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Trinidad (Cuba)

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Trinidad (sometimes called Trinidad de Cuba) is a city in Cuba. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Get in[edit]

Viazul [4] buses have a three times a day service from Havana stopping at Cienfuegos, and a daily service from Santiago de Cuba stopping at Holguin, Camagüey, and Sancti Spiritus. It costs 25CUC as of January 2016. There is also a service to/from Varadero stopping at Santa Clara and Cienfuegos that is not listed on the Viazul website. It leaves Varadero at 7:30AM and returns from Trinidad at 2:25PM. Viazul and Cubanacan offer direct buses to/from Viñales as well. You buy Viazul tickets from the air conditioned office right in front of where the buses park, not from the Astro or local bus counters. Check the viazul website for up to date schedules.

Travel via taxi, specifically, unofficial taxis is also an effective way to travel to Trinidad, typically costing the same or slightly more than the price of a Viazul ticket per person if travelling in a full taxi e.g. 30CUC per person in Jan 2016. It is straightforward to find other travellers to share the taxi with, just go to the Plaza Vieja, find a driver, and try to ask other people hanging around in the area if they are looking to travel to the same destination as you. The taxi driver will also help. It shouldn't take you too long to find someone. You'll get there in less than half the time, and in much greater comfort. When traveling with children, you might find this the preferred method of travel.

Between Cienfuegos and Trinidad you can only travel by Viazul and Collectivos (the taxis cost around 6 CUC per person). Other places are better connected with Trinidad. Almost every hour there are trucks and guaguas from Sancti Spiritus that costs around 30 CUP, so almost 25 times cheaper than the Viazul. You can get the trucks from the intermunicipal terminal in Sancti Spiritus. There is also local busses, but you need to cover the fact that you are a foreigner. Plus: it's cheaper and you get in touch with locals.

Trinidad has not been connected to the rest of Cuba by train since a hurricane destroyed an essential bridge in 1992. There is a local train running to the Valle de los Ingenios.

Get around[edit]

Street names may be difficult to find, although the town is very small. Once you wander around you can find every thing easily. The central part of the town is small enough to explore on foot.

See[edit][add listing]

The waterfalls just outside of the town in Topes de Collantes are beautiful. These are accessible either by car or by taking one of the day tours offered by Cubatur. (The local bus service to Topes de Collantes hasn't run in years.)

There is also salsa dancing in the square at night. Check out the colonial homes and furniture too. The houses are open and some of the antiquities are visible from the streets. Check out Casa de la Música: It is an open air location where there is a small platform from which groups perform at night. Usually, there is salsa musica and great salsa dancers there enjoy the music and dance and perform with foreigners. It is great to enjoy a few drinks there as well.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Walk around in the old colonial center.
  • Go to the beach on the Ancon peninsula:

A 5-10 minute taxiride outside the city center. It is well within biking distance from Trinidad; there may also be a local bus running (check at the local bus counter at the bus terminal, located on the left as you enter before the Astro counter). The peninsula is one of the few places in Cuba where you can access a great beach without staying at a resort hotel. Make sure you have mosquito repellent, especially if you intend to stay on the beach in the evening.

View from the Museum of the War Against the Bandits
  • The Museum of the War Against the Bandits (Lucha Contra Bandidos)

is in a former convent close to the cathedral near the Plaza Mayor in the old colonial center. The War Against the Bandits was the 1961-1969 fight against U.S.-sponsored counterrevolutionaries, who hid out in the nearby mountains. If you don't read Spanish the displays may be difficult to understand, but the piece of the American U-2 spy plane shot down speaks for itself. Also well worth the entrance fee is the mirador (view) from the convent's tower, reached by several flights of wooden stairs, which has superb views across the whole town. The cathedral is beautiful inside.

  • Also the market in the old colonial center which is nice to walk around and look at the handicrafts - drawn thread tableclothes and linens seem to be a speciality. The vendors are refreshingly laid back, you can look around and get virtually no hassle or pressure to buy.

The streets are cobble stones and very irregular and walking could be difficult for older folks. Wear runners for sure. Do not even think about wearing high heels. Your ankles will pay.

  • Climb the hill behind the town to get a great view.

To get there, continue up the hill northeast from the Plaza Mayor. As you walk up the hill you go through poorer neighbourhoods. You may be asked for clothes or trinkets by the local kids. Seems pretty safe during the day but be careful at night. A lovely older lady named Felicity sells trivets she makes herself.

