheless it felt very authentic and welcoming!
Here are the top things we have done in the beautiful Trinidad:
1. Historical city center (Day 1)
We started our first (full) day in Trinidad with a delicious breakfast in casa. It was our best casa ever in Cuba: casa Norelvis y Liubetsy. I found this place in someone’s blog on the internet and I am happily recommending it to you too – this accommodation is very comfortable, with modern facilities, beautifully decorated and well isolated from the noise outside! I would definitely call it a luxury casa.
Then we went for a sightseeing tour around the streets of Trinidad. It is an old town with colonial architecture, paved roads and bright colorful houses. We walked around the city center visiting the attractions marked in our guide and watched the city living its everyday life. That’s what I really like about Cuba: when you are visiting it, you are never in an isolated touristic “city center”, real Cuban life is happening right there and it is fun to watch!
2. Horse riding (Day 2)
On the next day we decided to go for a horse riding tour. We were not that smart buying it from our casa owners as the price (25 CUC pp) was twice as high as on the street. The guys from the tour (when confronted about the price) told us that we had better horses, but when I looked around (you could see all other groups doing the same tour) I did not really notice the difference. So I guess we have just paid like 10 CUC commission =)
Anyway horse riding was such a joy! We had some people who were afraid of riding, but we all decided to give it a try and we were not disappointed! The landscapes and the horses were gorgeous, pure delight! In the middle of the tour we had a stop for an hour near a waterfall where we could swim. It was too crowded as everyone from different groups was there, but it was still nice and refreshing.
One particular thing about my horse was that it did not like to be tied up. It was so interesting to watch that every other horse when we were stopping for breaks was tied up and mine was just left loose… In the beginning I did not know that and tied it up as everyone else did, but our guide told me that my horse did not like that (!) and I should let it stay free. During the break it went on its own to walk around and then when it was time to leave it was just called (whistled) back … So amazing!
On the next day we could barely walk, everything hurt, but the experience in itself is a must!
3. Valle de los Ingenios (Day 3)
We have rented 2 taxis (10 CUC pp) and arranged a visit to Valle de los Ingenios – former sugar cane plantations.
4. Caribbean Sea (Day 3)
In the afternoon we asked our drivers to bring us to the beach (Trinidad is just 5 km away from the Caribbean Sea). We had a lunch and a relaxed afternoon by the water. But there is one thing you absolutely have to know about that beach: NEVER STAY THERE FOR THE SUNSET! Day before after horse riding we had a great idea to go to swim in the evening and to enjoy the sunset with self-made cuba libres. It turned out to be a total disaster!!! We were attacked by small flies/mosquitoes/I don’t know what… It was unbearable, it was painful and there was no way to escape them! We ran to the hotel in search for a taxi and even there inside they were biting us. In the next days everything was itchy and painful… I wish we knew about those “jejenes” (somehow we missed that information in our preparation), don’t repeat our mistake and disappear from that beach before sunset 🙂
5. Hiking to a waterfall in Sierra del Escambray (Day 4)
We have arranged again 2 taxis (12 CUC pp) and went for a hike in Sierra del Escambray. We somehow started late so we could only choose a relatively short hike – it was called Vegas Grandes (entry 10 CUC pp). The way down was relatively easy. The waterfall was nice but I was not in the mood for swimming (it was not that hot either). The way back to the top was much more challenging, I was really exhausted! Don’t forget to take a lot of water with you.
On the way back we stopped at one view point with a beautiful view on Trinidad valley and Caribbean Sea.
6. Restaurant San Jose
You will easily find this restaurant on TripAdvisor, it’s not a hidden gem but it’s definitely a gem. Queues every evening will confirm that. It has good prices and a great menu! I think we were dining there almost every night … And apart from San Jose I also noticed that Trinidad in general had many nice places. Modern, stylish but with strong Cuban spirit. You could see how tourism is growing in Trinidad and the restaurant scene is flourishing. In a way it is a hipster place =)
7. Cocktails in Iberostar
Normal price for a cocktail in Cuba is 3 CUC, there you will pay 5. But they are so-so delicious and totally worth it! If you want to escape for a while the chaos of cars, bicycles and people, just enter this oasis of tranquility and enjoy the peaceful and beautiful ambience. Sometimes they even have live music!
I kept it for the end because it was THE highlight. My friends wanted to get some salsa classes and they found an amazing dance school! Believe me, my standards for a good dance lesson are very high and those were exceptional! What a pity I could only enjoy them during two evenings, but I had so so so much fun! I even decided to come back to Munich and start dancing salsa (not happened yet, but the wish is still there).
As for bars and clubs, there are several places to practice your dancing skills (or just to enjoy the music). I don’t remember the names where we have been, somewhere in the city center… Just look around and find something you would like, but don’t miss on salsa experience in Trinidad, it’s a must!
Before going to Cuba I talked to one colleague and he told me, he had spent only one day in Trinidad and the city had not impressed him that much. A completely different opinion from my own! As for me, as you might have guessed, I truly loved Trinidad! For its colors, people, nature, landscapes and music! Just awesome!