Posted by - 24 September 2011 - 1 Comment

36 hours in Trinidad, that's Cuba not and Tobago

Like Havana wandering around Trinidad is like walking through a living museum.    Located on the south coast of Cuba, approximately four - four and a half hours drive from Havana this 500-year old town is home to excellently preserved Spanish colonial architecture, friendly locals and unexpectedly buzzing nightlife.  It's no wonder it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1988.

Check into the Iberostar Grand Hotel - a reasonably priced five start hotel positioned in a central location a short walk from all the sights.    The hotel is a perfect example of 16th century colonial architecture - big grand entrance and pastel coloured exterior.   It's not luxe by Western standards, but the rooms are spacious and clean.   They also have free internet in the lobby for guests.  

Ask for one of the rooms at the front of the hotel.  They come with a large terrace which overlook the square at the front of the hotel.  The sun also sets at the front, also making it a great spot to sit and unwind after a day of sightseeing.

Take advantage of the fact that all the coach tours will have left Trinidad to explore this beautiful town. Wander through the cobbled streets, before making your way to the heart of the town to the main square:  Plaza Mayor.  

 Find a seat in the square and just take in the majesty of this charming square without masses of people spoiling the tranquil setting.  Check out Frommers for a detailed descriptions of attractions around Plaza Mayor.

Return to the hotel to freshen up and enjoy cocktails and dinner in the "plush" surroundings of the Iberostar Hotel restaurant.  This is regarded by some as one of the best places to eat in town, but expensive by Cuban standards.  Guests pay 25 CUC (around £15.80) and non-guest 35 CUC (around £20.20) for a selection of  reasonably cooked dishes and a unlimited pasta and salad bar.

No visit to Trinidad is complete without a trip to the Sierra Escambray.   The beautiful Parque Guanayara located in the lush Escambray mountains surrounding the town is a natural wonder. After a short ride from Trinidad you have to make your way through the park by foot, so bring a pair of walking shoes and a bottle of water.

Reward yourself with the breathtaking scenery and waterfalls.   The park is home to a natural water pool - a  refreshing indulgence after a couple hours of walking in the midday sun.   To make the most of your trip book a tour with Juan Carlos a local tour guide (+535 291 6368).  

Return to the hotel.  After all that walking you probably won't want to walk too far to grab something to eat, so pop in to el Rapido.  This fast food restaurant is located across the street from the hotel and serves pizzas, pastas and ice-cream.  The food is purely functional and tasteless but does the job.

Wander down to arts and crafts market to pick up some souvenirs.  For detailed information on shopping in Trinidad check out Trinidad Cuba blog.   Or if you fancy some R&R you could also take the short journey to the beach.  Playa Ancon is 8km of white sand and is located just 15 minutes from Trinidad by car.

Return to the hotel to freshen up before enjoying some pre-dinner drinks in the Iberostar Hotel Bar.

For good quality home style cooking head to a casa particulares.  Casa Anay y Jesus is a well maintained colonial style guest house located  at 228, e/ Colón y Lino Pérez.   

Dinner is served on a thatched roof terrace covered, and is a steal at 10 CUC per person (around £6.35).  The meal includes a feast of dishes and a selection of  delicious starters, fish and meat main courses including lobster and dessert!

Soft drinks and beers are available to buy, but casa particulares are BYO so you are also welcome to buy your drinks from the kiosks dotted around the main square.   Casa Anay y Jesus is undoubtedly one of the best places to eat in Trinidad so make sure you book in advance and come with an empty stomach.  

Join in with the local festivities and soak in the party atmosphere by enjoying a drink at Plaza Mayor, where you can watch the locals dancing and singing along to the live bands that play in the square.

Dance the night away at Las Cuevas Disco.  Located up above the town to the right of the church, the club is set within a hillside cave.  This dimly lit cavenous space is one of the most extraordinary and atmospheric dance venues you'll ever visit and a really fun night out.  

Transfers and bookings were made via Captivating Cuba.
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1 comment:

Holidays to koh lanta said...

Trinidad looks lovely! I just wish that Cuba will be more open to tourists. They have lots of beautiful places worth seeing.

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