Trinidad | 4 days to discover the city, the sea and the mountains

Trinidad | 4 days to discover the city, the sea and the mountains

There’s no need to introduce Trinidad, Cuba’s small colonial town that charms all travellers with its colourful facades, cobbled streets and peaceful atmosphere. Let’s discover one of our island favorites.


Trinidad is located on Cuba’s south coast, about 315km from Havana. A city with a colonial history, Trinidad has retained some of its charm of yesteryear, thanks to the salsa that resonates in the bars, the warm pastel-colored facades of its houses and the irregular cobblestones of its streets. The town’s historic center is listed Unesco World Heritage since 1988. A popular destination for tourists, the Plaza Mayor is a pleasant place to stroll around, with its cool oasis of cafés, art stores and street ambience of peddlers and musicians, giving the city an atmosphere that’s both gentle and caliente. You can easily stay here for several days, as there are plenty of things to see in the surrounding area, and it’s a good place to stop and rest.

Trinidad developed thanks to sugar cane production by settlers, using the most economical labor force – slaves. As a result, the city was a major center of the slave trade, which had a strong influence on the region. From the town, you can visit the valley of the sugar factories as well as the various parks located in the surrounding hills with « Topes de Collantes » or « El Cubano Park » and the beaches of « Playa Ancon » and « Grill Caribe ».

We also invite you to read our other articles on Cuba:






During the day, start by strolling through the city streets and observing Cuban life. The shopping streets are located south of plaza Major. The Plaza Mayor, Cuba’s main square, is the heart of Trinidad. Like many Spanish colonial cities, the Zocalo is the center of the city, with green spaces in the form of gardens and colonial churches. As elsewhere in Cuba, it’s not uncommon to see long queues at butchers’ and bakers’ shops, as well as at banks, in a country regularly plagued by food shortages and still operating on a system of ration coupons. Fortunately, the streets are also the scene of street hawkers selling fruit, vegetables, flowers, brooms and other products of all kinds in the streets where horse-drawn carriages, old American cars and cabs cohabit. A real feast for the eyes.

On the outskirts of the historic center, you’ll find plenty of accommodation, with casas particulares and hotels set in old colonial homes that have stood the test of time. The closer you get to the city center, the more trendy cafés and restaurants you’ll find, as well as bars that come alive at night.


Cuba | Trinidad | Cuban music | travel tips

Cuba | Trinidad | city center | travel tips


As in most of Cuba, you’ll find all kinds of casas, ranging from 5 CUC a night to around 40 CUC a night. The price difference comes down to service, quality of welcome, breakfast, location, cleanliness of rooms… During my trip to Cuba, I selected some very pretty casas in Trinidad that I’m keeping carefully for my customers who have booked a trip to Cuba with our agency.

Below are a few addresses of casas that have been recommended to me for their friendly, welcoming Cubans, cleanliness and generous cuisine:

