Discover Trinidad in 48 hours

Our original thought was to return from Viñales back to Havana but we quickly changed our mind and decided to go to Trinidad. We booked a taxi colectivo for the next morning that ended up being an adventure all by itself. Although we weren’t told, we had to exchange cars in Havana and the one we got in after was actually a minibus with a (non-functional) old style TV hung from the ceiling in the front. While passing through a short storm, it dripped everywhere inside the car. To top this, we saw at one point the driver almost falling asleep on the highway. Luckily, shortly after we stopped for a break.

Taxi colectivo

Getting here from Viñales:

By bus
• Viazul ticket is 37 CUC from Vinales to Trinidad and it leaves early in the morning.
By car
• Taxi colectivo is around 35 CUC per person from Vinales and you will need to change cars closer to Havana. From Havana it will be around 25 CUC, but this price depends on the number of people sharing the taxi.
• Rent a car – we didn’t want to rent a car in Cuba but we heard a lot of people doing it – it might be more expensive though.

Accommodation in Trinidad

Since we were there during the low season, we decided not to book accommodation in advance. Our FootPrint book said that prices average around 30 CUC so we figured we’d get them for 20-25 due to the low season. As soon as we stepped off the buss, multiple people jumped to every one of us shouting about their casa in either broken English or Spanish, some even with a folder with photos of their house pushing it way too close to our face. Most of them were offering the casa at 15 CUC per night. We ended up in a casa that was one block away from the centre, where the family stayed downstairs and the upstairs room was being rented out. Breakfast was served on the rooftop terrace with an amazing view of Trinidad and they even had Wi-Fi in the house. The lady was really helpful, recommending us things to do in Trinidad and around.

Casa particular Trinidad

Moon in Trinidad

Things to visit in and around Trinidad

Trinidad is the best preserved colonial town in Cuba with the old part of Trinidad being a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1988. The town centre has mostly cobblestone streets, but compared to the ones around Europe, they were extremely uneven. Colourfully painted houses abound around here as well, just like in the rest of Cuba.

Museum of the Struggle Against the Bandits

Our accommodation was really close to the war museum so we decided to read more about the revolution and the war prior to it and climb the tower for a spectacular view across the town. The entrance to the museum was only 1 CUC per person. We were not disappointed, the view over Trinidad and its surroundings was spectacular.

War museum Trinidad

Tower bell

View over Trinidad

Get lost on the streets

We wandered around on the cobbled streets of Trinidad for hours and we found the open-air market where people were selling all kinds of souvenirs, especially textiles and crochet work, most of them with either the Cuban flag, Che or the royal palm tree. On every street corner there is at least one guy offering either taxi colectivo, horse rides around Trinidad or to take you to a restaurant.

Colourful houses in Trinidad

Cuban sovenirs

Casa de La Musica

If you like salsa, this is the perfect spot to visit in Trinidad where live bands perform during both the day and night. During the night, there is an entrance fee of 1 CUC per person and there is always a mix of Cubans and tourists.

Casa de la musica

Visit El Cubano Waterfall

Next day we decided to hike to El Cubano, a lesser known waterfall instead of taking a horse ride to Salto de Caburni, the most popular waterfall in Parque Natural Topes de Collantes. We followed the road that takes you out of Trinidad and we took a right after the bridge. After a while we arrived at El Cubano restaurant where we stopped to cool down with a cold drink. Here we had to pay 10 CUC per person for the entrance to the park which offers a nice walk up to the waterfall. On the way, there are many small natural pools, one rock full of wasp nests, a small farm half way up and a large variety of plants and birds. At one point, hundreds of yellow butterflies were flying around us and we even got to see a hummingbird.

National Park TrinidadAfter around 40 minutes we reached the waterfall. There is one men that will check your ticket and give you advise about the swimming pool formed at the base of the waterfall. There are rocks inside which can be really slippery so extra care is needed when you enter. The water depth starts shallow and can reach 9 meters near the base of the waterfall. There is also a cave at the base where you can enter or just jump from the cliffs directly to the water. The water is perfect to cool you down after the hike.

El Cubano Waterfall
On the way back we took the shortcut through some fields and we reached Trinidad faster than we expected.

