Authentic Trinidad

Written by Sam Van den Haute aka CheckOutSam

Trinidad was barely a two hour drive from Cienfuegos. I was happy that the much less comfortable bus ride went by so fast because there was another girl from Belgium who with whom I could talk a lot. After two months it can be a lot of fun to speak your own language and to share your love for Belgian fries with someone else!

Sam Van den Haute CheckoutSam

Hi, I'm Sam, the blogger behind CheckOutSam!

Sam Van den Haute has been a full-time world traveler for ten years and has therefore gained a lot of travel and lifestyle inspiration on all continents. Do you still have questions after reading this blog? Ask them in the comments section or send me a message at [email protected] and I'll be happy to help you wherever I can!

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The view from our Casa Particular in Trinidad.

The view from our Casa Particular in Trinidad.

Me and my new backpacker friends were dropped off first. Our backpacks were hoisted off the roof and we paid six CUC per person to the friendly driver.

This casa was a lot better than the previous casa’s we had had. The man told us that the normal price was 10 CUC per person, but because we were friends of Magnolia (the woman with the casa from Havana), he gave us the rooms for 8 CUC per person per night.

Another advantage to this casa was that the man spoke very good English. Seriously though! Sometimes it seemed as if Cubans refused to speak English while they are constantly in contact with tourists who speak only English. The last two months I had been constantly forced to speak Spanish, and now I finally managed to understand quite a lot and actually began speaking it as well.

It was already quite late and so we decided to postpone exploring the town until tomorrow and now just go look for a place to eat.

It seemed impossible to find cheap restaurants like in Havana or Cienfuegos. Six or seven CUC for a meal is still not very expensive, but in the other cities we usually paid only 1 to 3 CUC for the same meal.
Smack in the center, we found a beautiful spot where we could sit on the roof terrace and had an amazing view over the beautiful village.

We had more than enough time to enjoy the view, because our food took more than an hour and a half after we ordered it.

The German girl had ordered a paella without onions because she was allergic to them. When the food arrived, it of course had an extra layer of crispy onions on it.
She explained the waitress that she could not eat them and thus only ordered a plate of fries instead. You wouldn’t think that fries take that long to bake, but in this restaurant everything was going incredibly slow.


A couple that had arrived an hour after us seemed to be served very quickly though. Right after we were served, they got their salad and a paella… Coincidence or not?!

After we spent more than three hours in this slow restaurant, we went back to our casa to get ready for the night. It was weekend after all!

The Swedish boy, Matthias, had heard from friends that Trinidad was a very nice place to go out. There seemed to be an underground cave where everyone danced the night away.

At the top of the small town of Trinidad, there stood a rock that didn’t seem that impressive to us. Once you entered the cave (Disco Ayala) I had to change my mind though. Probably one of the best party locations I had ever been to!

It was good that the night had already fallen. The way to Disco Ayala was uphill and very steep, so anything that made us sweat a little less was good. To make our voyage a bit easier, we drank mojitos along the way. Right next to the steep cobblestone path, there were many stalls selling drinks for only 1 CUC.

It had been a long time since I drank alcohol, so I already felt dizzy after my second -very strong- mojito… Sanna kept going and had already drank more than me and Maaike together!
Matthias could not drink because he was on antibiotics curing his throat infection.

When we were finally at the top of the hill, we had to wait in a long queue. Lots of locals squeezed into the queue and got in fairly quickly… We waited for almost two hours. I think we were a little too patient and honest… When we finally came it was already one o’clock in the morning!

The entrance fee was 5 CUC but there was one drink included. For me, one more drink was good because I didn’t want to get sick of all the alcohol I had already drank (during our long wait, I of course drank some more mojito’s…). Fortunately, we all could sweat out our excessive alcohol while trying to copy the moves of the Cubans dancing.

The wait was well worth it was because this was truly one of the best locations I have ever partied!
The gigantic club consisted of nothing more than a dance floor in a hollow cave, with a delightful mix of music. All of the Cubans and many tourists clearly knew how to celebrate, because nobody seemed to stop anytime soon!

Three hours later we went, all a bit tipsy, home and fell in our comfortable beds, falling asleep right away.

The typical red roods and cobblestone paths of Trinidad.

The typical red roods and cobblestone paths of Trinidad.

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