Trinidad

The tiny Trinidad is one of the most authentic places I visited in Cuba. With the ever-present cobblestone streets and terracotta roofs you might even call the village romantic. Cars are scarce, but you'll see horse and cart all the more.
Although the authenticity of the village is well preserved, it is very touristy. The beautiful churches, museums and nearby nature are certainly worth the effort to visit Trinidad.

Oldtimers are everywhere in Cuba!

Oldtimers are everywhere in Cuba!

  Average costs

If you read the article on Cuba, you already know that there are two currencies in Cuba. In this article, I clarify the CUC and CUP a little more if you still find it confusing.

Accommodation – Like everywhere in Cuba, you have two options for overnight stays. You can stay in a government ran hotel, or you can choose for a casa particularis.
The state hotels are often quite expensive and certainly no better than the B&B casa’s.
A casa particularis costs on average between 20 and 30 CUC per night. The cheapest are 15 CUC per room or 8 CUC per person (if you do not mind sleeping with other guests).

A casa or hotel is very hard to book in advance (since there is no, or very limited, internet in Cuba). Through websites like AirBNB you can now search and pre-book rooms in Cuba, but the choice is quite limited.
Try to arrange your first accommodation in advance and then just rely on your casa mama. She has many friends in casa’s all over the country. A simple phone call from her is enough to reserve your next spot.

Food – Trinidad is very small and touristy. No idea where the locals eat, but I couldn’t find very cheap restaurants and eateries in Trinidad. The cheapest I found was pizza for 3 to 4 CUC per person. In restaurants you will pay between six and ten CUC per person. Make sure to try the delicious lobster (between 10 and 14 CUC).

Transportation – In Trinidad itself you do not need transportation. I don’t even think that there is public transport, so that immediately tells you how small this town is.
To go a bit outside Trinidad (to the beach for example), you have to take the taxi. If you are with a group, the cheaper it gets. Try to haggle and fix your price in advance.

If you want to travel from Trinidad to another city, you can either take the Viazul bus or a taxi collectivo. Both are similar in price, but the viazul busses are more comfortable.

The Plaza Mayor in Trinidad. The main square.

The Plaza Mayor in Trinidad. The main square.

 Saving money

Arrange your visit to Trinidad yourself – Instead of booking expensive trips you’d better arrange Trinidad on your own. All you need to do is hop on the Viazul bus and then … Go with the flow! At the bus station in Trinidad, there are always some casa owners that would be happy to give an overnight stay to a couple of tourists.

Bargaining – Taking a taxi or buying souvenirs at a market? Reduce the original price by a little every time. Haggling almost always helps. Even if only one CUC. After a while one CUC becomes a lot!

The bell tower of the San Francisco church in Trinidad.

The bell tower of the San Francisco church in Trinidad.

  Do’s

Explore the town – The village became UNESCO heritage in 1988 and that of course means something… The beautiful town is filled with beautiful Spanish villas and colonial buildings.
Definitely go to the Plaza Mayor in order to see the beautiful Iglesia de la Santisima Parroquial, or go next door to sit on the always busy stairs to do some people watching.
Enter the San Francisco church that was converted into a museum that glorifies Cuba. At the top, in the bell tower, you get a wonderful view over the terracotta rooftops of Trinidad.

Ancon beach – Cuba is of course part of the Caribbean, and that of course means heavenly beaches! The Ancon beach is one of them. From Trinidad, getting to the beach will take you fifteen, twenty minutes. You don’t have to carry parasols with you, since they are available for free at the beach.
The taxi costs between eight and ten CUC for a single journey. If you find it too expensive, you can also rent a bike for 4 CUC per day. By bike you’ll be there in about an hour.

Javira waterfalls – The journey to this 62 meter high waterfall can be a bit tiring, but once you reach the top you won’t mind. Refresh yourself in the beautiful waterfall and enjoy the magnificent views while climbing up.
The entrance fee is 9 CUC per person. Try to leave in the morning so that you don’t need to climb when it gets too hot.

Go out in Disco Ayala – If you walk all the way up the mountain in Trinidad, you’ll eventually see Disco Ayala. An underground disco which, indeed, is in a cave. There is often a long queue to get in, but fortunately, on the way you can find a couple of stalls with delicious mojitos or other alcoholic beverages.
The entrance fee is 5 CUC, but there’s one drink included for that price. Let yourself go on a mix of salsa, pop and reggaeton. Really recommended, because let’s be honest … Who wouldn’t want to party in an underground cave?!

There are markets everywhere in Trinidad! Souvenirs anyone?

There are markets everywhere in Trinidad! Souvenirs anyone?

 Don’ts

Crossing streets without looking – The traffic in Trinidad is pretty much non-existent, and in a large part of the city cars aren’t even allowed. Nevertheless, you should always watch out for passing vehicles! Electric mopeds (they make no noise!!!) or horses startled me occasionally.

Drinking tap water – Like everywhere in Cuba, you have to watch out with tap water. There are no purification companies and so you might become seriously ill if you drink too much tap water.

Leave your travel guide home – Internet is very limited in Cuba. At your hotel or casa you can not just quickly look up a couple of the top attractions in Trinidad. So take a travel guide and map with you. Or, in any case, do some research in advance.

Trinidad is amazing! I love the authenticity and the nearby nature!

Trinidad is amazing! I love the authenticity and the nearby nature!

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Hi, I'm Sam Van den Haute. The last three years I've been traveling the world almost constantly. Heading out for an adventure and visiting the most beautiful places are what I love to do! Let me inspire you with great stories, beautiful pictures and handy tips from my adventures and travels. On my facebook page and instagram account you'll get to see the latest updates and photos to inspire you for your next vacation.
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