Trinidad is a real postcard image! Its small cobbled streets, lined with colorful colonial houses and art galleries, have a crazy charm! They are also worth being listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site.
As a bonus, the beach and the mountains are only a few kilometers away!
Is Trinidad Worth Visiting ?
Everyone agrees that Trinidad is really a big favorite in Cuba! The city has everything to please: a historical center full of charm, the mountains at two steps and the beach at a few kilometers!
But Trinidad is also full of tourists, what can you do! If you go to the most beautiful place in the country, the chances of a lot of tourism are very high. In spite of the hordes of tourists, the inhabitants carry out their daily life as if it were not that party with them.
That being said, we warmly recommend you to make a stop there!
Trinidad is located on the south coast of Cuba, about 315km from Havana.
A city with a colonial history, Trinidad has retained some of its old-fashioned charm; certainly thanks to the salsa that resounds in the bars, the warm and pastel-coloured facades of its houses and the irregular cobblestones of its streets.
The historic centre of the city has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988.
Trinidad is located on the south coast of Cuba, in the Province of Sancti Spíritus, about 300 km south-east of Havana.
The city, which has remained on the bangs of the island’s industrial development, has expanded relatively little since the golden age of sugarcane cultivation in the 19th century and its historical center has remained as it is.
Today it has a population of a little more than 50,000 inhabitants
More info : Trinidad Wikipedia
History of Trinidad Cuba
Trinidad was founded in 1514 by the conquistador Diego Velázquez, who had already founded the cities of Baracoa and Bayamo, in the west of Cuba.
If it is thanks to the gold mines that the city prospered at first, it is later, with the sugar and slave trade, that Trinidad really reached its peak.
For the record, it was from Trinidad that the famous Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés set out to conquer Mexico at the beginning of the 16th century.
Today, Trinidad is the most famous and best-preserved colonial city in Cuba.
Listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1988, the magnificent historic city center has recently been completely renovated.
The street names of Trinidad
The streets of Trinidad have two names, and it is usually indicated on the signs.
This leads to confusion all the time, but don’t worry, in such a small place, someone will know both names of the street you want to go to.
The origin of these two street names comes from the names given by the Spaniards, and the name given by the Cubans after the War of Independence.
So, to give you an example, let’s talk about the street where our private house was located.
The name of the street was Julio A.
Mella, and the one given by the Cubans is Guásima, so you can see both names, almost always, on the street signs.
How to get to Trinidad
Get to Trinidad by car
– Distance Havana -> Trinidad: approx. 4 hours drive without stopping
– Distance Trinidad -> Moron: 3h drive
– Distance Cienfuegos -> Trinidad : 1h drive
– Trinidad -> Playa Ancon = 15 minutes
Get to Trinidad by Bus
The best way is to get to Trinidad with a night bus from Viazul, the bus company for tourists (we can’t use the same ones as the Cubans).
These buses are more expensive than those used by Cubans, but these buses are also used by Cubans.
– From Havana, there are daily buses to Trinidad. Count approximately between 6h to 6h30 of road and approximately 25 CUC/p.
– From Cienfuegos, count 1h30 of journey for approximately 6 CUC/p.
Beware as everywhere in Cuba, buses are often late and leave when they decide… if they are not full, they can wait!
Getting to Trinidad from Havana
If you want to go to Trinidad from Havana, the best option is to take the Viazul buses, depending on the number of people travelling.
If you are going with three or four people, it will be cheaper, more comfortable and faster to negotiate with a taxi driver.
Get to Trinidad From Camagüey
From Camagüey you can take a night bus from the company Viazul, since it is the only one that allows tourists to travel.
It was very comfortable, so much so, that I was asleep the whole way, and I woke up when we were entering Trinidad.
Going to Havana from Trinidad
The price to go to Havana from Trinidad is the same in both collective taxi and Viazul, so you may find it more convenient to go by taxi.
This is due to the high demand of travelers going from Trinidad to Havana.
The price is 25 CUCs.
Viazul Bus Station in Trinindad : Calle Gloria, Trinidad 62600, Cuba
Get to Trinidad By Taxi
Many collective taxis also make the trip. Ask about sharing the cost.
