Trinidad is Cuba’s best-preserved colonial city, with a unique blend of 1850s architecture and 1950s automobiles that feels trapped in time. Check out some of my favorite Trinidad activities.
Trinidad was one of the first Spanish-founded towns in Cuba, prospering on sugar cane, livestock, and tobacco production (with the help of African slave labor).
Rich plantation owners were able to build lavish palaces, plazas, and colonial residences thanks to the town’s sudden affluence.
The town is one of the best-preserved old towns in North America, and it has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Trinidad Outside of Havana, Cuba has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country.
You may stroll through cobblestone streets, listen to live music in the square, cool down with fresh sugar cane juice, ride in a horse-drawn carriage, mingle with the locals, or visit one of the town’s famous colonial museums.
The Best Things to Do In Trinidad Cuba
Enjoy the Vibe of Trinidad
With our friends Hannah and Adam from Getting Stamped, Anna and I spent two days visiting Trinidad. We didn’t spend nearly enough time in town; there’s a lot to see, and Trinidad is much larger than I expected.
Trinidad is undoubtedly a tourist destination, yet it retains its allure despite the presence of other visitors.
Trinidad is a location where ancient meets new, resulting in a kaleidoscope of views, sounds, and fragrances.
The city has a wonderful laid-back Cuban atmosphere, and I highly recommend venturing out from the main center to discover the intriguing hidden streets and alleyways.
Hang Out In Plaza Mayor
The hub of Trinidad is Square Mayor, a vast plaza with elevated gardens, pathways, and cobblestoned lanes. The square is still surrounded by historic structures from the 18th and 19th centuries.
Many of them are pastel-colored and have red terracotta roofs.
When the region was rich in sugar plantation riches, the plaza was erected. Even yet, the same churches and palaces formerly owned by sugar barons have been refurbished and turned into museums.
Take a seat on one of the cast-iron seats and relax while listening to salsa music coming from the neighboring buildings. However, because it is a popular tourist destination, be aware of local touts attempting to sell you merchandise.
Climb Trinidad’s Bell Tower
The brilliant yellow bell tower of Convento de San Francisco is visible from most sections of town, so you’ll recognize it immediately away. It is the most visible landmark and the subject of a famous postcard shot.
It was once a convent and is now a museum showcasing Revolutionary War items.
The view from the top of the tower is worth the hike, and the museum is also worth visiting. They have armored trucks and other items from the US assault.
Visit Historical Museums
The Museo de Arquitectura is housed in a home built in the 18th century and was held by Sanchez Iznaga. Inside, you’ll see what these big residences looked like, as well as a bathroom in the manner of the nineteenth century.
Another old palace, Palacio Cantero, is now the Municipal Museum. The major attraction is the tower’s spectacular views of the city.
Palacio Brunet, originally the residence of the rich sugar baron Conde de Brunet, now houses Museo Romantico, which displays the family’s lavish possessions. A marble bathtub weighing 1.5 tonnes!
Sample the Cuban Food
Cuban cuisine has a terrible reputation. While I didn’t mind it, it’s not nearly as hot and tasty as Mexican food. There’s a lot of rice, beans, yuca, and tasteless meat.
In Trinidad, you can have a basic lunch for $5-10 at a restaurant.
While the food isn’t very memorable, Cuba is known for its coffee, rum beverages, and sugar cane juice. Visit the La Canchanchara home for their signature drink, which consists of rum, honey, lemon, and water.
Playa Ancon Beach
Only 6 miles from Trinidad lies Playa Ancon, a magnificent white-sand beach. You may take a vintage cab for $5-10 CUC and spend the afternoon there.
Rent a bicycle and bike over on your own for approximately an hour for the more daring. The beaches in Cuba are rarely crowded, and the blue sea is exceptionally pure.
Grab an iced beverage and soak up the rays, or if you’re a scuba diver, there’s a diving shop at Playa Ancon, located across the street from Hotel Ancon.
Wander the Streets
The majority of the historic buildings and attractions of Trinidad are concentrated around Plaza Mayor, which is an older “city center” region. There are no automobiles allowed in this pedestrian-only area. The Plaza Mayor is where the majority of visitors congregate.
One of my favorite things to do is take a long walk down some of Trinidad’s side streets until I become lost. You’ll get a peek at what life is like in Trinidad.
Locals frequently congregate on doorsteps and street curbs to escape the scorching sun. Dominoes games, long chats, and birdcages hung from porches are all common sights. Don’t be hesitant to greet them and ask them questions. Most folks are eager to talk!
Dance to Traditional Music
Locals and visitors alike dance salsa in the open-air Casa de Musica every night at about 7 p.m. Order a beverage and settle back to watch the sunset from the wide stone stairway, taking in the ambiance.
Because the stairs are one of Trinidad’s few public internet hotspots, you’ll observe a lot of individuals using their phones to check Facebook or Instagram.
Music is an important component of Cuban culture, particularly in Trinidad. On-street corners, in public parks, and inside restaurants, musicians perform. There’s even a great nightclub within a natural cave called Disco Ayala!
Go Horseback Riding
We asked the first man we came across when Anna and I wanted to go horseback riding. He responded, “No problem!” His friend has horses and can take us for a few hours into the highlands.
We thought it wouldn’t be difficult because Cuban cowboys routinely rode their horses through Trinidad’s streets.
Our guide, Jesus, took us out of town and up into the parched hills behind Trinidad, through Cuban tobacco fields. We walked through a forest till we came to a swimming hole to cool off from the heat of the day.
Topes De Collantes National Park
Topes De Collantes National Park is located in the Escambrays and is a lovely nature reserve where you can go hiking, horseback riding, explore various waterfalls, or relax with a stunning picnic.
Although the road into the highlands is somewhat steep, we made it with our rented car. We climbed to Vegas Grandes, a beautiful blue waterfall and swimming hole, after stopping at the visitor’s center. The hike took two hours total.