Trinidad is a beautiful colonial town that you can’t miss on your trip to Cuba. After visiting Viñales and Havana we went to Trinidad for three days, which we spent exploring the town and surroundings, from the beautiful white sandy beaches to the Topes de Collantes National Park and its waterfalls. If you’re planning a brief trip to Trinidad, this is the guide for you. I will show you how to spend three days in Trinidad, highlighting all the best things to do and places to see for the perfect Trinidad trip
- 1 About Trinidad & How to get there
- 2 Where to stay in Trinidad
- 3 Best things to do in Trinidad in three days
- 4 Where to eat in Trinidad
- 5 Nightlife in Trinidad
About Trinidad & How to get there
Trinidad is a colonial town in the central part of Cuba, on the Southern coast. There is an airport but it is not international, meaning you will have to go via Havana to get there. We got a collective taxi from Havana for 30 CUC each, if you want to have the whole car to yourself it will cost you 120 CUC. If you’re going to Trinidad by taxi, whether collective or individual, make sure to get it from the bus station of Havana, a short 15-minute drive out of the centre, as this will be considerably cheaper than getting one from central Havana.
Where to stay in Trinidad
We stayed in a “casa particulares” also in Trinidad, as this is one of the best ways to travel Cuba. Staying with locals is a lot more interesting, fun and cheap than hotels. We found a lovely place on AirBnb where the hosts were friendly, helpful, and they made us the nicest breakfast every day on their awesome rooftop terrace! The only proper hotel in Trinidad, not a homestay or bed & breakfast is the Iberostar Grand Hotel Trinidad.
Best things to do in Trinidad in three days
Climb to the top of the bell tower
In the town centre of Trinidad there is a small church with a bell tower. We hadn’t originally planned to go there but looking up we could see people at the top of the bell tower, so decided to join them as we figured the view would be worth it. We were right. We had to pay a small fee of 3 CUC to get inside the church, as there was also a museum dedicated to the Cuban revolution on the ground floor. The walk to the top of the bell tower is quite easy, with landings on the way up where you can stop and check the view from small balconies. Just be careful on the stairs, as there isn’t really a railing to stop you from falling down! Once you get to the top, the view is well worth it.
Go to Playa Ancon
According to the locals Playa Ancon is one of the best beaches in Cuba, they’re probably a bit biased but also from our point of view we can say it was an incredible beach. From Trinidad it’s a 15-minute drive and you can get there by either bus or taxi. We got a taxi which cost us 10 CUC. There are two big hotels along the beach, a few hundred metres away from each other. Since it was low season when we were visiting the beach was pretty empty anyway, but we chose to walk a bit further down away from the hotels so that we could be undisturbed by the crowds. The beach is white fine sand with crystal clear turquoise water, my favourite kind! When we got hungry we walked back to the hotels since they have restaurants on the beach where we had lunch.
Visit the Topes De Collantes National Park
One of the most famous natural attractions close to Trinidad is the Topes de Collantes National Park. This is a huge nature reserve that you can explore both on foot, horseback or driving. We asked our AirBnb host to book us a horse riding tour of the park and absolutely loved it. It was a bit different from our horse riding trip in Vinales, since there we walked 10 minutes away from the town centre and were immediately horse riding in the park of Vinales. Here instead we had to do quite a stretch of road on horseback along normal roads before actually arriving in the park. Despite that it was still a great experience with some beautiful views. The price of the tour was approximately 25 CUC each.
Swim in waterfalls
We did this as part of our horse riding tour of Topes de Collantes. On horse back we reached this small parking lot for horses (in absence of a better name for it!) that you wouldn’t be able to drive to as there are no real roads close to it. From there we then walked along the river for approximately 5 minutes before arriving at this beautiful waterfall. The waterfall was on two levels, with the main big waterfall falling into a small pool you could swim in, and that then flowing as a smaller fall into a bigger pool that you could also swim in. After our experience in Croatia where we went to Krka National Park but were unable to swim due to the amount of people there I was a bit dubious. This waterfall however proved me wrong. There were very few people there and the water was really clear. After a few hours on horse riding in the sun a dip in the cool waterfall pool was most welcome.
Explore the colonial town centre
Trinidad is a beautiful colonial town and you will love even just walking around it. When we arrived on the first day we didn’t have any trips to beaches or waterfalls planned yet, so we chose to wander around the town centre and get a feel for the town. The centre around the main square is entirely pedestrian which makes it even easier to explore without the risk of getting run over by a horse carriage or vintage car. We also found some cute little street markets that were selling dresses, bags and souvenirs.
Where to eat in Trinidad
We found the food in Trinidad considerably better and cheaper than any other meal we had previously had in Havana. Trinidad is close to the sea so all the fish is fresh and incredible tasty. Our personal favourite restaurants in Trinidad were:
This restaurant is on a lovely rooftop in the town centre of Trinidad. We loved it because the food was good, not too expensive and the staff friendly. They even brought us complementary cigars at the end of our meal.
This restaurant doesn’t receive half the love it deserves. It’s inside a colonial building with high ceilings and a lovely courtyard. We walked past it during the day and thought it looked great so we went back in the evening for dinner. The food was amazing, the staff super friendly and reasonably priced, we paid 20 CUC for two mains (one of which was lobster) and desert. We were surprised to find it was quite empty and there was only one other table taken besides us.
Our AirBnb host took us here and while we were a bit suspicious after hearing about how tourists often get scammed with restaurant recommendations (read here to find out more about popular tourist scams in Cuba and how to avoid them) we actually really liked it. They have a buffet from which you can take food as often as you want and two set prices; one for just the buffet (approximately 12 CUC) and one for the buffet plus a main that you chose from a set list (approximately 18 CUC). We went for the buffet only choice and found that was plenty of food anyway. The restaurant is on a rooftop with beautiful views over the roofs of Trinidad, a great spot to enjoy the sunset with your dinner! It also has free Wi-Fi, a welcome addition after a week of unreliable internet!
Nightlife in Trinidad
In Trinidad there is a local hub called “La Casa de la Musica”, which I 100% recommend. Even if it’s all outdoors, after 8pm you have to pay 1 CUC to enter. It’s all laid out across the steps in front of the salsa school, with a bar and chairs facing a small stage. Here they have live music every night and people go to dance salsa, have a drink, or just enjoy the atmosphere. We took a seat on the steps and watched people dancing for a bit until two Cuban guys came up to us and asked us to dance with them. What to say, when in Cuba, we figured we’d try it out. Needless to say we were embarrassingly uncoordinated and our hosts soon left us to find better dancing partners. Other than that is was a very fun evening.
Have you been to Trinidad before? How did you find it? Let me know in the comments below! Even if we loved Viñales and found Havana extremely interesting Trinidad was by far our favourite part of our Cuba trip. If I were to go back I would want to spend longer there, however I found that if you are time limited three days is a good amount of time to see all the main attractions and do all the best things in Trinidad.
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