Colorful Trinidad in south central Cuba. World heritage since 1988 and with a history that dates back to the 16th century, slavery and sugar plantations. It’s worth visiting, no doubts, to stroll through the cobblestoned streets among all the colorful houses. And unlike for example colonial Cartagena in Colombia, it’s not just two streets that are beautiful, but quite a big area where you can allow yourself to get lost and find your way again.
Our crazy landlady recommended us to go to the restaurant Sol y Son instead of the more central restaurants that appear Lonely Planet. This was the best thing Nenita said during our four days there. Exquisite food, really good singers and a beautiful patio.
There are beautiful forests, waterfalls and mountains Topes de Collantes and sugar production valleys named Valle de los Ingenios near Trinidad. You should probably goo there. But it was 38 degrees Celcius when we were in Cuba. So we headed to the beach. Playa Ancón is a clean, long sandy beach. There are some sleepy resorts here, some of the first ones to be built after the revolution. But it’s also the place where Cubans from Trinidad with surroundings take their cars and go to the beach.
From central Trinidad there is a bus for that takes you to Playa Ancón in 35 minutes. The bus is easy to find since there is only one bus company, owned by the Cuban state. The bus for 2 CUC return ticket dropped us off at the end of Playa Ancón, just by the diving center, a bar and café with decent prices and sunshades.
- Budget traveler tips: If you don’t want to pay for the sunshade, lay on your towel under the sunshade. They only charge the use of the chairs.
- Tips if you want to hang out with Cubans: Go during the weekend and walk a kilometer along the beach to the Cuban part and join a barbecue and have fun.
Water temperature touched upon 30 degrees so it wasn’t even cooling to go into the water. But it was amazing. We’d just take the first bus at 9 in the morning and go back with the last one at 6pm, until after 5 days we had finally washed off all the stress and tensions and got new sunburned skin.
Where to eat?
- Paladar Sol y Son
Simon Bolivar #283 | E / Frank Pais and Jose Marti, Trinidad 62600, Cuba
Beautiful patio, live music and delicious lobster for 12 CUC.
- Giroud Bar & Restaurant
Rosario 403, Entre Media Luna y Real | Rosario 403, Entre Media Luna y Real, Trinidad 62600, Cuba
Relaxed atmosphere, good food for 5-8 CUC and really nice waiters.
- Something cheaper:
The small pizza and burger places around the bus station. Always look for where bus drivers eat. 20 PN (Less than a dollar). Not so clean and no chairs. But if bus drivers eat there, you usually don’t get sick.
How to get there from Havana?
Bus with Viazul – 25 CUC – 6 hours
Where to go out on a budget?
Popular Casa de la música can be enjoyed from the outside. Buy a beer or mojito for 2 CUC down the street and sit down on the stairs above the square and enjoy the music or just dance where you are.
Where to sleep?
In a casa particular, the Cuban B&Bs. Don’t accept the offerings from the people attacking you outside the bus station offering casas with small rooms with crappy location. Rather ask for recommendations from before going. We stayed at casa Nenita. Good location, big bedroom with living room and a rooftop terrace just for us for 25 CUC + 3CUC breakfast.
We also stayed a night in La Boca, a village by the sea. There is no beach in La Boca, though. Our room was terribly pink but the landlords at Casa Valladares are really amazing people and cook absolutely delicious Cuban food. Negotiable prices.