Trinidad is a quaint beautiful city located in between the sea and mountains with a bunch of colorful homes side by side lining the winding cobblestone streets. Some of the conditions of these homes were very sad especially when you venture out of the main town.
Thankfully on the bus to Trinidad I had two seats to myself so I was able to catch up on the multiple hours of sleep I missed while partying in Varadero. I awoke when we were stopped in Santa Clara and had a mild panic attack that I missed my stop. I kindly asked the two guys behind me in Spanish where we were and we ended up chatting for a bit. Juan is from Argentina and Victor is from Costa Rica. I asked if they wanted to share a casa in my delirious state and they accepted my offer. Woo! I found more friends, the only catch was they didn't speak much English forcing me to practice Spanish day in and day out.
When we got off the bus there were heaps of locals yelling for you to stay at their casa, it reminded me a lot of Sapa in Vietnam getting kicked off the bus at 4am and being hounded by numerous people but this time it was in the sweltering heat at 2pm. We finally found our casa and it was a lovely room and bathroom with a terrace near the Parque Céspedes for 7 CUC each a night.
We headed to Restaurante La Cortuna where not only did I find a hair in my fish, but I was served luke warm coffee with milk and proceeded to get food poisoning. I do not recommend this restaurant.
Parque Cèspedes is beautiful with a big canopy, people playing live music and everyone on their phones to use the wifi. After sunset we headed to Casa de Musica, a big outdoor area with a stage, live bands, dance performances, a bar and so many locals to ask you to dance! Entry is 1 CUC and beers are 2 CUC. If you get a chance to see the band Harlem, they are the best! After the show the boys and I went to Cuba Libre, a bar behind Casa de Musica where we were greeted by a band playing beautiful traditional Cuban music and a man named Andy who pulled me in an embrace and asked me to salsa with him in the street. It was like our own little mini concert, everyone was singing and playing instruments and dancing.
We had breakfast on the roof terrace, an omlette with bread, fresh fruit, fresh juice and coffee for 3 CUC. Angel, our guide for the day on the horses arrived and we all ventured through the cobblestone streets until we found the horses. I met Negrito, my horse for the day and took in all the beauty around me. Trinidad is surrounded by mountains and so much greenery. We road through the plantations and were shown all different kinds of trees, avocado, lemon, lime, mango tamarindo, etc. The boys and I continued on and road to a sugar cane plantation where an elderly man named Jose sang me many songs and I had the best meal ever for lunch. Rice with beans and eggs with tomato and garlic bread, sweet potatoe, plantain chips, fruit and a sugarcane drink with only sugarcane juice, lime and ice. It was honestly the best meal I had had in a while. After lunch we road to El Cubano, a cave/waterfall where we swam and sang with the locals for two hours!
On the way back through the National Park my horse got spooked and took off without me paying attention and I fell off hurting my butt and back pretty bad. I was in so much pain, but I pushed through and made it home, just walked like an old bent over grandma for the following few days.
I walked to Casa de Musica for a couple beers & a show before heading to Disco Ayala on my own. HOLY COW! The cave club in Vinales has nothing on Disco Ayala! First off it was underground, you walked down a flight of stairs into a hole in the ground. It was massive inside with many different areas to explore. There were heaps of locals there getting wild to the Reggaetone and although it was the sweatiest I had been in Cuba, it was worth it! On the walk up to the cave you can get drinks for only 1 CUC, highly recommend taking advantage of this because it is 3 CUC per drink in the cave!
The next day I climbed to the red and white tower on top of the hill for a view of all of Trinidad. A local man was up there waiting to educate visitors on Trinidad. This view was unbelievable! The vast green mountains which lead into the sea and the town in between it all. I highly recommend doing the thirty minute trek up the mountain!
We headed to Playa Ancon to cool off after our hike. It was pretty, but because it was rainy season there was heaps of seaweed everywhere! The drive was 2 CUC each there and 2 CUC each back. The drive was more beautiful than the beach, I hate to say, but it was nice to chill out under the trees and hop in the water!
That night we watched the sunset on the roof of Hostal You and Me over all of Trinidad. It was amazingly beautiful. All the colorful houses with the mountains in the background & the wondrous clouds. The moon was full and stars were twinkling bright later for my last night in Trinidad.
I truly enjoyed my time in this beautiful town. I recommend visiting in the low season because you will get the true local flavor of Trinidad. All the locals are wonderful! Everyone wants to help, chat, dance or sing with you! I will definitely go back to Trinidad!
Things to do:
- Casa de Musica - 1 CUC entry. A must see in the main square of Trinidad.
- Horse tour - 10 CUC each for a whole day tour! Be sure the horses look healthy before getting on, many seem to be injured, but people are still riding them anyways!
- Disco Ayala - 5 CUC entry and includes a free drink! You have to see this place! Open until 3AM.
- Climb to the top of the mountain past the Disco Ayala to the red and white tower. There will be a local man there offering you information about Trinidad and an unbelievable 360 view of the whole town of Trinidad, the sea and the mountains.
Where to stay:
- Hostal You and Me! Beautiful roof top terrace and only 15 CUC per night
- Knock on Casa doors with the blue anchor
- Airbnb and Booking.com are good options if you want to book somewhere in advance.
Where to eat:
- Taberna La Botija - cheap eats and super cool vibe!
- Gutiarra Mia - a bit more expensive but delicious restaurant! They give you a cigar for a souvenir as well!
- Eat breakfast at your casa!
Have an unreal time in Trinidad! Be safe on the horses, dance a lot & try to meet as many locals as possible. They can tell you everything you'll need to know about their home country!