Best things to do in Trinidad
That Trinidad is one of Cuba‘s main destinations is no longer a secret. But even so, even in high season, it’s far from being a crowded place, full of visitors.
In any case, Trinidad offers a significant amount of activities, both day and night.
Here the best things to do in Trinidad :
Stroll on the Plaza Mayor
As the nerve centre of the city where all roads lead, it is difficult not to succumb to the charm of the Plaza Mayor. In the well-kept gardens, bordered by white wrought iron, you can admire beautiful bronze statues dating from the early 19th century and the Church of the Holy Trinity.
The Plaza Mayor is surrounded by colour, the Casa de los Sánchez Iznaga, the Iglesia de la Santísima Trinidad, the Casa Padrón, the Museo Romántico. Everywhere you look you see light, colour and tall palm trees.
If you notice a crowd on the steps and an impressive amount of people on their mobile phones, then you will understand that you have arrived at one of the internet spots.
Casa de la Musica
This place is the meeting place during the day and at night. During the day, dozens of people gather on its stairs to watch the day go by, perhaps reading, some with music. And that the mojitos never miss.
During the night its stairs give way to long lines, especially of tourists, looking to get in, a place to hear and dance salsa or whatever the musicians are playing that night. And around the Casa de la Música there are other small bars, which make your wait easier by selling mojitos at really cheap prices.
Visit the Museum of Colonial Architecture
This museum installed in a typical house of the time, the Casa de los Sanchez Iznaga, depicts the architectural richness of the Creole culture since the 18th century. The building itself is a fascinating witness of the colonial period.
Walking around the local market
Trinidad’s market is the place to go to meet the locals. Stalls of a thousand colours, tasting of tropical fruits and local specialities, it is an extremely lively place.
Many locals will stop you to ask if you have soap, shampoo or clothes to give them. Think about this when you pack your suitcase.
Coffee at Don Pépé’s
We recommend a stop at Cafe Don Grandpa. Sitting in the shade of a tree in the garden, you can taste the Turquino coffee for which the establishment is famous or one of their freshly squeezed fruit juices. The setting of this café is really nice, relaxing and above all refreshing. (2,50CUC the coffee)
Dancing the night away
In the evening, the sound of the music gets louder and the atmosphere gets hotter. Meet at the foot of the steps of the Casa de la Trova, where since 1777 a small open-air café has been transformed into a wild dance floor. Atmosphere guaranteed!
During the day, keep your ears open and don’t be surprised to see a band playing some Cuban music in the street. In Cuba, music resounds everywhere!
of its little name is a discotheque with 5 dance floors, 3 bars and open 7 days a week.
Around 1am, a show of acrobats and fireworks is proposed but there are few tables inside so don’t come too late. It’s better to to go there around 11pm to avoid the queue. The entrance is around 5 CUC/p including a drink and no bags are allowed inside.
For the small anecdote, the club is really called Carlos Coco Ayala, name of a serial killer who kidnapped children, then took them to a cave and killed them all.
Tour the palaces
Trinidad’s wealthy families lived in sumptuous buildings that are now listed. Most of them house museums. Don’t miss the 18th century Palacio Brunet, symbol of Trinidad’s golden age, or the Palacio Cantero which houses the History Museum.
Valley of Los Ingenios
Just next to Trinidad, this valley is the memory of the sugar industry era. There are many vestiges of this era. Before leaving, admire the view of the plantations from the top of the 45-metre high Iznaga tower.
Topes de Collantes
To discover lush vegetation, you have to go to Topes de Collantes. Take a hike on the small steep paths that lead to pretty waterfalls where it is pleasant to refresh yourself. A three-hour hike that will take you to the foot of the Vegas Grand Falls.
El Nicho Waterfalls
Well developed, the El Nicho National Park in the heart of the Escambray massif is not to be missed. Difficult to access by car, it is preferable to go there by 4×4 or by truck, starting from the village of Cumanayagua. Splendid vegetation, wild animals and waterfalls make this region one of the most appreciated of the island. The ideal place to swim!
Enjoying the joys of swimming at Playa Ancon
Beautiful beach accessible from Trinidad by a shuttle for 2 CUC round trip, Ancon, a long stretch of white sand, is the place where families like to meet on Sundays. Umbrellas, small huts to eat, it is also possible to do snorkeling or scuba diving. An ideal place for a day or a relaxing stay in Cuba!
