This 9-days trip to Cuba is from blogtravels friend Amandeison. You can follow her trips on her Instagram account. The trip will be presented in 3 different parts. The third part is about Trinidad. Enjoy!
Next stop Trinidad, the colonial jewel of Cuba. A UNESCO World Heritage site since 1988. This town is unique in many aspects and undoubtedly a must visit. A Spanish settlement where time has stopped back in the 19th century. Trinidad flourished between the late 18th and 19th century due to the sugar industry in the adjacent Valle de los Ingenios. You easily witness the luxury and wealth of the town in its architecture and the overall built environment, especially in the old town. Some of the houses, restaurants or art galleries feel more like museums “exhibiting” their antiques and all sorts of objects. The striking thing with Cuba is that everything is open to the visitor’s eye… the houses, the courtyards, the restaurants…. and visitors certainly feel welcome to take a look!
We spend 3 days in Trinidad. A day or two is more than enough to explore the town’s cobbled streets and alleys and absorb its evident grand history. And we did a lot of that. One of our favourite ways of spending our holidays is walking, observing and …photo-shooting! We love observing the people, the market, the trades, the food, the tourists, the buildings, you name it! And that is pretty much how we spent our 3 days in Trinidad.
The first day we arrived late in the afternoon and so we simply walked and got acquainted with the town! We mainly walked in the old town and marvelled the sunset from high in the old town, glimpsing the colours from within the tiny streets and enjoyed a nice dinner at Sol Ananda restaurant located in plaza Mayor. A must visit even if you do not have dinner there! At night we visited the ‘Casa de la Musica’ of Trinidad, also located on the staircase above Plaza Mayor where there is some serious Salsa going on from approximately 7pm. The second day we woke up at 6:00 am to experience how the town wakes up! Another favourite thing when on holiday! In the afternoon, we went to Playa Ancon & simply enjoyed the sun, the sea and the sunset! Playa Ancon is located approximately 10klm from Trinidad and is easily accessible either with a taxi, with a bus or even with a bike. Our plan for the third day was to explore Toppes de Collantes, a nature reserve park approximately 1 hour from Trinidad, where you can go hiking, enjoy a swim in the natural pools formed from waterfalls and witness nature life. The most famous waterfall is the Salto del Caburní where you can swim …if you are brave enough. Last minute we changed our plan and we spent another day at the beach where we tried snorkelling at the coral reefs 10 minutes by boat from Playa Ancon. The snorkelling was not great, but the beach is fantastic although for Mediterranean standards the waters were not great either.
Depending on the days you are spending in Trinidad, we were told that the waterfalls and the mountains are worth a visit. Another interesting day starting from Trinidad is a visit at the Valle de los Ingenios which is 12km northeast of Trinidad and was the centre for sugar production, another UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Overall, in Trinidad make sure you pass by Plaza Mayor, the central but small and picturesque square of the town, climb up the tower of Iglesia y Monasterio de San Francisco de Asís to get panoramic views of the city, visit museums and art galleries as you feel such as the Museo de Historia Municipal, Trinidad Architecture Museum, Museo de Arquitectura Colonial. Enjoy a day at Playa Ancon, venture to the mountains to hike Toppes de Collantes and treat yourself with a swim in the natural pools, dance with the locals at Casa de la Musica and enjoy the town’s night vibrant night life. For the party people, make sure to visit club Ayala which is beautifully located within caves only 10’ walking from Plaza Mayor.
Leaving Trinidad with lots of memories and good moments to return back to Havana for the last two days, it already felt like our trip was coming to an end. From the very first moment we arrived back in Havana, the city felt different, it was alive! And that was purely because of the music. It was misfortunate to have been there during the mourning period but at the same time quite fortunate to have experienced the city in so different ways and atmospheres. We spent the day walking and photo shooting and had a beautiful dinner at Castropol by Malecon. In the evening, we visited the family that hosted us the first few days, to say goodbye and share some of our news with Yamelis and her son. At night we went out to Hotel Florida where we danced and then followed the crowd to club Asturias, a close by club recommended by everyone in Hotel Florida.
The last day was devoted to more walking and shopping, rainy day the last day it was. Cuba was sorry we were leaving! 😉 We enjoyed a coffee at Calle Meraderes whilst observing the city around us and also visited some of our favourite spots in town. We also made it to the Vedado area where we walked in this affluent neighbourhood of Havana, had lunch, visited the Plaza de la Revolucion and returned only to take our taxi to the airport.
And that was the end of an unforgettable trip!
There are a lot to remember from every trip. From Cuba, I will never forget the people. Their smiles and the effort they put into their communications, their dancing and their authenticity. I will also never forget that last communication we had with the ladies in the block of buildings where we last stayed in Havana. We exit the building struggling with our luggages only to realise that our taxi was not there. It was still raining and the people had hided inside the buildings. The heavy door of the building closed behind us. We had no keys and there was no one on the streets, no people around and no taxi. Under panic we shouted the name of our hostess. Veronica! Instead an old lady calmly comes out on the balcony, she see us under the rain, waives and returns back to shout at Veronica through the building’s corridors. After a few good shouts, Veronica comes out, smiles and reassures us that the taxi is on its way!