Complete Trinidad Cuba Travel Guide 2018

When traveling to Cuba and deciding on what cities to visit, a few nights in Trinidad Cuba should be a must. Trinidad is Cuba’s best-preserved colonial town, with the old part of Trinidad being a UNESCO heritage site since 1988. Trinidad, like most colonial towns, is gorgeous with brightly colored buildings and cobblestone streets.

Jump to: Where is Trinidad, Cuba?  |  How to get to Trinidad  |  What to do in Trinidad  |  Where to stay in Trinidad  |  Where to Eat in Trinidad  |  Wifi in Trinidad  |  More Cuba Resources 


Trinidad Cuba Travel Guide 2018

Trinidad Cuba Travel Guide - Things to do in Trinidad - PALACIO CANTERO Best Lookout in Trinidad with yellow bell tower and mountains behind
The view from Palacio Cantero – The Best Lookout in Trinidad

Where is Trinidad Cuba?

Trinidad is located in the center of Cuba and easily accessed from many of the best places in Cuba. Trinidad is only 15 minutes away from the white sandy beaches of Playa Ancon on the Caribbean Sea.

  • 4 hours/315km from Havana
  • 4 hours/265km from Varadero
  • 15  minutes/11km from Playa Ancon
  • 85 minutes/120 km from Cienfuegos

How To Get To Trinidad?

Trinidad Cuba Travel Guide - Trinidad City Cuba
Classic Chevy car on the streets of Trinidad

You can get to Trinidad several different ways: bus, taxi, or rent a car.

Trinidad by Bus: There are buses that head to Trinidad daily from most main cities in Cuba. Make sure to book your bus ticket at least a day in advance, the buses frequently sell out a day in advance. You can book your tickets online here, but prices were cheaper at the bus stations. The Havana bus station is called the Viazul bus terminal which is located at the corner of Avenida 26 and Avenida Zoologico. See map here for Viazul bus station in Havana

Currently, buses run to Trinidad from several cities in Cuba:

  • Havana to Trinidad: ($25USD/CUC) – 7:00, 10:45, 14:15 (6 hour & 50 min)
  • Vinales to Trinidad: ($37USD/CUC) – 6:45 (9 hours & 30 min)
  • Varadero to Trinidad: ($20USD/CUC) – 7:00 (6 hours & 25 min)
  • Cienfuegos to Trinidad: ($6) – 12:15, 14:40, 15:15, 18:00 (1 hour & 35 min)

There are more routes than this, please check current bus schedules at Viazul

By Taxi: If you’re traveling with a few people you may want to ask a local taxi driver their fare to Trinidad Cuba, we heard prices of $160 CUC. We were a group of four and we took a local taxi from Havana to Vinales for the same price it would have cost us for four bus tickets and a taxi to the bus station. If you take a private taxi, then you’re on your schedule and you can stop along the way for photos. With the big old American cars in Cuba, you can easily fit a group of four comfortably along with a driver.

By Car: We rented a car and drove ourselves to Trinidad which is a great option if traveling with others or your budget isn’t a concern. There were so many things to do in Cuba we wanted the freedom of having a car. Our rental car was $85 a day with insurance, and we picked it up right at the Havana airport. Booking a car rental in Cuba was not easy, make sure to book a car several weeks, if not months in advance online. The odds of a car being available for rent without a reservation at the Havana airport are not good. The drive to Trinidad from Havana was easy, the roads weren’t in the best condition, but we felt safe and had no problems finding Trinidad.

Travel tip: When on wifi get directions on google maps, the GPS and map will still work offline. You may not get voice directions, but you can follow your position on the map. This can be a big help whenever traveling without an internet connection.

Build your Cuba itinerary with local experts that can help plan a legal trip to Cuba with all your arrangements and activities, special 5% discount for Getting Stamped readers.

Make sure to check out our Americans traveling to Cuba guide 


Things To Do In Trinidad Cuba

Trinidad Cuba Travel Guide - Trinidad City cuba men playing dominos
A group of men playing dominoes at the end of the day in Trinidad

There are tons of things to do in Trinidad, we’d suggest staying at least two nights and possibly longer if your Cuba travel plans allow. Once you are here you’ll know why we suggest longer here. There is easily enough in Trinidad to fill 5 days to a week in Trinidad. Here are our top things to do in Trinidad.

1. Stroll Through Plaza Mayor

Trinidad Cuba Travel Guide - Things to do in Trinidad - Plaza Mayor
A view of one of the main buildings in Plaza Mayor in Trinidad

The Plaza Mayor is the heart of Trinidad. Like many Spanish colonial cities, the plaza is the center of the city with green spaces and stunning churches. There are many restaurants that fill the buildings surrounding the square, making it a great place to start your adventure.