  • On the restaurant side, we tested the “San José“, which seems to be the institution for tourists passing through Trinidad. This warmly decorated, air-conditioned restaurant serves Cuban cuisine, with an emphasis on seafood, particularly lobster, not forgetting meat dishes such as Ropa Vieja, which I can’t recommend enough. You’ll also find a more Western menu with pizzas and pastas. A great address in Cuba, with reasonable prices and a very pleasant, professional team.
  • Another address is « Obbatala » in the historic center at the foot of the Casa de la Trova. Take the small door onto Fernando Hernández street and go straight up to the restaurant’s pretty roof-top. Don’t hesitate to make a reservation to take advantage of this beautiful and much-appreciated space. The menu features local recipes, simple, tasty cuisine and a very good Canchanchara, Trinidad’s signature cocktail.
  • We also fell in love with the restaurant Guitarra Mia (19 Calle Alameda) for its cuisine, its talented and bewitching duo of singers and its atmosphere.
  • Paladar La Marinera south Jovellanos 178 e/Iglesia y Perla
  • For a romantic tête-à-tête, we wanted to try the restaurant The Conspirators just for the little table on the balcony. It’s a must-see, as it’s right next door to the Casa de la Musica. But it was sold out when we wanted to go.
  • Real Café
  • Vista Gourmet on Callejón of Gallegos
  • Sol Ananda (Real 45 opposite Plaza Mayor)
  • Palate the New Era (Simon Bolivar, 518 (between J.M. Marquez and Echerri)
  • Editorial staff about Antonio Gutierrez, 463
  • Paraito, a small, inexpensive cafeteria (Marti Number 181B, between Lino Perez and Camilo Cienfuegos)
  • Cafeteria Don Borrell for great pizza
  • You absolutely must try the local cocktail: the Canchanchara. Traditionally served in an earthenware cup, this delicious cocktail is made with honey, lemon, water, ice cubes and Aguardiente, a brandy from Central and South America.
  • Bistro Trinidad for its rooftop and lovely view of the bell tower
  • Visit Taberna La Canchanchara
  • Rincon de la Salsa
  • Cuba libre : café with roof terrace
  • Trinidad is a good place to settle down and discover its historic heart as well as the surrounding area. The town is renowned for its ceramics, which can be seen all over the place in the center’s pretty boutiques. We didn’t have time to visit the Casa del Alfarero, run by a Cuban family and renowned for its local crafts, is to be recommended.
  • On the calle side Patricio Lumumba (capada), there’s a nice little market where you can buy a few souvenirs.
  • If you like embroidery and lace, you can buy tablecloths and placemats in the Valle de los Indigenios.


Cuba | Trinidad | city center | what to see | travel tips

Cuba | Trinidad | city center | travel tips







The sights are very central, and everything can be done easily and leisurely on foot. Two museums are well worth a visit, not only for the elevated views they offer over the heart of Trinidad, but also for the real quality of the content on offer.


  • Museum of city history

Most interesting here is the Museum of the history of the city of Trinidad for the ornaments still present on its ceiling, its kitchens in the back of the patio and the old objects from the everyday life of the notables of the time. Luckily for him, the building housing the Museum of the Revolution has a tower that makes for great shots, as the museum featuring the great revolutionary army is a little outdated.


Cuba | Trinidad | museum | what to see | what to do | travel tips


  • Casa de la Musica

In the evening, be sure to discover Cuba’s salsa culture. Visit Casa de la Musica overlooking the main square at the top of the stairs is the most popular spot. A live band plays every evening from 9pm, but you can also visit the Casa de la Trova which aims to preserve and promote Cuban music or to El Rincón de la Salsa.

In any case, you’ll have to pay an entrance fee of 1 CUC/person, which has the unfortunate power of reserving the place for tourists. On the other hand, the atmosphere is very pleasant, with bands playing and salsa dancers inviting you to take to the dance floor. For those less comfortable, simply enjoy the atmosphere. Entrance fee of 1CUC/p required to enter the casas de la musique.

Cuba | Trinidad | Cuban music | casa de la musica | Salsa | travel advice


  • Café chez Don Pépé

We recommend a stop at the café Don Grandpa. Sitting under the shelter of a tree in the garden, you can sample the café Turquino for which the establishment is famous, or one of their freshly squeezed fruit juices. The setting of this café is really nice, relaxing and above all refreshing. A coffee costs 2.50CUC.


Cuba | Trinidad | drinks| tips | travel


  • Views of Trinidad

It’s the prettiest viewpoint over the city. Meet at the top of the national museum against bandits located in the convent of Saint Francis of Assisi. The view from the bell tower is truly stunning and worth the detour for that alone. There’s also a beautiful view of the Plaza Mayor, the church and the city’s alleyways from the Palacio Cantero in the heart of Trinidad.


