After much research on how to get to Trinidad, we discovered that our AirBnB could connect with another AirBnB to house us for the night. In Cuba, it’s called casa particular, or a homestay run by a Cuban family. For $25 for a night, we were able to book a room in Trinidad relatively easily, through word of mouth. We were also able to book a collectivo taxi for $30 each that would pick us up at 2 p.m. from our AirBnB and drive us the four hours to our new city. We shared our cab with an older couple, on their way to visit family in the town of Trinidad. The drive was long but had beautiful countryside to look at. Our driver was more than happy to stop for bathroom, or beer, breaks along the way. We made it to Trinidad just in time for sunset.
Trinidad is much more quiet and small than Havana. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a super charming town. Our first impression was how quaint it was, with the tiny cobblestone streets to the colorful central cathedral. We knew we wanted to see the sunset with a view, so we headed up to the Plaza Mayor to go to the Church of the Holy Trinity (Iglesia Parroquial de la Santisima Trinidad). For only $1, you can climb the church steps and head up to the bell tower.
With only one night in Trinidad, we spent most of our evening just wandering around. While the daytime vibe is definitely laid back, a place where you can wander the streets and alleyways for hours, the nighttime vibe is definitely more lively. The Plaza Mayor had lots of live music and you could buy drinks from places right on the streets. Every night around 8 p.m., tourists and locals hang outside at the Plaza Mayor and enjoy the live music of the nearby Casa de Musica. The venue is open-air, so you can hear the music without having to pay for the cover fee. There’s just as much dancing and drinking going on in the plaza as their is at the Casa.
After wandering around and grubbing on some local street food, we ran into a makeshift parade that was in session. The group had a drum circle going, dancing, and cheering. We got swept up into the parade and followed as is wound its way through the cobblestone streets. At each stop, new entertainment ensued. From salsa dancing to what appeared to be a casual flash mob. We ended our night with some peso ice cream, sold out of the side of a building.
The next morning we got up to see the sunrise from our AirBnB’s rooftop and to wander around looking for breakfast. Turns out, there’s not much around in the morning in Trinidad. We had a tough time finding something to eat. We finally settled on one of the only places that was open, and had a ham pizza for breakfast at 7:40 a.m. The choices of times for collectivo taxis are very limited, and the only time to head back was 8:30 a.m. For $30 more each, and another 4 hours with two new strangers, we grabbed a cab back to Havana. It was a quick trip, but with limited time in Cuba, we wanted to see more than just one city. We’re glad we made the excursion to see Trinidad.
Next time, we’d love to spend more time there and see the Playa Ancon, go to El Cubano National Park to see the waterfall, or hike up above the city. While Havana definitely has more to do, Trinidad was a nice, quiet change of pace and we’d recommend spending a few days there if you have the time.