There's a very atmospheric discotheque in a cave near the top of this hill (Las Cuevas). There is no sign or indication that it is there, just a steps leading into a hole in the ground behind a bush. It is in a huge cave with stalagmites and statactites. More tunnels and caves can be seen near the bathrooms. This is where young Cubans go to party, the music is mainly reggaton and techno. Fun starts after 11 pm. Very much worth checking it out. Cover charge for foreigners was 3 CUC [2012-09] including one drink (cocktail or beer). Beers were overcharged for foreigners (3.0 CUC asked) but could be paid for at the price for Cubans by flatly paying 1.5 CUC at the counter [2012-09].

Take one of the day tours offered by Cubatur. These include several options to Topes de Collantes.

  • Valle de los Ingenios - an old train still runs (original carriages but a new engine) daily out to the sugar plantations. It's very touristy, like everything in Cuba, but enjoyable to some to see the countryside. Train leaves at 9:30am and returns at 2:00pm from main train station walking distance south of town. Buy tickets at 9:10am on the same day (no reservations). 10 CUC [2016-01]. Alternatively you can go to the Circuito Sur, the street that leads all the way to Sancti Spiritus and grab one of the trucks or guagua busses. Most of them stop at the Cupet petrol station at the intersection of Carr. a Casilda, Paseo Ignacio Agramonte and Circuito Sur. Price for busses is 2 CUP, for the trucks 5 CUP. Get of in Manaca where you can already spot the huge slave tower. It's an excellent starting point for a hiking tour.
  • Horseback Riding - many people can arrange this including Cubatur or your Casa. You ride an hour into the forest, hike 15 minutes to an amazing waterfall. Behind the waterfall is a cave you can swim into. Defo worth a swim. A nice way to see the surrounding countryside. ~25CUC. [2016-01]


Learning Spanish[edit]

If you want to learn Spanish during your stay in Trinidad you can take an Intensive Spanish course from one week up to four weeks. The classes are held 4 hours per day and give you the opportunity to improve your Spanish quickly during a short time period.

  • Babylon Idiomas [5] offers a wide range of affordable and high quality Spanish courses for all levels with experienced native teachers. Cultural and social activities are included in the programme. The school is located in the heart of the city, close to the Iglesia Francisco and Palacio Brune. New students can start on any Monday of the year.

Learning to dance[edit]

Take cheap, private and professional Salsa lessons for men or women.

  • Lesbiel Donet Pereira's small dance studio can accomodate 1-4 pax per hour with 2 teachers in the evenings. The step-by-step Salsa lessons at 5 CUC/h are ideal for an introduction to the dance form for Westerners but other options are available. Tel: 99 44 41 / 99 46 32 – Calle Maceo #409 entre Colón y Francisco Javier Zerquera (Rosario)
  • Call Senora Misladis at 99-4493. She has a private studio in her home

Buy[edit][add listing]

There is a lovely old ceramics factory called El Alfarero, where you can see people working and buy finished pottery. It's on Lirio Blanco at Andres Berro, east of town about 15 minute walk. The building is turquoise.

Before you go:

  • Bug repellent
  • Candles - power outages are common
  • A powerful battery
  • Strong sunblock if you are going in August.

Eat[edit][add listing]

There is a pizzeria, which is refreshing due to the lack of variety of vegetarian food in Trinidad. There are many other amazing places to eat with much fish and chicken cooked in imaginative ways. One restaurant far more affordable than other touristic spots is El Bucanero on Calle Real del Jigüe a couple blocks northwest of Plaza Mayor.

Many casa particulares offer dinner, for a fee, which are usually authentic dishes and very well prepared and well worth checking out.

  • Restaurante/Paladar San José:

Located in Maceo (Gutiérrez) # 382. This is a very popular eatery with foreigners. The food is well-priced and the amount of food served is more than enough for one person. Highly recommended is the lobster tail with moros and fried plantains. In short, superb service, quality, variety and value for your money: A can't miss!

There are quite a few Paladars in the town, which offer quality home cooked style food which is usually served at the back of the hosts Casa or House. Its quite hard to find Paladars if you haven't first been taken there by a tout or you have friends that could recommend one. If taken to a Paladar by a tout, be prepared to have their commission added to the bill. Comparably cheap is Buffet Especial somewhat close to the train station on Colon entre Reforma y Anastasio Cardena. The dish of the day (meat with rice) costs 3 CUC, the buffet 6 CUC.

There are several 'so called' peso pizza establishments in the town which allow tourists to purchase pizza for the national peso price. This usually works out at around 10 national pesos. This is a good idea for travellers on a budget. One good place is on Maceo near Bolivar.