Cuba | Trinidad | view | travel tips

Cuba | Trinidad | church | travel tips



  • Sunsets

It’s a bit of a disappointment but in August, Trinidad is quite cloudy in the late afternoon so we didn’t see any sunsets over the city. It would have been great fun, but you’d have to go there from December to April.


  • Unusual discotheque

Several locals told us about this nightclub hidden in a cave. I confess that we weren’t really interested in going with just the two of us, but why not with friends? We passed it during the day on our way up the hill from calle Simón Bolívar and Ermita de Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria de la Popa, but you should know that it’s quite a popular spot with the local youth. Disco Ayala is a nightclub with 5 dance floors, 3 bars and open 7 days a week. At around 1 a.m., an acrobat and fireworks show is on offer, but there are only a few tables inside, so don’t come too late; We were told to be there by 11pm to avoid the queue. Admission is around 5 CUC/p including a drink, and no bags are allowed inside. For the record, the club’s real name is Carlos Coco Ayala, the name of a serial killer who kidnapped children, took them to a cave and killed them all. Don’t thank me, it’s a gift! Enjoy your evening.



Let’s discover the parks around Trinidad. For a long time, these were a refuge for revolutionaries, but they are now a haven for many species of flora and fauna. Today, perched at an altitude of 700 metres, it is a paradise for nature lovers.

We chose to discover the immense park Topes de Collantes for its waterfalls and proximity to Trinidad. Once again, the best way to get there is by car, as cabs have understood the business and impose very strict conditions. They charge an average of 30CUC each way and leave you a maximum of 4 hours on site, which is just right if you want to take your time and enjoy yourself.

The Topes de Collantes park is made up of several sites, including the waterfalls of Cabo del Caburni, the Vegas Grandes that we have discovered, but it also includes the Parc de Guanayara as well as theEl Nicho accessible from Cienfuegos. After taking a break at the Mirador del Caribe to see the beautiful view over the valley, you will have to pay your entrance tickets at the price of 10CUC/pers/cascades at the Topes de Collantes tourist information center. Let’s be clear: admission is compulsory. There are checkpoints even on the hiking trail!


cuba | trinidad | parc topes de collantes | map | waterfalls

Cuba | Trinidad | Parc topes de collantes


  • Cascade Salto del Caburni

You’re off to explore the Cuban jungle, and first up is the cascade Salto del Caburni we choose to discover. Arriving on site at around 10am, we begin the hike full of enthusiasm, even though the mercury is beginning to rise. The outward journey is all downhill, on terrain that can be slippery at times. We therefore advise you to take good crampon shoes. As you head deeper into the jungle, you’ll come across birds, lizards and perhaps a few colorful, non-venomous snakes, which we wouldn’t advise you to tickle just the same. After a good hour’s walk, some fairly steep inclines and a few centilitres less of sweat, we arrive at the waterfall and discover a first pool where a few people are already bathing. We continue along the path to the left, arriving at the top of the site close to the waterfall, which isn’t all that impressive.
On the other hand, with its large rocks, it’s a great place to spend some time basking in the sun. Here you can enjoy a picnic, alternating between swimming and sunbathing, before taking the long, uphill way back. A guinguette-style wooden house awaits you at the start of the hike and on the way back. Hydrate with a good lemon juice.


– sufficient water
– a snack, fruit or picnic as you wish
– good walking shoes
– rafting/canyonning shoes if you have them, handy for walking between rocks and in the water

– 7km walk there and back, which only involves going downhill on the outward journey and uphill on the return, i.e. 1h15 walk on the outward journey and at least 1h30 on the return journey.