2. Palacio Cantero (Museo Historico Municipal)

Trinidad Cuba Travel Guide - Things to do in Trinidad - PALACIO CANTERO MUSEO HISTORICO MUNICIPAL - Tower view point
Sunset over the Palacio Cantero tower in the center of Trinidad

For the best views in Trinidad, head to the very top of the tower inside the Historical Museum. Make your way up the twisting spiral staircases to the top of the tower. From here is where you can get the quintessential picture of Trinidad and the beautiful yellow bell tower with the mountains in the background. On the ground floor, there are a number of historical items from the city’s past.

3. Get Lost Exploring The Beautiful Town

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Vintage American car on the cobblestone streets of Trinidad

Trinidad is a small town that would be hard to truly get lost in, so wander down the side streets and take in all of the city’s charm. Trinidad is painted in bright yellows, blues, and pinks. Wander down the small alleys for great pictures of vintage American cars surrounded by the beautiful colonial architecture.

4. Spend A Day At The Beach Near Trinidad – Playa Ancon

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Playa Ancon – Photo by: neiljscc – edited

Just 15-minutes from Trinidad lies a nice beach on the southern shores of Cuba. Day trips or local taxis can be arranged in town to visit the beach. If you like beaches we also suggest Playa Jibacoa on the other coast.

Taxi Cost: $10-$15 each way

5. Visit Topes de Collantes Natural Park

Trinidad Cuba Travel Guide - Things to do in Trinidad - Topes de Collantes Mirador - lookout with lake formed in a lush valley
Lookout from a Mirador in the Topes de Collantes Park outside Trinidad

Just outside Trinidad sits a massive nature preserve, Topes de Collantes. The park is full of hiking opportunities and waterfalls to explore. From Trinidad, you can visit the park by horse or there are large 4×4 vehicles that take tourists into the park to the various waterfalls. Tours can be arranged through locals in town, or take one of the big old Russian Trucks through the park with Cubatur.  Read Trip Advisor reviews on the trips.

6. Hike To The Top Of The Radio Tower Hill

Trinidad Cuba Travel Guide - Things to do in Trinidad - Radio Tower Hike
The trail to the radio tower hike in Trinidad, Cuba

The best views of the countryside outside of Trinidad can be found from the radio tower. From high on the hill, you can see Trinidad and the sugar plantations in the nearby Valle de los Ingenios. At the top, there is a man who watches over the tower and he is eager to show you around and bring you to places you probably shouldn’t with the hopes of a tip. In case, you didn’t bring enough to drink he has you covered there too with water and soft drinks to buy, at an inflated price of course. From the Radio tower hike, you aren’t able to get very clear views of the city, but it was a relatively easy 30-minute hike each way. The hike is best done early in the morning before the daytime temperatures rise and the light isn’t as harsh for pictures.

7. Visit The Waterfalls Near Trinidad

Vegas Granade Waterfalls near Trinidad, Cuba - 100'+ waterfall with swimming pool and cliff jumping
Vegas Granade Waterfalls near Trinidad, Cuba – 100’+ waterfall with swimming pool and cliff jumping

Within an hour drive of Trinidad, there are hundreds of waterfalls ready to be explored. Salto del Caburni 75m waterfall is one of the most popular and is often highly recommended by locals and many tours run here. The most impressive falls are El Nicho waterfalls, with several layers of cascading water. However, El Nicho is one of the most difficult to reach and generally requires a 4×4. Pictured above is Vegas Grande, one of the most picturesque waterfalls around Trinidad, Cuba.

A post is coming soon for more information on Hiking near Trinidad and for more information and pictures of Vegas Grande Waterfalls near Trinidad.

8. Valle de Los Ingenios

A view in to the Valle de los Ingenios from the radio tower hike
A view into the Valle de Los Ingenios from the radio tower hike

Further down the valley from Trinidad is the Valle de Los Ingenios, or valley of the sugar mills. This is the heart of the sugar industry in the 18th and 19th century in Cuba, farmed by 30,000 slaves. Sugar is still grown here and makes for a nice peaceful day trip from Trinidad.

9. Horseback Riding

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Horseback Riding around Trinidad, Cuba

The lush green area around Trinidad is a great place to ride for an afternoon. Leave the city and explore the vast nature preserves around Trinidad.

10. Hiking Near Trinidad

The city has very close access to Topes de Collantes Natural Park which is home to some great hikes and some of Cuba’s best waterfalls. The information online is very scarce about hiking in the park, but there is a visitors center inside the park with good detailed information on the hikes and waterfalls close to Trinidad.