Drink[edit][add listing]

In the square at night, there are often events and there is a very good club open until the early hours. It is a lovely town with amazing visitors and inhabitants, and small enough for you to wander and choose your drinking hole. The Mojito's and rum cocktails are great.

  • Casa de la Música - there are two bars in the main Trinidad square and there is live music from 9pm till late. There is lots of dancing and reasonably priced cocktails... Though the Casa attracts most tourists, do shop around as many other venues have live music with less hassle and cheaper drinks.
  • La Casa de la Canchánchara:

​Trinidad is the home of the canchánchara. You can't come to Trinidad and not try their most famous drink. Located on Calle Real del Jigue #90, just behind the Museo Nacional Lucha contra los Bandidos. It has an outdoor area where you can sit, relax and enjoy your drink for 6 CUC or you can also dance to the rhythm of the local band that plays throughout the night. La Canchánchara - the signature cocktail that originated here is made of 2 oz of aguardiente, 2 spoons of honey, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and ice. Mix the honey and the lemon juice, add aguardiente and ice as desired, stir! Give it a try! Best drank off from a clay mug.

  • La Bodeguita del Medio:

Although the first and main bar is located in Empedrado #207 in La Habana, there are two other sites: Varadero (Ave. Playa #40) and the biggest of them all, located in Calle Real #74 in Trinidad. There are also 10 other franchises around the world in places such as México (with 6 sites), Costa Rica, Argentina, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Ukraine. La canchánchara is to Trinidad as the mojito is to La Bodeguita del Medio. Papa Hemingway made this water hole famous in La Habana and the mojito a drink recognized and enjoyed worldwide.

There are also places where the locals hang-out and which serve quite decent beer at a very reasonable price. These places usually serve draught beer and stay open just as long as there is beer to serve. When the beer from one place has been drunk, then it's off to the next place or not. Many of the locals drink their beer outside on the street and Trinidad is so small so these places are easy to spot.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

There is a beautiful colonial hotel on the main causeway up to the square. It is a little expensive, but worth it as it has colonial rocking chairs and 2 four poster beds.

There are many casas particulares in Trinidad due to high levels of tourists. Rooms are very easy to find upon arrival so no need to book and lose some bargaining edge by doing so. The most expensive colonial rooms will cost at most 25 CUC in high season but you can bargain a standard room down to 10 CUC for two (breakfast included) in low season if your nationality plays in favour of a low price, and in any case less than 15 CUC with nearly no negotiating.