Good plan: We advise you to get to the site early enough to enjoy the peace and quiet. Be aware that this waterfall requires a good level of physical fitness, as the heat and, above all, the steepness of the paths leading to the waterfalls mean that not everyone can make this trek. The return is more difficult, as it’s quite a climb, but if you take your time and stop, it’s doable.


cuba | trinidad | parc topes de collantes | map | waterfalls

cuba | trinidad | parc topes de collantes | map | waterfalls


  • Vegas Grandes waterfall

Back from our journey, soaked as never before by the effort we’d just made, we stopped for a zapote juice, a popular orange local fruit, at the little hut at the start of the trail. We were clearly in the frame of mind to return to Trinidad, but all of a sudden the madness took hold of us! Indeed, since we weren’t in Cuba every day and wanted to tell you as much as possible to help you choose between the two waterfalls, we decided to go for the Vegas Grandes waterfall. Don’t thank us!

After paying 10 CUC/p, we set off on the path leading to the waterfall, which is very affordable at first, until we reach the small country house offering refreshments. After that, the path becomes very steep and a little slippery over the last 400 metres. But it’s well worth the effort, as the waterfall is really quite pretty. There’s little or no room to lie in the sun, but a beautiful natural pool where you can bathe right under the waterfall for a strong but natural massage. On the way back and at the end of the day, be sure to keep an eye on the sky, as the weather is very changeable in Cuba, especially in August, and we were treated to a nice downpour and thunder just as we pulled into the parking lot.



– sufficient water
– a snack or picnic as you wish
– good walking shoes
– rafting/canyonning shoes if you have

– 3.6 km round-trip walk.
– 40 minutes down and 45 minutes back.


Good plan: We advise you to get to the site early enough to enjoy the peace and quiet. The hike can be done with children who are used to walking. If you go through the checkpoint after 4pm, there’s often no one left at the entrance, so you don’t have to pay the 10 CUC/p, but you’ll spend less time there.


cuba | trinidad | parc topes de collantes | map | waterfalls


  • Cascades El Cubano

They’re the closest waterfalls to Trinidad (although you can expect to pay 30 CUC for a return cab), so there’s bound to be more people there in August. A 3.6 km hiking trail (Las Huellas de la Historia) leads to the Javira waterfall, where you can take a dip. Once again, the entrance fee is 10CUC/p and it takes 2 hours round-trip on foot to reach the waterfall. There’s a small restaurant on site. For us, it wasn’t essential, so we didn’t do it! Some people reach the site on foot from Trinidad, a 6km walk.


  • Guanayara Park

Guanayara Park is 35 km from Trinidad and 15 km from Topes de Collantes. We didn’t do this park because we didn’t have the time, but we met a French couple who did and they loved the place. This park is still untouched by tourism. The hike is about 3km. You can swim in natural pools such as the El Venano and in the waterfall El Rocio. You’ll also need to be in good physical condition, as there are plenty of descents, climbs and forest walks, but the scenery is well worth the detour.

To know more:

– Visits to this park are apparently made in groups, with a local guide specialized in eco-tourism.

– Early departure in a jeep or truck.

– Stop at the mirador for a panoramic view of the town, then visit the coffee house.


  • Niche Cascades

If you’re not in good physical condition, opt for the El Nicho Park on the Cienfuegos. Just 1h30 from Trinidad and 1h from Cienfuegos, this park is very accessible, with little walking, bathing in the waterfalls and a well-maintained path. We didn’t do it, but everyone we met in Cuba told us how much they enjoyed the site and the waterfalls, despite the greater number of visitors at that time of year. Expect to pay 10 CUC/p admission. You can book your tickets at the Cubanacan agency office in Cienfuegos.


  • Valle de los Indigenios

Also known as the Indigenous Valley, this verdant little spot 15km from Trinidad and on the road to Sancti-Spiritus is quite charming but not a must-see. As it was on our route for the rest of the trip, we stopped there for a few hours. The valley is located exactly Manaca Iznaga a 15-minute drive from Trinidad. It is famous for its 7-storey, 45-metre-high tower, once used to watch over slaves in the cane fields. The view of the Escambray massif is quite beautiful, but what I liked most was the craftsmen who gathered at the foot of the hill to display their beautiful embroidered lace tablecloths.

