Five to Know: Trinidad, Cuba

Cuba is all too frequently deemed synonymous with Havana. But not seeing more of the beautiful island than just the capital is a mistake for those who can spend more than a few nights in the country. For the intrepid traveler with enough time, venturing outside Havana reveals a side to the nation well worth exploring. The well-preserved colonial city of Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a brightly colored town of cobblestoned streets, beautiful architecture and charming, down-to-earth people. Before planning a trip to the city, however, it is important to know the following.

Contact Indagare for assistance planning a trip to Trinidad. Our specialists can customize an itinerary that includes guided tours and activities.

1. Getting There Requires Some Logistics. Trinidad is located in central Cuba on the southern coast and is a four-hour drive from Havana. (It is advised to hire a car and driver for the journey rather than drive yourself.) The city’s closest airports are Santa Clara or Cinfuegos, but we do not recommend flying domestically in Cuba, as the airplanes used are generally old Russian planes. There are direct flights to Santa Clara from Florida, so you might decide to fly into Havana and home via Santa Clara. Trinidad is a two-hour drive from Santa Clara airport but the route is scenic.

Related: Cuba: Five to Know

2. Accommodations Are Not High Luxury…

With a population of under 100,000 people, Trinidad is a small city with few hotel options. Most travelers will stay in casa particulars, or private home-stays similar to a bed and breakfast. The most luxurious accommodation, the Iberostar Grand Hotel ( located in the center of town, is still quite basic and feels worn, so travelers’ expectations for service, comfort and luxury should be managed.

3. … But the City’s Charm Makes Up For Its Lack of Luxury Amenities. Time spent in Trinidad should include exploring the cobblestoned streets, visiting the peaceful and charming Plaza Mayor, climbing the tower inside the Museo Histórico Municipal (Simón Bolívar 423; 53-41-99-44-60) for the best views and listening to live music well after sunset. Another favorite activity is taking a horseback ride outside of town to explore small villages throughout the countryside and ending at a picturesque waterfall. There are two beautiful beaches, Ancon and Maria Aguillar, both a short drive outside of Trinidad. There are also plenty of opportunities for hiking, day trips to national parks and visits to tobacco and sugar fields.

Related: Indagare Favorites: Art Trips

Locals perform on the streets of Trinidad

Locals perform on the streets of Trinidad
4. The Music is Phenomenal.

Locally known as the Music Capital of Cuba (which is a big statement), Trinidad is famous for its infectious, fun music and dance scenes. Each night in the open-air Casa de la Músíca (Calle Cristo; 53-41-93-414) in the historic part of the city, you will find locals and tourists alike dancing under the Cuban sky. Live bands play salsa, rumba, jazz and more, Tropicana-style dancers perform on stage, waiters come around to take drink orders and there is plenty of seating for those who would like to join in or just watch. This nighttime entertainment perfectly showcases the heart of Trinidad and of Cuba.

5. Nearby Santa Clara is Worth a Quick Visit. Those flying into or out of Santa Clara’s Able Santamaria Airport should spend a few hours in the city itself, home to many important sights including those related to Che Guevara, who led a seminal and epic battle in the Cuban Revolution in the city in 1958. Two must-visits are the Che Guevara Mausoleum, Che’s final resting place, and Monumento a la Toma del Tren Blindado, the site of one of the most important battles in Cuban History. It was here where Che Guevara and his men derailed an armored train, defeating the men inside and—many think—winning the revolution for good. The site features several train carriages plus exhibits.

Read Indagare's Havana Destination Report.

Contact Indagare for assistance planning a trip to Trinidad. Our specialists can customize an itinerary that includes guided tours and activities.

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