  • Hostal "Felina y Otto" 711 Frank Pais (15$CUC per night excluding food). The accomodation is on the top floor of the house and is very private and features a roof terrace. The hosts offer a good breakfast (3$CUC) and Dinner (7$CUC). Food is delicious and the hosts are happy to provide advice on local attractions.
Casa de Benito Rodríguez Rodríguez
  • Casa de Benito Rodríguez Rodríguez, 33 Gustavo Izquerdo (between F.J. Zerquera and Colon), 53 (01-41) 994145. Two large rooms with a shared bath in a colonial house filled with antiques. The food is excellent. Best of all, Benito and his wife are very nice and helpful, such as finding you another casa if their rooms are booked.  edit
  • Lida Hernández Sandoval, Calle Mario Guerra #184 (between José Marti and Frank País), 53-41-994100. Three rooms but only one license so this is one of the few casas that can rent to tourists who are traveling with Cubans (for example, if you hired a driver). Good food and lots of room for a big group.  edit
  • Casa de la Amistad, Zorquera (Rosario) ((between Marti and Frank Pais)). Centrally located hostal, popular amongst revolution sympathisers, run by ICAP (Instituto Cubano de Amistad con los Pueblos). Clean, a/c, tv, fridge, hot water (from a tank not the elctric type that give you a shock if you touch them). 25 cuc for a double room.  edit
  • La Niña, Fco. J. Zerquera (Rosario) #171 (5 minute walk from bus terminal), (53) (0141) 994289. Pretty colonial house with courtyard. Located in the center of the city. Comfortable room, a/c, fridge and good hot water. Very friendly couple. Huge and delicious breakfast is $4. Delicious evening meals also available. Secure. Keys to street and room provided. $25.  edit
  • Casa Marla y Fernando, Gustavo Izquierdo (Gloria) #103-A (="(between), 53 41 993910. Colonial house with a nice terrace. Fridge, a/c, hot water. Very friendly couple. Optional delicious breakfast and/or dinner.  edit
  • Dra. Onidia Puente Landestoy, Camilo Cienfiegos #33 entre Pedro Zerquera y Anastacio Cardenas Tdad S-Spiritus, 53-41-998221, 53836716. 2 brand-new rooms, each one with a tv, air-conditioner, fridge, a double bed and a single bed, and fancy shower and toilet. The owner, Onidia, is friendly, fun to talk to, speaks some English, and live in the house with her mother and her daughter. Location is about 4 blocks from Parque Cespedes. Great room for a decent price.  edit
  • Hostal Dr.Suarez y Sra. Addys (Dr. Suarez), 174 Santiago Escobar Street. Between Frank Pais and Jose Marti, Trinidad., 53 41 992422, [1]. checkin:; checkout: Welcome to Hostal Dr. Suárez and Sra Addys. We offers you two comfortable rooms, on the second floor with terrace ,AC, TV set , minibar, private bathroom ,hot and cold water twenty four hours .One room has two double beds and the other has one double bed.The house has a beautiful terrace with a view towards the city center and the surrounding mountains. On the terrace (if you want) you can enjoy delicious Creole food all fresh and marine products. Cuba’s most beautiful colonial town Trinidad is a picture postcard idyll in pastels. Near of the old town, which has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988, lies the house. 25-30 cuc.  edit
  • CASA FEFAYREYES, 430 MACEO (TOWN CENTRE), [2]. Run by a the lovely Clara Marina this home away from home has two rooms both with ensuite. Both rooms open onto a large courtyard with filled with lovely plants and even some song birds. Clara will cook your breakfast and dinner if you wish or even prepare a packed lunch for your days outing. A short walking distance to all the sites of Trinadad this Casa is also a 1 minute walk to the bus to the beach. 25 -35CUC.  edit
Hostal Damaris! Trinidad Cuba
  • Hostal Damaris, Frank País street, #575 (between Pablo Pish y Piro Guinart, near of Mayor Square, only 2 blocks), [3]. Beautiful home to stay if you visit Trinidad Cuba. Very close to the city center and the bus terminal. Delicious food and friendly staff. 30cuc.  edit

Get out[edit]

  • Havana - If you plan to head to Havana, it may be a better option to get a "minibus" service, as the Viazul terminal in Havana is far away from most of the tourist accommodations and often requires an extra taxi ride. To sign up, just drop by at the Viazul bus terminal the day before departure and you'll be solicited to this service by one of the staff there. Have your hotel/casa particular address ready as he will need it to pick you up around 8:30am the next morning. Depending on the season you will get either a minibus or a shared taxi with fellow travellers. It costs about the same price as Viazul bus (25 CUC) and you pay the driver when you arrive at the destination. It's a door-to-door service plus you save nearly two hours of travel time.
  • Sancti Spiritus - you can grab a truck or a guagua bus from the Cupet petrol station at the beginning of Circuito Sur, the street that leads eastward from Trinidad. Just wait around the petrol station and ask people which truck leaves where or chose any good spot on the Circuito to wave down the lorries. For Sancti Spiritus you pay around 30 CUP. On the way the trucks stop at Manaca, the gateway to the Valle de los Ingenios. Price to Manaca: 5 CUP. Via Manaca you can also travel to Santa Clara. There is one direct truck every day around noon for approx. 30 CUP. Otherwise you can change in Manaca to another bus or truck and go from town to town via Manicuragua. The path through the mountains at Topes de Collantes is not recommended if you wanna go by public transport - it's either expensive or not available. If you have a rental car then it's a great road to Manicaragua and Santa Clara.
  • Cienfuegos - some years ago the truck service between Cienfuegos and Trinidad was cancelled. There's still Viazul busses and Collectivos, but also the local busses which you have to pretend for to be a Cuban citizen (it sometimes work and you will pay only 10 to 20 CUP). There's also many rental cars on the road so you could try to hitch a ride (it's only 80 km so you've got time to try).
  • Playa Ancon - go to the Cupet petrol station Southwest of Trinidad (the one at the crossroads to Sancti Spiritus). The street that continues to the South leads to Playa Ancon. There are many local and school busses that will happily take you for 2 CUP. Also there is an amarillo who stops cars for you if you give him 2 CUP. Cars are obligated by law to take hitchhikers.
  • La Boca - trucks and busses to La Boca leave from Calle Desengano just past the train tracks in front of Hostal Bella Vista. There's even a time table at the bus stop, something rarely seen in Cuba.

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