The Vallée des Indigènes is best discovered in a steam locomotive. It departs from Trinidad station at around 9am, making its first stop at the Manaca Iznaga tower and continuing on to the Sugar Museum. Lunch at the Guachinango hacienda before returning to Trinidad around 3pm. It’s impossible to get on board once the train has left, so please enquire in advance about this outing. Expect to pay between 10 and 15 CUC/p.

You can also get to the Valle de los Indigenios by renting a scooter for 20 CUC/day, with a valid licence. It can be a lovely little morning with lunch facing the tower at the restaurant El Barrancon de Manaca. We ate well here in a very non-touristy setting.

To know more:

– Entrance to the tower costs 1 CUC/p, and the view from the top is pretty nice.

– Train tour: the excursion costs 15CUC/p and is a must if you’re a locomotive enthusiast.

– You’ll be able to see the train pass in front of you at a very precise time – I think it was around 1:30 pm, but check with the restaurant, which made no mistake about the time when we were there.



cuba | trinidad | natives' valley

cuba | trinidad | natives' valley


  • Turquoise beaches

What’s interesting about Trinidad is its ideal position between the sea and the mountains. So, if you’d like to stop off at the beach, you can choose between Playa Ancon 11 km from Trinidad and Caribe grill, a little closer, but two places renowned for their long beach of warm sand and turquoise water color. Cabs to Playa Ancón from downtown Trinidad cost between 2 CUC and CUC. Go early enough to take advantage of the quiet, family-friendly atmosphere.

For lack of time, we opted for Caribe grill and we loved this charming little beach, its warm waters and its open-air restaurant serving well-cooked seafood: squid, fish, shrimps, but you can also eat good grilled lobsters with their accompaniments. Open from 8am to 8pm.

If you’re looking for another nice beach, there’s the one at Punta Maria a little smaller and less pretty than playa Ancon, but still enjoyable.


To know more:

– Pay parking: 1 CUC/scooter and 2 CUC/car

– Banana leaf parasols cost 1 CUC and deckchairs 2 CUC/p.

– Bring children’s shoes, as there are plenty of rocks along the water’s edge.


cuba | trinidad | beaches


Practical information Trinidad


  • Distance Havana -> Trinidad: approx. 4h non-stop drive
  • Distance Trinidad -> Moron: 3h drive
  • Distance Cienfuegos -> Trinidad: 1h drive
  • Trinidad -> Playa Ancon = 15 minutes


  • There are daily bus services from Havana to Trinidad. Allow 6 to 6.5 hours’ drive and around 25 CUC/p.
  • From Cienfuegos, allow 1h30 for about 6 CUC/p
  • Be careful, as is the case everywhere in Cuba, buses are often late and leave when they decide… if they’re not full, they can wait!


  • Many shared cabs also make the trip. Find out how to share the cost.


The wifi in Trinidad is really bad! Connections to the square where the Casa de la Musica is located only jump out at the number of people sitting on the steps. We therefore invite you to visit the Parc José Marti for a better connection.

To buy your internet card, Etecsa Telepunto : address Lino Pérez n° 274 between José Martí and Miguel Calzada


Pour résumer notre séjour à Trinidad, je ne peux que vous conseiller d’y rester quelques jours pour vous poser plutôt que d’y passer en coup de vent. Sachez que Cuba, n’est pas une destination bon marché et qu’il vous faudra un petit budget pour visiter l’île. Si vous souhaitez un devis pour la destination, merci de m’envoyer votre demande à

Pour tous ceux qui veulent y aller en août, il faut vous y prendre à l’avance, on commence souvent les réservations pour nos clients à partir de janvier car cela nous permet d’avoir du choix en terme de casas et de trouver rapidement une voiture.

Nous vous invitons à lire également tous nos autres articles sur Cuba:



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Cuba | trinidad | Cascades | musique cubaine | Salsa | conseils | Voyage





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