Go for a Canchánchara
Best Tours & Day trips from Trinidad
El Cubano Park
Located 5 km north of Trinidad, in the Sierra del Escambray, El Cubano Park are the closest waterfalls to Trinidad.
It is a nature reserve and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The park is also rich in relics from the colonial period and slavery, including an ingenio, a sugar mill where slaves worked.
A 3.6 km hiking trail (Las Huellas de la Historia) leads to the Javira waterfall, where you can take a dip.
It takes around 2 hours round trip on foot to reach the waterfall.
On site, you will find a ranchón, a ranch-restaurant, where you can have lunch.
How to get there ?
The most courageous can walk there from Trinidad (6 km walk).
Otherwise, ask at the agencies in Trinidad or take a cab from downtown (30 CUC round trip).
- Entrace Fee : 10 CUC
- Transportation: 30 CUC the return taxi
The Valley of Los Ingenios
In the 19th century, the Valley of Los Ingenios was the nerve center of the Cuban sugar industry.
With the decline of the sugar industry, the “ingenios”, the refineries of the valley, were abandoned.
These old sugar factories are today the best preserved in the Caribbean.
Topes de Collantes Natural Park
Perched at 700 meters above sea level in the Sierra del Escambray, the Topes de Collantes Natural Park is a paradise for nature lovers.
It is crisscrossed by several hiking trails that lead through lush landscapes before leading to waterfalls and natural swimming pools.
The most famous paths are Salto de Caburní and Vegas Grande.
These were for a long time the refuge of the revolutionaries, but above all, they have proved to be a refuge for many animal and plant species.
Located 11 km from Trinidad, the Ancon Peninsula has beautiful white sand beaches that stretch for about 12 km.
Three large hotels line the beach, but the beaches are less crowded and quieter than in Varadero or Guardalavaca.
It is the perfect place to spend an afternoon swimming in the sea.
The beach is public but you will be asked to pay a few CUC to use the deckchairs and umbrellas available on the spot.
Count 6 CUC by cab to go to Playa Ancon from the center of Trinidad.
Park of Guanayara
The Park of Guanayara is located 35 Km from Trinidad and 15 Km from Topes de Collantes.
This park is still preserved from tourism. The hike is about 3km.
You will be able to swim in natural pools like the one of El Venano and in the El Rocio waterfall.
You also need a good physical condition because there are many descents, climbs and walks in the forest but the scenery is worth the detour.
The visit of this park is apparently done in groups, with a local guide specialized in eco-tourism. Early morning departure in a jeep or a truck. Stop at the watchtower to enjoy a panoramic view of the city, then you will visit the café house.
Salto del Caburni Waterfall
If you like to to explore the Cuban jungle this tour is for you
The outward journey is all downhill, on terrain that can be slippery at times. We therefore advise you to take good cramped shoes.
As you go deeper into the jungle, you may come across birds, lizards and perhaps a few small, colourful, non-poisonous snakes, which we do not advise you to tickle all the same.
After a good hour of walk, quite steep slopes and a few centilitres less sweat, you will arrive at the waterfall and discover a first pool
Continue on the path by the left, to arrive on the top of the site as close as possible to the waterfall which is not so impressive.
You will be able to have a picnic, alternate swimming and sunbathing times before heading back home which is far from being easy as the climb is continuous.
- Sufficient water
- Asnack, fruit or a picnic according to your wishes
- Good walking shoes
- Rafting/canyoning shoes if you have, rather handy for walking between rocks and in the water
7km of outward/return walking which only go down on the outward journey and only go up on the return journey, i.e.
1h15 of outward walking and about 1h30 on the return journey minimum.
Pro Tip: Arrive early on the site because you will be really quiet.
Be aware that this waterfall requires a good physical condition because the heat but especially the slope of the paths leading to the waterfalls does not allow everyone to make this trek.
The return is more difficult because it climbs quite a bit but by taking the time and stopping, it is feasible.
