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If you’re planning a trip to Cuba and looking for places to visit, you definitely need to add the city of Trinidad to your itinerary. Located about 4 hours east of Cuba’s capital of Havana, the city of Trinidad is an old colonial town that once played an important role in the sugar trade.

We spent two days in Trinidad, Cuba and it was the perfect amount of time to explore the town’s historical sites and we even went to a nightclub in a cave!

Surrounded by mountains and located just minutes from the beach, find out how to spend 2 days in Trinidad Cuba.

View of Trinidad Cuba from the top of the bell tower - things to do in Trinidad Cuba

How many days do I need for Trinidad Cuba?

Trinidad is an old Spanish colonial town with colorful buildings and cobblestone streets and should be at the top of any must-see list for Cuba. We recently spent 2 days there and there’s plenty of things to do in Trinidad Cuba to fill those days and more.

I’ll show you how to make the most of your time in this quaint beautiful city. You could easily add a third day if you want, but if you arrive early enough on day 1 then 2 days should be enough.

I would NOT try and visit Trinidad for a day trip because it would make for a really long day of travel and it’s not enough time to explore the city. Below is our recommended activities for Trinidad Cuba.

Where is Trinidad Cuba?

Trinidad is located in central Cuba between the mountains and the southern coast. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a popular place for tourists who want to get a look at a historic city that still looks very much the same way it did several centuries ago. It’s one of the reasons why it’s listed as a UNESCO site.

Trinidad was founded in the early 16th century and quickly became a thriving center for sugar production. This early Spanish settlement was first established in their search for gold but later became a place of economic prosperity.

The sugar industry declined in the late 19th century and the city’s economy fell into decline. Today, tourism is the main source of Trinidad’s local economy.

How to get to Trinidad?

Trinidad is located about 315 km or 195 miles from Havana. There are several ways to get to Trinidad that include driving either by renting a car, hiring a driver, or taking the bus.

Rent a car

If you’re able to rent a car in Cuba (Americans pretty much can’t) then you can drive yourself to Trinidad. You won’t need a car to get around Trinidad while you’re there so I would only do this option if you are visiting mulitple cities in Cuba.

Renting a car in Cuba is expensive and there are issues with getting gas but if you’re set on doing it then it’s a possibility. It will take you around 4 – 4.5 hours to drive.

Hire a driver

The most popular way to get to Trinidad is to hire a driver. This will cost around $35 per person and taxis won’t leave until every seat in the car is full, or paid for. Yes, you can buy additional seats in the cab if you don’t want to wait for it to fill up or if you want extra room to spread out.

You’ll find drivers at the Havana bus station lined up ready to take people wherever they want. The drive will take around 4 hours.

Take the bus

The cheapest way to get to Trinidad is to take the bus. Viazul bus company has modern buses with air conditioning and toilets (if they work) and the main terminal is at the Central National Bus Station in Havana.

You can purchase your ticket up to 30 minutes before departure but buses do fill up so it’s best to purchase your ticket in advance. Tickets cost around $20 and takes around 7 hours to reach Trinidad. The bus to Trinidad leaves once a day at around 3:30pm so you wouldn’t arrive until 10:30pm.

Getting around Trinidad

Trinidad is a very walkable city and you can easily get around the city of Trinidad just by walking. If you want to get outside of Trinidad for a day trip to the beach or a hike in the National Park then you can catch a taxi for those.

Is Trinidad Cuba Worth Visiting?

Yes, Trinidad is worth a visit for it’s beautiful architecture and colonial history but it’s also close to the beach, mountains, and waterfalls. If you just spent some time in Havana then getting out of the city and stepping back in time to the slower way of life in Cuba will be a nice break.

This quiet and quaint town remains pretty much the same way it did centuries before.

How to spend 2 days in Trinidad Cuba

On to the list of all the best things to do in Trinidad. With 2 days you’ll have time to explore the city and be able to get in a some activities. These older Latin towns all have a central area where people gather and it’s always a good place to get started.

1. Plaza Mayor

Plaza Mayor is the main square in Trinidad and dates back to the 16th century when Trinidad was founded by Spanish conquistadors. The plaza is surrounded by preserved colonial buildings, some that are museums today, restaurants, shops, and the Church of the Holy Trinity.

The picturesque square is part of Trinidad’s rich history and cultural heritage and is a must-visit while in Trinidad.

Plaza Mayor in Trinidad Cuba - 2 days in Trinidad Cuba

2. The Church of the Holy Trinity

If you’re already at Plaza Mayor then you should take a look at the 19th century church, Iglesia Parroquial de la Santisima Trinidad. Construction on the pastel yellow church started in 1817 and wasn’t completed until 1892.

There was once another church on the same site but it was destroyed by a hurricane. The architecture is colonial and painted in the pastel colors that can be found throughout Trinidad.

Trinidad Cuba Church

3. The Convento de San Francisco de Asis

The Church and Convent of Saint Francis of Assisi was once a convent but today it houses artifacts from Cuba’s history, specifically from the Cuban Revolution.