Outside Trinidad

Hike to Radio Tower Hill

Our host arranged a private taxi for 3 people directly to the airport for only 35 CUC per person. We found it to be a good bargain since he picked us up at 1 o’clock so we could enjoy another half day in Trinidad instead of going to Havana in the morning and paying another taxi to the airport. Since we had some time to spare until the pick-up, we decided to hike to the radio tower. It was a steep hike and the sun was burning way too hard. There was a guard waiting at the top. He invited us to the roof for a 180 degree view towards the valley and he explained us what plantations, factories and places to visit around the area.

Panorama from tower hill

View over the valley

Where to eat

Taberna la Botija

Before going to Cuba we download the Cuba app from Triposo and it didn’t disappoint us. Thanks to this app we found the best restaurant in Cuba. We queued two nights in a row at this restaurant as the food was delicious, the mojitos were perfectly made and the atmosphere and décor was nice. The portions are big so make sure you save some space for the desert.

Cuban flag

La Bodiguita del Medio

Last day we were looking for a place to eat because our flight was later in the afternoon but most of the places were closed or they served only drinks. We went to La Bodiquita del Medio – the walls are really cool, all the tourists can write their names on the walls and the band was quite good. On the other hand, the food was really lacking in both taste and quality – I chose the chicken because you can never go wrong with it. Little did I know that they will bring me some boiled chewy chicken without any flavour. The service wasn’t great either so in the end we only tipped the band who made this experience less painful.

Bodiquita del Medio

Tips:

  • A hat, sun-block and insect repellent are needed if you decide to leave the town – the sun can be extremely hot
  • A short hike to the radio tower can offer amazing views
  • Take time to get lost on the streets
  • Learn some Spanish words before going
  • If you haven’t been to Cuba before, go now!

If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy our photo journey in Havana and our Viñales travel guide.

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Trinidad is the best preserved colonial town in Cuba with cobblestone streets and colourful houses, offering plenty of things to do in and around the town. trinidad cuba | accommodation in trinidad | where to eat in trinidad | things to do in trinidad | trinidad | cuba

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28 Comments

  1. July 24, 2017 / 7:44 am

    Wow that waterfall looks heavenly! So fortunate that you guys found an amazing accommodation option, even without booking in advance. I have yet to make it to this part of the world but it looks like the culture and food is to die for!

    • Oana N
      July 26, 2017 / 9:34 pm

      Hi Flo, I really hope you will get there soon as the country is amazing. The waterfall was gorgeous and being able to swim in its pool made that moment magical.

  2. July 24, 2017 / 6:38 pm

    That’s a nice itinerary! I haven’t read much about Trinidad and haven’t considered to explore the place. Your post is really making the place very must-visit. 15 CUC per night with wifi? Wow, that’s so so economical! Oh, that’s also a UNESCO site?!!! The view of the radio tower hill is just wow!!!

    • Oana N
      July 26, 2017 / 9:56 pm

      Glad you liked our itinerary. Yes, we were lucky to find cheap accommodation in a central location without anything booked in advance. The view from the top was gorgeous, thanks to the man who showed us around.

  3. Brooke
    July 25, 2017 / 7:05 am

    Looks stunning! So colorful and such diverse geography. I have to say though the bus ride might make me think twice about traveling there-I detest buses and add in leaking and drivers who fall asleep….ah!

    • Oana N
      July 26, 2017 / 9:54 pm

      Hi Brooke, the drive to Trinidad was an adventure itself but we are glad we decided to go last minute. Trinidad is amazing – the cobbled streets, colourful houses and Cuban people give the town a special touch.

  4. July 25, 2017 / 8:21 am

    I have to admit, this is the first post I have seen on Trinidad. Is 48 hours really enough or would you recommend more? I love the nature aspect of the island and would love to check that out.

    • Oana N
      July 26, 2017 / 9:51 pm

      Hi Danik, I would definitely recommend more time in Trinidad if you want to visit it properly, especially in you like nature. We had just a few days left in Cuba so we squeezed as much as we could in our itinerary.