Travel agencies / excursions in Trinidad
- Cubatur : Antonio Maceo n°447
- Infotur : Calle Gloria
Best restaurants in Trinidad
There are very good restaurants in Trinidad, but there is also the possibility of eating at the inhabitant. We recommend you to test the 2 options
Test the “San José” which seems to be the institution of tourists passing through Trinidad. This warmly decorated restaurant is equipped with an air-conditioned room and serves Cuban cuisine with a focus on seafood, especially lobster, not forgetting meat dishes such as Ropa Vieja, which I can’t recommend you enough.
You will also find a more western menu with pizzas & pasta. A beautiful address in Cuba with reasonable prices, a very pleasant and professional team.
in the historical centre at the foot of the Casa de la trova. Take the small door on Fernando Hernández street and go directly to the nice roof-top of this restaurant. Do not hesitate to make a reservation in order to enjoy this beautiful and popular space.
On the menu are local recipes, simple and tasty food and a very good Canchanchara, the cocktail of Trinidad.
Other Nice Restaurants in Trinidad
- Guitarra Mia restaurant (19 Calle Alameda) for its cuisine, its duo of gifted and enchanting singers and its atmosphere.
- Paladar La Marinera on Jovellanos 178 e/Iglesia y Perla
- For a romantic tête en amoureux : Los Conspiradores just for the little table on the balcony. It’s unmistakable because it’s right next to the Casa de la Musica.
- The Real Café
- Vista Gourmet on Callejón de Gallegos
- Sol Ananda (Real 45 opposite the Plaza Mayor)
- Paladar la Nueva Era (Simon Bolivar, 518 (between J.M. Marquez y Echerri)
- La Redaccion on Antonio Gutierrez, 463
- Paraito, a small and cheap cafeteria (Marti Numero 181B, between Lino Perez and Camilo Cienfuegos)
- Cafeteria Don Borrell to enjoy good pizzas
Best places to have a drink in Trinidad
It is imperative to taste the local cocktail: the Canchanchara.
Traditionally served in a terracotta cup, this delicious cocktail is made from honey, lemon, water, ice cubes and Aguardiente, a brandy from Central and South America.
Bistro Trinidad for its rooftop and pretty view of the bell tower.
La Taberna La Canchanchara
El Rincon de la Salsa
Cuba libre: café with roof terrace
Nightlife in Trinidad
Trinidad is music, joy, rum, color and more music.
Trinidad nights are worth it. And you don’t just have to go to the Casa de la Música, there are more places to listen to live Cuban music and drink some mojitos, or daiquiris, or beers, or whatever you want.
To find those places in such a small village, you just have to walk around and get lost, even at night, don’t be afraid Trinidad is a beautiful and quiet place.
Beaches in Trinidad
What is interesting about Trinidad is its ideal position between sea and mountains. So, if you want to make a small beach stop, you will have the choice between Playa Ancon, 11 km from Trinidad, and Caribe grill, a little closer but two places famous for their long warm sand beach and the colour of the turquoise water.
Go there early enough to enjoy this small corner quietly and the rather family atmosphere.
Playa Ancon in a few words
Playa Ancon looks quite small next to its competitors, Varadero at the top of the list! But it has an advantage, and not the least: its location!
Playa Ancon is located just a few kilometers from Trinidad, a beautiful colonial city listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Valle de los Ingenios and the Sierra del Escambray are also within easy reach!
How to Get to Playa Ancon ?
To get to Playa Ancon, head 12 km south of Trinidad, in the province of Sancti Spíritus.
Buses run for 2 CUC from Trinidad four times a day. You can also take a cab to Playa Ancon for 6 CUC.
Alternatively, bicycles can be rented.
It takes about 40 minutes to get to Playa Ancon, taking your time.
Activities at Playa Ancon
The coral reef is easily accessible and shipwrecks and galleons litter the seabed. Playa Ancon is a great place for snorkeling and diving! Go to the beach marina to rent your equipment and organize your excursions.
The marina also organizes catamaran trips to nearby coral islands.
You can also try deep-sea fishing (280 CUC per boat for 4 hours, up to 6 people) or fly-fishingin the mangroves (250 CUC for 2 people for 6 hours).
And for the more romantic, why not embark on a sunset cruise (from 20 CUC)?