11. Visit Tobacco Fields Near Trinidad

Trinidad Cuba Travel Guide - Things to do in Trinidad - Tobacco Field
A tobacco drying barn in the middle of a field

Although Trinidad is not the main tobacco growing region, like most places in Cuba you can still find some tobacco fields near Trinidad. Just ask around, or look for the tobacco drying barns which are easy to spot with their quintessential shape. Also note, if you are looking for Cuban cigars in Trinidad, they are simply called tobacco, not cigars (same in all of Cuba). There is a popular brand of cigars with the same name as the city, but the factory is in the west along with the rest of major tobacco production, and not in Trinidad.


Where To Stay In Trinidad

Trinidad Cuba Travel Guide - Where to Stay in Trinidad-1
Hannah blending in on the colorful streets of Trinidad

The most common accommodation in Cuba is casa particulares, they are private homestays very similar to bed and breakfasts. Here you’ll stay at a local Cuban’s house have your own room, private bath, air conditioning, hot water, and typically home cooked Cuban meals can be provided for $4-10.

There is no need to book accommodation in Trinidad Cuba in advance, if you arrive by bus at the bus station tons of locals will be there with pictures of rooms they have for rent in their casas. We drove around Trinidad and looked at a few before settling on a room in the old part of Trinidad for $30 a night.

On average most casa particulares in Cuba are $25-35 a night

If you prefer to have your accommodation arranged before traveling to Trinidad we suggest looking at Airbnb. There are over 300+ Airbnb’s in Trinidad, click here to book and get a $40 Airbnb travel credit

There are a few hotels in Trinidad as well, the Iberostar Grand Hotel Trinidad is centrally located, and the #1 hotel in Trinidad Cuba on Trip Advisor. More and more hotels will be available as tourism in Cuba increases.


Where To Eat

Trinidad Cuba Travel Guide - Where to eat in Trinidad - Breakfast at a casa
Breakfast spread at a homestay casa in Trinidad – $5 per person, lots of food!

There are tons of restaurants for tourists and local Cuban cafeterias. Enjoying a home-cooked meal in Cuban casa particulares is a must for at least one meal while traveling in Cuba. Some of our favorite restaurants in Trinidad are:

  • Palador Sol y Son Authentic Cuban food in a gorgeous old colonial house filled with antiques where you dine in the outside courtyard. Located a few blocks from Plaza Mayor, address: Simon Bolivar #283 between Jose Marti & Frank Pais                           Read Trip Advisor reviews
  • Restaurante San Jose is not only the #1 restaurant on Tripadvisor in Trinidad but also super cheap: sandwichs $2.50+, pizza $3+, local beers $1.50, chicken $4.50+, etc. Located a few blocks from Playa Mayor, Address: Maceo #382 between Colon & Smith Read Trip Advisor reviews


Nightlife In Trinidad Cuba

Trinidad Cuba Travel Guide - Nightlife in Trinidad - Old American Car in Cuba at Night
Red Old American Car in Trinidad, Cuba at night

Nightlife in Trinidad Cuba has something for everyone. For those on a budget, you could always pick up a bottle of Havana rum and make your own drinks and people watch from Plaza Mayor or scope out cheap mojitos at a local restaurant or bar. However, if you’re looking for a night out in Trinidad, head to Disco Ayala or Casa de La Musica is the best nightlife spots in Trinidad.

Disco Ayala – Trinidad, Cuba

Trinidad Cuba Travel Guide - Things to do in Trinidad - Club Ayala - Flickr-1
A Dance club inside of a Cave! – Photo by: James Emerycc – edited

Head to Disco Ayala a club literally inside of a cave! Disco Ayala is definitely the best nightlife in Trinidad, open 7 days a week. Around 1 am every night they have a show with fire dancers and acrobats. There are limited tables so get there early to secure one. Don’t show up much before 11 pm, we showed up at 12 am and there was a line about 20 people long. The cover charge is 5 CUC and includes one beverage. No bags are allowed, you will have to check them at the door. Inside the cave, there are 5 dance floors and 3 bars.

Strange fact: The club is named after Carlos ‘Coco’ Ayala, a serial killer who abducted children, took them to a cave and killed them.

Most locals will know where Disco Ayala or cave club is, they will point you in the right direction. At night, the walk does seem a little sketchy, and it’s up a hill. Follow Calle Simón Bolívar from Plaza Mayor up to the Ermita de Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria de la Popa. The cave club is at the top of the hill on the left, there will be locals selling cocktails from carts along the way, pick up a drink while you wait in line.

Read Trip Advisor Reviews

Casa de La Musica

Trinidad Cuba Travel Guide - Things to do in Trinidad - Casa de la Musica-1
Casa de la Musica – Photo by: Marcelo Forlani – cc – edited

Located right in Plaza Mayor in Old Town Trinidad you can’t miss the Casa de la Musica. Every evening in Trinidad Plaza Mayor, right next to the cathedral they have a live salsa band.  Just sit on the steps next to the cathedral enjoy the free music from the Casa de la Musica while using the Wifi hotspot and even have a mojito delivered to you by a local bar. There is a cover charge of 1 CUC to go inside Casa de la Musica.

