Trinidad is one of our favorite cities in Cuba because it is super colorful and vibrant while maintaining its colonial essence. The people of Trinidad are nice and friendly, making you feel right at home. Even though it is a small city there are many things to do in Trinidad including visiting its UNESCO Heritage Site old district, natural parks and tour through the Valle de los Ingenios.
How to get to Trinidad?
Trinidad is four hours away from La Havana or Varadero by car and about seven hours by bus. Trinidad is easily access by bus, taxi, or rental car. If you choose the bus we recommend skipping public transportation and buying your tickets ahead of time via Viazul, which it is state owned but it is marketed to tourists, so provides a better service.
The tickets cost about $25 USD/CUC from Havana and run daily at 7:00 AM, 10:45 AM and 2:15 PM. Buses also leave from Viñales, Varadero, and Cienfuegos. For more information and current bus schedules please check out the official Viazul website.
Traveling by taxi is more expensive, but if you are traveling with 4 people it might be worth it as you will get to Trinidad in half the time. Taxis can charge between $130-$160 depending on your negotiation skills.
What to do in Trinidad in 2 days:
You can see the best of Trinidad in one day but we recommend to stay at least stay two full days in Trinidad to fully experience what this colonial town has to offer at a relaxed pace.
1. Explore the Centro Histórico de Trinidad
Downtown Trinidad is closed to vehicle traffic which makes it perfect to just wander around on foot and not having to worry about cars honking at you. We recommend taking a tour en carrozas, a horse carriage, that takes you around the city for an hour and only costs 10 CUC.
While you are in the Centro Histórico de Trinidad make sure to visit the Bell Tower, Museo Histórico Municipal, Museo de Arquitectura, Museo Romantico, and the Plaza Mayor.
- Bell Tower: The Bell Tower is the most visible landmark in the city as it stands out from various parts of town. The yellow bell tower belongs to the Convento de San Francisco. The convent now home to a museum with exhibits about the Cuban revolution. Make sure to climb all the way to the top of the Bell Tower to get one of the best views of Trinidad.
Palacio Cantero: The Palacio Cantero is also known as the Museo Histórico Municipal. We recommend going up to the tower for panoramic views of Trinidad. You will have to go up the twisting spiral staircase all the way to the top and trust us, the view is worth it, especially when you see the yellow bell tower with the mountain in the background. The museum used to belong to the Borrell family and was then bought by a German planter and today it has many objects that date back to the slave trade times.
Museo de Arquitectura: It is the best place to see into a classic colonial mansion. It will be a short visit but it is worth going inside for 5 to 10 minutes. Make sure to check out the 19th century style bathroom.
Museo Romantico: The museum hosts exhibits and items that once belonged to the sugar baron Conde de Brunet family.
Visit La Plaza Mayor: Like any other city, La Plaza Mayor, is the main square and the heart of the city. There are many restaurants, churches, and shops surrounding the square.
Get a drink at the Casa de La Música: La Casa de La Música is a state owned bar right at the Plaza Mayor where every evening they have a live salsa band.
2. Explore the town on your own and get lost!
Our favorite thing about Cuba is that it is a safe country. No matter where you are in the city are safe to wander. The whole city is painted in bright colors, which make for some amazing Instagram photos.
3. Visit the natural parks
Trinidad is surrounded by nature, so no visit to Trinidad is complete without going on a hike to witness one of its many beautiful waterfalls. The most popular park is Topes de Collantes Nature Reserve, which is full of hikes and waterfalls including the Vegas Grande, which is by far one of the most famous waterfalls in the regional.
Surrounding Trinidad you will find countless waterfalls. The Salto del Caburni, is an hour drive, but this 75m waterfall will leave you breathless.
El Nicho is another natural park which is about an hour and a half drive with several waterfalls and natural pools to enjoy.
We also visited the Parque Guaynara which lies deep in the Escambray Mountains. It is a park within the Topes de Collantes Nature Reserve. We walked along the trail through lush coffee plantations and banana trees before popping out at the El Rocio waterfall followed by the natural Poza de Venado pool, where you can swim.
4. Visit the Radio Tower Hill
For the best views of Trinidad’s countryside hike to the top of the Radio Tower hill. From here you get the best views of the sugar plantations in the Valle de los Ingenios. The hike to the Radio tower is relatively easy and takes around 30 minutes each way. It is best to go there early in the morning to avoid the heat of the day and get better light for pictures. Make sure to bring water!
5. Valle de los Ingenios
Valle de los Ingenios is a valley of the sugar mills, it used to be the heart of the sugar industry in Cuba during the 18th and 19th century. At its hight it was thought to be the sugar capital of the world, with more than 30,000 slaves working in the mills.
The best way to visit the Valle de los Ingenios is by taking a tour or by hiring a taxi. A tour can take about 5 hours and the taxi takes about 2-3 hours. We paid 30 CUC for a tour but we had to pay an additional 3 CUC to take a tour of the Sugar mill house and go up a bell tower.
6. Playa Ancón
Playa Ancón rated among the best beaches in Cuba with its blue waters, white sand and palm trees. Get ready to sit back, relax and enjoy the sun. You can take a taxi to Playa Ancón for 10 CUC each way.
Where to stay in Trinidad?
We recommend to stay in Casa Particulares, not only because you are helping the Cuban people directly, but you can get a better understanding on how it is to live in Cuba.
Casa Particulares are privately own houses that provide a similar service than a bed and breakfast. Normally, each room comes with a private bath, A/C, hot water and costs between $20-30 per night per double room. We stayed at Hostal Maria de Rosas and it was epic!
It is best if you avoid reserving your hotel before hand as prices are inflated on online booking sites to cover fees and you can get the same room for way cheaper if you just show up. Locals will be waiting for tourists outside the bus station showing you pictures of the rooms they have for rent.
Is there internet access in Trinidad?
WiFi in Cuba is still a luxury and keep that in mind when planning your trip. Internet can be difficult to find at times, luckily in Trinidad there is a wifi hotspot right in the Plaza Mayor. Some restaurants also have WiFi, which is awesome.
Keep in mind that having WiFi does not mean it is free. You will still need to purchase an ETSCA card. You will find them at the ETSCA booth or people on the streets will be selling them. One hour of internet costs 1 CUC if you buy it from the booth otherwise hotels and locals on the street sell it for 2 CUC.
When to visit Trinidad?
It is best to visit Trinidad, Cuba during its dry season from November to April. It is cooler during these months, but that is relative for a tropical climate. Avoid visiting from August to October which is the wet season.