Where to stay in Playa Ancon: hotels & casas particulares
Most tourists choose to stay in the beautiful colonial city of Trinidad.
However, if you prefer to stay on site, there are three hotel clubs in Playa Ancon:
- Club Amigo Ancon
- Club Amigo Costa Sur
- Hotel Memories Trinidad del Mar.
But be warned, the quality of these hotels leaves a little to be desired and their only strong point is their location…
If your budget does not allow you to stay in Playa Ancon itself, you will also find casas particulares in the seaside villages of La Boca, 7 km from Playa Ancon, or Casilda, 5 km south of Trinidad.
In Casilda, we recommend two casas particulares:
- The Villa Dona Babara
- The Casa Novoa In La Boca, the establishment we recommend is the Casa Estrada.
Beware of beach fleas!
Beware, as in many places in the Caribbean, beach fleas are rampant in Playa Ancon at sunrise and sunset! It is therefore preferable to avoid the beach at these times and to bring insecticide!
Caribe Grill Beach
Caribe Grill is a small charming beach. its warm waters and its open-air restaurant serves well cooked seafood: squid, fish, shrimp but you can also eat good grilled lobsters with their accompaniment. Open from 8am to 8pm.
Punta Maria Beach
If you are looking for another nice beach, there is Punta Maria, a little smaller and less beautiful than Playa Ancon but still nice.
The parking is paying: 1 CUC/scooter and 2 CUC/car.
The banana leaf parasol is 1 CUC and the deckchair is 2 CUC/p
Bring children’s shoes as there are plenty of rocks by the water’s edge.
Visit Trinidad : Travel FAQ
How to Get To Trinidad ?
Trinidad is one of the most touristic cities in Cuba, and there is no shortage of means of transportation to get there.
Buses serve Trinidad daily from Havana (6 to 6.5 hours drive for 25 CUC) and from Cienfuegos (1.5 hours, 6 CUC).
Many collective cabs also make the trip.
If you go to Trinidad from Cienfuegos, we highly recommend the excursion proposed by Cubanacan which makes a stop in the magnificent natural park of El Nicho (44 CUC including the trip from Cienfuegos to Trinidad, the entrance to the park and lunch).
What are the Best Hotels in Trinidad Cuba ?
If you want to have a real treat and your budget allows it, we recommend the Iberostar Grand Hotel in Trinidad.
Hotel infrastructures, even 4 and 5 stars, are often old-fashioned in Cuba.
Located in a magnificent colonial building overlooking the Parque Cespedes, the Iberostar Grand Hotel is an exception to the rule. The rooms are spacious and the decoration is well done
How is the Wifi and Internet in Trinidad ?
The wifi works very badly in Trinidad! Connections in the square where the Casa de la Musica is located are just jumping with the number of people sitting on the steps. Therefore, we invite you to go to the side of the José Marti Park for a better connection.
To buy your internet card, Etecsa Telepunto: address Lino Pérez n° 274 between José Martí and Miguel Calzada.
Post office: Antonio Maceo n°418
Are there ATM or Can I change Money In Trinidad ?
You can change money in 2 places :
– Banco de Crédito y Comercio : José Martí n°264
– Cadeca : José Martí n°164
What are the best Excursions from Trinidad ?
From the city, you can visit the valley of the sugar cane factories (Valle de los Ingeions) but also the different parks located in the surrounding hills with “Topes de Collantes” , El Nicho, “Parque El Cubano” and of course the beaches of “Playa Ancon”
How Many Days Should I Spend in Trinidad Cuba ?
If you have time, you can easily stay there for several days because there are plenty of little things to see in the surroundings and it’s a good place to settle down. That being said, Trinidad is a must for first-timers and should be included in your itinerary in Cuba
Is Trinidad worth for a Photography Tour ?
Trinidad is all color. A real treat for the scenes of life.
Stepping on its cobbled streets and seeing that every corner, every nook and cranny, no matter from the heights, is photography.
Fortunately, the streets are also the scene of street peddlers who sell fruit, vegetables, flowers, brooms and other products of all kinds in the streets where horse-drawn carriages, old American cars and taxis live side by side.
We can only recommend Tristan’s Photography Tours: “Viva Cuba”