  5. July 25, 2017 / 10:49 am

    Trinidad looks like such a nice place! Surely it’s surrounded of natural beauties, and there are interesting activities also in the city. Even if, as you said and as I always love to do, the better “choice” is to get lost… You could discover amazing things 🙂 Very useful post! 🙂

    • Oana N
      July 26, 2017 / 9:48 pm

      Thank you, Clara. We personally prefer to allocate some time to just wander around the streets whenever we visit a new place and this never disappointed us by now, we discovered interesting places each time. Trinidad has plenty of places to visit in and outside the town for everyone to chose from.

  6. July 25, 2017 / 12:06 pm

    Wow you did so much in so little time! I feel like Trinidad would take way longer to do properly. But what can you do when you don’t have that much time? Exactly what you did!

    • Oana N
      July 26, 2017 / 9:44 pm

      Hi Joaquim, we did our best in the little time we had left in Cuba.Trinidad has plenty of places to offer and to discover all of them it will take more than a few days. If we will go back, for sure we will allocate more time for this lovely place.

  7. July 25, 2017 / 9:59 pm

    You had a really adventurous trip, some drivers can be really reckless, but the good thing is you had a chance to explore a beautiful place.

    • Oana N
      July 26, 2017 / 9:40 pm

      Hi Elena, yes it was an adventure to get to Trinidad but in the end it was worth it. The place is gorgeous and has a lot of things to offer.

  8. July 28, 2017 / 8:53 pm

    Cuba is on top of my dream countries. Hope to visit it really soon. I loved your post, it’s very informative full of helpful tips. And I loved that you included prices as well.

    • Oana N
      August 1, 2017 / 7:09 pm

      Hi Baia, I hope you will visit Cuba soon. Glad you enjoyed the article.

  9. July 29, 2017 / 10:02 pm

    Great shots guys. LOL on that driver almost falling asleep too. I saw this happening in Laos once. 24 overnight bus to Chiang Mai. The guys were pounding Red Bulls but almost dozed at like 3 AM, until I coughed wildly, on purpose. Woke the guy up, and his sleeping co-pilot. Cuban looks gorgeous, and like a blast from the past. Can’t wait to visit there. Thanks for sharing Oana.

    • Oana N
      August 2, 2017 / 6:55 pm

      Thank you, Ryan. It’s scary to see the driver falling asleep,right? We did some noise on the back of the bus and he decided to stop a few minuted after for a break. Hope you get to Cuba soon.

  10. July 29, 2017 / 11:26 pm

    Here from Reddit. My favourite picture is the third one down. Absolutely enchantingly beautiful. Cool blog.
    Cheers,
    Ben.

    • Oana N
      August 2, 2017 / 6:56 pm

      Hi Ben, thank you for taking the time to stop by. Glad you enjoyed our blog.

  11. July 30, 2017 / 3:04 pm

    Trinidad looks so untouched! Which I suppose makes sense. This is one of the few posts I’ve seen on places to visit in Cuba. I’ll make it there one day 🙂

    • Oana N
      August 2, 2017 / 7:02 pm

      Thank you, Kate. Hope you will travel to Cuba soon, I am sure you will enjoy it!

  12. July 30, 2017 / 8:04 pm

    I think a place like Trinidad deserves to be explored by wandering around. I like that you covered local living and saw the streets, went up to Tower Hill and the Cubano Waterfall. Thank you for a lovely experience.

    • Oana N
      August 2, 2017 / 7:06 pm

      Wandering around is by far the best way to discover Trinidad. Unfortunately we didn’t had much time to discover another places around the town but we were happy we went to the waterfall – first time swimming is a pool formed at the base of a waterfall.

  13. August 6, 2017 / 12:20 pm

    I visited the El Cubano Waterfall when I was in Trinidad and swam in the same place you photographed with the waterfall! I also visited the Casa de la Musica, glad to see it’s all as good as it was before!

    • Oana N
      September 20, 2017 / 8:57 pm

      Hi James, swimming on the natural pool formed at the base of the waterfall was one of the special moments from our Cuban trip. Casa de la Musica is still there, entertaining both tourists and locals.

  14. September 13, 2017 / 11:05 am

    Trinidad seems astounding, Oana! Your itinerary seems amazing. Are 48 hours enough to enjoy the highlights?

    • Oana N
      September 20, 2017 / 9:33 pm

      Hi Agness, if you are short on time like we were, 48 hours are enough to visit the main things in and around the town. I would however recommend to allocate more time if you want to discover more places around that area.

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