Trinidad – Colonial style and Salsa
One of the most popular places to visit is a town named Trinidad. 75000 inhabitants and UNESCO world heritage site since 1989 – built in the 19th century -. The main square “Plaza Mayor” is one of the most visited places on the island. Yes it sounds touristy and is touristy but not all day long. There are these beautiful moments when you can sit on a bench, be the only foreigner and talk to locals – with tooth and nail -.
Plaza Mayor is a good starting point to circle the streets of Trinidad. A colorful place with cobblestone streets invites for long walks. As far you walk away from here as more you will get dip into the local life. Getting invited to visit a school as well as a visit on a market got me some impressions.
For a break in the early afternoon the plaza in front of old San Francisco Convent – nowadays a museum with an iconic bell tower which has a good view over Trinidad – invites with benches in the shadow and a quartet of four older men singing Buena Vista Social Club classics.
After some more exploring Trinidad it is time for a sundowner at one of the rooftop bars like Restaurante Rintintin which is a great place to enjoy the view to the ocean and enjoy some more live music. The perfect moods won’t wait very long at latest with a refreshing Daiquiri Rebelde – a peppermint daiquiri -.
And if this was not enough music for the day after dinner the Casa de la Musica next to the Plaza Mayors invites with more loud and free live Salsa music. Take a seat, order a mojito in a plastic glass or BYO – bring your own – like the Cubans and be ready for some people watching. Some parts are a bit touristy but here the foreigners meet the locals on the dance floor later and enjoy the sounds of latin music. If you can’t dance salsa you will learn it here.
What to see
Plaza Mayor – Main square and UNESCO world heritage
Convento de San Francisco de Asisi – Clock tower with a view over Trinidad
Street life – walk the streets and alleys more far aways from the Plaza Mayor
Iglesia Parroquial de la Santisima Trinidad – Cathedral at Plaza Mayor
Casa de la Musica – Listen to the cuban music while having a mojito and watching the cubans dancing
Where to stay
As everywhere you will find Casa Particulares everywhere and if you make your way away from the bus station it ll become more relaxed to find a place to sleep if you don’t have one at arrival. Hotels are quite prices and some of them not in the best condition why a private accommodation has the best value for the money.
For booking a Casa Particular in advance I can recommend http://www.bbinnvinales.com or http://www.bandbcuba.com.
Where to eat
Trinidad offers a big variety of Paladares – the private restaurants -. For a good home-made dinner Paladar “Estella” next to sundowner restaurant “RinTinTin” is a beautiful place because of the interior and the seating in patio. Come early otherwise you risk that some meals are already sold out. The tasty meat is served with some different and delicious side dishes.
Another dining place with a beautiful view from the rooftop terrace is Taberna El Barracon. They also serve typical and tasty cuban food as well as good mojitos.
How to get around
Trinidad is small enough to explore everything by foot and if you are a bit tired a bicitaxi will be waiting to transport you.
How to get to
Viazul Bus is connecting Trinidad to different places in Cuba. As well a rental car is another possibility to come to Trinidad and explore the sugar cane fields around the town.