Trinidad, Cuba is a town in the province of Sancti Spiritus in central Cuba. Since 1988 Trinidad and the nearby Valle de los Ingenios have been part of the UNESCO World Heritage. If you love the outdoors, museums and enjoy a good meal you must stop by Trinidad while on your trip around Cuba. The city has a rich history, beautiful colonial architecture and mouthwatering dishes that can be enjoyed in many restaurants, markets, and paladares located in former colonial homes. When the sun goes down every corner of Trinidad will turn into a private concert, you can stroll through the city, enjoy the street concerts or head to one of the clubs in the city.
Stroll through Plaza Mayor
In the heart of Trinidad city, you will find the beautiful Plaza Mayor, filled with museums, cafes, restaurants and Spanish colonial-style architecture that dates back to the 18th and 19th centuries. The colorful buildings in the Plaza Mayor belonged to the wealthy landowners when the city was rich because of the sugarcane plantation income.
Plaza Mayor is one of the most touristic spots that you will find in the Trinidad city as everyone wants to see the Museo Historico and the famous Iglesia Parroquial de la Santisima Trinidad. Once your feet are getting tired, your stomach is growling and your mouth is dry it is time to sit down at one of the nearby restaurants or alfresco cafés, Trinidad city offers to dine on a budget as the average meal in a restaurant will only cost you 5-10$. One of the tips from the locals as well as former tourists is to watch out from the local touts who will try to call you out and sell you just about anything, unfortunately, due to the low salaries and unemployment, this is how Cubans earn extra income if you do not wish to purchase anything you must simply say a firm no and continue on with the sightseeing.
Taste the Trinidad food
As the Trinidad city excels in history, architecture, and music the food scene does not have the best reputation. You can dine on a budget as well as experience unique foods at one of the former colonial homes that have been turned into restaurants. The food tends to be spicy and covered with plenty of garlic. The Trinidad cuisine is a mix of African, Indian, European and Arabic kitchens. Trinidadians accompany their meals with various condiments and toppings, the food tends to be savory, rich in flavor and including a mix of vegetables, meats, and seafood. One of the most popular Trinidadian dishes is curried duck served with either roti or rice, the dish is so popular that the locals even held a cooking competition. If you want to try street foods you can find some delicious pies, meats, baked and cold snacks.
If you still have some space left you must try one of the local deserts like sugar cakes, chocolates, cheeses, or fresh fruit. And don’t forget to try at least one of the most famous beverages La Canchanchara, which is made of rum, honey, lemon, and aguardiente.
Visit Valle De Los Ingenios
Valle De Los Ingenios or Valley of the sugar mills in English is a region that became popular due to the vast sugar production. During the 18th and 19th century Valle De Los Ingenios was the sugar-producing capital of the world as it has round 50 sugar mills and housed around 30,000 slaves that worked in the fields. Valle De Los Ingenios has contributed to the main part of the cities wealth. Take a guided tour to Manaca Iznaga where you can see the main house and 44-meter watchtower Some tours also go to lesser-known (and therefore significantly less crowded) sugar mills. Tours of the valley include other sights such as- The Mirador de La Loma del Puertos, an elevated lookout, offers impressive views of the entire Valle de los Ingenios and Casa Guachinango, owned in the 18th century by Don Mariano Borrell, a well-known name in the history of the region. You can do a day trip where you explore the valley by getting there with the tourist train, car or even horseback.
Enjoy the Trinidad nightlife
Music is a big part of Cuban life, especially in Trinidad. Streets musicians occupy just about every corner of the city. You can choose to go for a stroll and grab a drink at one of the local cafes or bars, mingle with the other tourists at your hotel or head to the most famous clubs in Trinidad – Disco Ayala which Is located in an actual cave.
Taberna La Canchánchara a place where they serve the traditional drink with the same name – made from rum, honey, lemon, and water. If the crowded club scene is not for you- grab a beer at the Casa de la Cerveza which the most popular place for beer lovers and tourists.
One of the greatest spots for hanging out and partying in Trinidad is Playa Ancon. The beach is not exactly in the city center, but it is a must-see for the beach party lovers. You can go by taxi, rent a bike or catch a bus. Grab a drink at one of the beach bars and enjoy the local music while lying in the white sand.
Hike through the Escambray mountains
Not far from Trinidad, Cuba, there’s the country’s second-largest mountain range, called Sierra del Escambray. Full of hiking trails and waterfalls, that goes through coffee plantations and lead to the caburni river. The Sierra del Escambray Mountains are Cuba’s 2nd largest mountain range. Topes de Collantes is a nature reserve park established in the south-eastern ranges of Escambray Mountains, protecting and showcasing caves, rivers, waterfalls, and canyons. Mountain trails are divided by the difficulty groups, the lowest group offers a contact of nature without any risks, with easy access and does not require any special training.
The medium level required for the tourists being in good physical health and meant for people who practice sports regularly.
The highest level includes specialized trails and might be including some risks and efforts. Meant for those who need an adventure and are in a perfect physical as well as psychological health. The Escambray Mountains offer various types of nature activities- recreational, adventure, and ecotourism as well as agro-tourism. You can rent a car but bear in mind that the drive is steep and quite dangerous, we suggest hiking or horse riding.
Discover Playa Ancon
You have seen the museums, architecture and experienced the cuisine of Trinidad there is only one thing missing – the beach. Playa Ancon is only 12km from Trinidad city and you can easily access it with taxi, bike, bus or private driver. The bus from Trinidad to Playa Ancon departs from the corner of Calle Lino Pérez (San Procopio) and Calle Antonio Maceo (Gutiérrez) – note that many streets in Cuba have two names (from before and after the revolution).
The round trip costs 5 CUC. A popular way of going to the Playa Ancon among the tourist is the Taxi Colectivo, a shared taxi which is a much cheaper, faster and fun way to travel around the Ancon Peninsula.
The best time to visit Cuba is from December to May, the weather is sunny, dry and with clear skies. June and July is mostly rainy which follows the hottest month of the year in August.
If you don’t want to do a day trip you can stay at one of the beach resorts which are located right in front of the beach.
Ride a horse and explore the trails
One of the many ways to discover Trinidad city is on the back of a horse. For those who love adventure Trinidad tourism organizes horse riding tours while you can enjoy the views of the rivers, mountains, waterfalls and sugarcane fields. Horseback riding gives travelers an opportunity to experience unknown routes. The tours usually start with a walk through the historic part of the city and continues to the Los Dos Conones where you will be greeted by the instructors and horses. Tourists will be instructed how to handle the horses for the safety and most enjoyable ride. The tour continues through the fauna of the mountains where you can hear the beautiful singing of the local birds until you arrive at the stunning El Pilon waterfall. We recommend packing light including swimwear, a hat, hiking boots, and solar protection, and of course, don’t forget to pack your camera to catch the stunning moments for your memories.
Trinidad is a spectacular city that offers many enjoyable activities, beautiful sights, amazing food, and sunny beaches. Make sure you choose the best time of the year to visit and organize your tours in advance.