Read Trip Advisor reviews here.


Wifi In Trinidad Cuba

Wifi in Cuba can be difficult to find at times, but in Trinidad, they have a wifi hotspot right in Plaza Mayor. The wifi even reaches a few restaurants in the square, so you can surf the internet and grab a drink/meal. Wifi cards can be purchased throughout town but the best prices were at the ETSCA booths or from the tourist info center, they were $2 an hour. Most hotels have internet cards for purchase also but will charge as much as $6 per hour card.

  Additional Cuba Cheat Sheet to help plan your trip to Cuba.


Have you been to Trinidad Cuba?

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Hannah guiding the way around Trinidad Cuba

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19 thoughts on “Complete Trinidad Cuba Travel Guide 2018

  1. Hannah — Love this guide and the photos! I’m stoked to get finally get to Cuba (next week). I’m taking a group with me and we will be in Trinidad for 3 days. Just curious, do you know about how long the hike at Topes de Collantes will take start to finish… and how strenuous it is? So much to do, see, and experience in such a short time!

    Thanks!

    • What an amazing place to bring a group. I don’t remember exactly how long but under an hour and we hiked it in sandals. You will need a car to get you to the start of the hike or jump in one of the jeeps that leaves Trinidad. Will you be renting a car in Cuba?

  2. I am on my way to Cuba. This will be my first trip as a travel blogger as yourself. This is the first guide I read and. it truly helped me especially the mentions of pricing and distances. I am trying to explore the hidden parts and this really helped me put Trinidad on my list. Plus I love waterfalls. Thanks for the great travel guide to Trinidad.

    • Yippie you are traveling to Cuba! We hope you have an amazing time, it’s a gorgeous country with some of the best locals in the world. Trinidad is a must, let us know what you think of it and if you make it to the waterfalls.

  3. Hi everyone. Im loking to go next year with my wife. My problem is im flying from England but have no idea where to fly to .What international airport is closest. Can anyone help

    • Havana is an international airport but I am not sure there are direct flights from England. There are flights from the US as of today but we flew direct from Cancun and I know there are direct from London to Cancun. You could add some fun in Mexico to your trip. I’d look at Cancun and Toronto as your layover options.

      Safe travels.

  4. Hi Hannah,

    Great post! I’m heading to Cuba in February and stopping in Trinidad for 2 days. I wanted to see if you have a link to the casa particulares you stayed in or photos and contact information. I want to book in advance as I’m taking my grandmother with me on this trip and don’t want to leave much room for error.

    I’d greatly appreciate if you could share! 🙂

    Danika

    • We booked all of our Casa’s on the spot in person. I do now that many of the Casa’s are on Airbnb http://www.airbnb.com/c/hlukaszewicz which would give you photos to look at and you wouldn’t have to bring all that extra cash. The families in Cuba have family outside of Cuba that manage the airbnb booking. So if you book they will call their family in Cuba about your reservation.

      • Thank you, Hannah! I’m just now seeing your reply. I did end up booking all our casas on Airbnb, so I’m all set to head off this week. 🙂 Just wanted to see if you had any great ones you loved. Thank you so much, I’m referencing this post again as it has such great tips (I even wrote some of your tips down). Thanks so much!

  5. Sounds like you and your wife had a great trip to Cuba! Next time we go back it will be for a month and we def want to check out the beached more. Aren’t the Casa’s the best in Cuba?!? Safe travels!

  6. Trinidad is such an amazing city. Your pictures really showcase the beauty of the city and culture. My wife and I didn’t get to do as much as you both did in Trinidad. We did spend a night in Playa La Boca (next to Playa Ancon) though and found the best Casa Particular in Cuba 😉

  7. Great post! I visited Cuba in March and I am so glad I took the time to visit Trinidad. It was beautiful and colorful! I enjoyed the nightlife and the beaches and all the amazing history there. Great guide!

  8. You are killing me with does pictures of Trinidad! I remember my childhood in Trinidad and it’s beauty is imprinted in my mind and in my heart for ever! Thanks for shearing!

    • Hi! Can you tell me when the fiestas de san juan will be this year since you are from Trinidad?? Some people are telling me June 22 – 25 and others are saying June 24-27, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you!!

  9. This a great post guys! Brings back fond memories of my time spent in Cuba. Loved Trinidad and the opportunities it had for photography – such a photogenic town. I did not find the cave nightclub however. That looks surreal. I also really enjoyed Topes de Collantes national park, which is awesome for outdoor adventure and accessible via Trinidad.

    • Ah you missed the cave club? It can be hard to find and we almost gave up walking to it ourselves. You have to stay up late to make it there, doesn’t really open til 11pm but I can’t imagine it is that busy inside until after midnight. Great to hear you also fell in love with Trindad.

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