You’ll even find a jeep and boat that were used during the Revolution. You can walk around the different rooms for free but you’ll have to pay a small fee to climb the bell tower which is absolutely worth it.

The cost to climb to the top of the bell tower is just 50 cents a person but once you get to the top the views are priceless! There are several levels up the tower where you can stop and walk around but the best views are at the very top where you’ll have panoramic views of the entire city. There are no elevators but the flights of stairs aren’t too bad.

4. Museo Romantico

The Museo Romantico is a historical museum located right next to the Church of Holy Trinity. The name might be a little confusing since it translates to Love Museum, but it showcases exhibits from the Romantic Period of the late 18th century to the mid 19th century.

5. Shopping

On the way to the Plaza Mayor off the main road is a where you’ll find a market with vendors. You’ll find everything from jewelry to domino sets to paintings. It’s a great way to show Support for the Cuban people and you get a nice treasure to remind you of your time spent in Cuba. The market is set up on two streets right next to each other.

Shopping at a craft market in Trinidad Cuba - 2 days in Trinidad Cuba

6. Free Walking Tour

If you really want to get to know a place then I recommend taking a FREE walking tour with Civitatis. The tour is free but definitely show your appreciation to the guide by giving a tip at the end.

The 2-3 hour tour will take you to all of the important landmarks in Trinidad and your guide will tell you about the history of everything and about Cuban life.

7. Valle de los Ingenios

Trinidad was a major producer of sugar so it only makes sense to visit the Valley of the Sugar Mills. Between the 18th and 19th centuries, Trinidad was one of the wealthiest cities in the Caribbean all because of the sugarcane plantations, or Ingenios.

The Valley of the Sugar Mills is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Trinidad. At these former plantations you’ll find plantation houses, slave quarters, and industrial facilities all preserverd as historic sites where you can learn about Cuba’s colonial past.

8. Topes de Collantes

Topes de Collantes is a park in the Sierra del Escambray mountain range located about 20 km outside of the city of Trinidad. The park is known for it’s diverse ecosystems and is home to numerous plants, birds, and insects. There are several hiking trails, caves, and scenic viewpoints for views of the surrounding landscape.

Inside the park you’ll find several waterfalls for cooling off in after a hike. The Caburni Waterfall and The Vegas Grande Waterfall are both popular waterfalls for tourists. In addition to hiking you can also find horseback riding as an option to explore the park.

The entire park is part of a protected area that aims to conserve the region’s biodiversity and promote sustainable tourism.

9. Playa Ancon

If you were looking to check out the beaches in Trinidad Cuba then you’re in luck! Just 15 minutes from Trinidad is the southern coast of Cuba and the closest beach is Playa Ancon. This 2.5 mile beach makes a great day trip from Trinidad. While there you can take part in water activities such as swimming, scuba diving, sailing, and windsurfing.

Playa Ancon has resaturants and bars, beach umbrellas, chairs, and water sports rentals.

10. Casa de la Musica

The Casa de la Musica is a popular outdoor live music performance and dance set to traditional Cuban rhythms. Casa de la Musica is located right past Plaza Mayor and the Church of the Holy Trinity and the show starts at 10pm. For just a small entry fee of about $1.00, you’ll be treated to an authentic Cuban experience.

11. Disco Ayala

And finally, we have Disco Ayala, a nightclub in a cave. Yes, a REAL cave! If you’re visiting Trinidad for at least 2 days I recommend going on your first night in Trinidad. The club doesn’t open until 11pm but really doesn’t even get going until about 1am.

It closes at 3am but even if you don’t stay that long you’ll probably want to sleep in the next morning. Definitely don’t go on your last night if you have to get up and on the ride early the next morning. This unique experience in Cuba should be on your must-visit list!

Where to Stay in Trinidad

While there are a few hotels in town, I recommend staying at a casa particulares. These are homes, or rooms in a home, that are for rent by a local. Hotels are usually owned and run by the Cuban government so by NOT staying in one of those and choosing a casa particulares, you are putting money into the pocket of a local and not the government.

If you are an American visiting Cuba then you aren’t allowed to stay at hotels and so the casa particulares is where you need to stay. You can find casa particulares on Airbnb or you can arrive and just knock on the doors that have this sign shown below and ask if they have availability.

Chances are good that they will but if you’re traveling to Cuba during the busy season then you might want to book in advance.

Where to eat in Trinidad

I have a few recommendations of places to eat and drink in Trinidad. First up is an outdoor venue called Casa de la Cerveza. They only serve drinks so make sure you eat beforehand. They also have live music in the evenings.

Taberna la Botija is a restaurant located close to Plaza Mayor and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Open 24 hours a day, you can get anything from pizza to fresh fish. This place was really good and they also have live performances in the evening.

There are plenty of other restaurants to choose from in Trinidad but if you stay in a casas particulares you’ll likely get breakfast with your stay for a small fee. We were lucky enough to also have a delicious 5 course dinner made for us on our 2nd night in Trinidad.

There are also a TON of rooftop bars that have amazing sunset views and I highly recommend visiting at least one of them during your time in Trinidad.

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