Trinidad is a small and colorful town located around 350 kilometers from Havana. It is extremely well preserved, which makes the city a very popular tourist destination. During the day, buses with tourists from the nearby resorts will arrive the city, but at night the city is quiet. The well-preserved town and its colorful architecture aren’t the only reasons to visit Trinidad. Not far from Trinidad, you will find the beautiful beach Playa Anchon, the national park Topes de Collantes and beautiful Valley de los Ingenios.
We took the bus from Havana 7 in the morning, and after driving for 6-7 hours we finally reached Trinidad (the trip only takes 4 hours by car, but the bus stopped everywhere). At the bus station we were nearly attacked by hustlers who wanted us to stay in their “casa”/hotel. We hadn’t pre-booked anything, so we looked around and found a decent casa for 20 CUC a night for a double room. We then went out for lunch, and we soon noticed that the restaurant owners seemed to be as desperate as the casa owners – which made the prices pretty much lower than in Havana. March is high season, so it seems like there are way too many casas and restaurants in Trinidad, despite the hordes of tourists.
Trinidad is not a big city, and you can easily see the main sights in a few hours. Still, I recommend spending a few days here. We had four days in Trinidad (we spent a lot of time at the beach), and that was perfect.
Most things are located around Plaza Mayor. As said – the city is not big – and it seems like every road leads to this square. Most restaurants are also situated near the square.
In Trinidad you won’t only be amazed by the old, American cars, but also the horses you will see everywhere. Many tourists go to Valley de los Ingenios by horse (we didn’t, since my travel buddy Eirin is afraid of horses, haha). But they are in people’s back yards, in the streets, outside restaurants and so on – everywhere! When driving you will meet them all the time, which makes the traffic quite scary (everyone wants to pass the horse and carriage – no matter situation). Visiting Trinidad is really like going back in time!
As in Havana, the restaurants usually have the same menu, only differing by the prices. Naturally, the quality of the seafood is high because of Trinidad’s location. I have a few restaurants to recommend:
Restaurante Museable La Santisima (at least, I think that was the name – the sign was a bit confusing) is a great restaurant – and not only in Cuban standards – with tasty food and excellent location. It is a bit hard to find it, but it is located behind the yellow church near Plaza Mayor. It is a roof top restaurant with amazing view, and the food (pumpkin soup and lobster) is the best I had in Cuba.
La Esquina (located at Plaza Mayor) is a “Mexican restaurant”. As I said, almost all the restaurants offer the same food, but this one is a bit different. Do not expect real Mexican food (it was actually quite far from Mexican, haha..) but it was good with a change after eating the same food for lunch and dinner every day.
Restaurant Lis is another typical Cuban restaurants with tasty food and prices lower than average. It is quite fun because it is almost like you are in prison when you sit at the window table (see picture below).
Casa de la Musica is an outdoor club with live music were both locals and tourists meet to drink and dance. It is located near Plaza Mayor, the entrance is free (or 1 CUC in cover some nights) and the drinks are cheap. The atmosphere is great and this surely is a place to visit when in Trinidad. There are also a few similar places in this area. I don’t know the name of the place, but we visited an indoor bar which was really great (and it was mostly locals here); we walked down from Casa de la Musica and passed Plaza Mayor, and after maybe 1 minute of walking you will see the place located at the left side of this street. It was really an experience; the Cubans are crazy on the dance floor!