A beautiful, but touristic hotspot in Cuba
We came to Trinidad by Taxi (for 30 CUC – 1,5 hours), directly from Rancho Luna. There is no direct bus. So, if you don´t want to go all the way by Taxi you can take one to Cienfuegos and change to a bus or a collective Taxi there. A bus between Cienfuegos and Trinidad costs 6 CUC and the Taxi prices are between 6-12 CUC.
The city Trinidad is very touristic but also a nice little town. They had their 500th anniversary in 2014 and the whole old town was renovated. Now it looks nicely prepared, colorful, clean and has many restaurants. Our tour guide said that within 2 years over 50 restaurants opened in the city. And it fells like all of old town is one big casa particulares, because everyone has at least one room for rent.
Trinidad is nice because it combines mountains and ocean with town and restaurants.
We also called a casa before coming here and paid 20 CUC/ night for the first 3 nights and the 40 CUC for an all-inclusive-package in another casa, for 3 more days (all-inclusive meaning room+breakfast+lunch+dinner+all drinks).
In Trinidad you can book many, many hiking and horseback riding tours and the “Taxi, Taxi”-guys are even more aggressive and annoying than in Havana! Since every tourist that visits Cuba comes to Trinidad, its also an expensive place and a small city – therefore the options are not as various as in Havana. Taxi prices are the worst! There is almost no option for bargaining because the Taxi drivers stick together and are so spoiled that they will just leave you in the street if you don´t pay what they want. We managed to bargain a little. That mans we shared Taxis with other tourists a lot, e.g. driving to the beach with 5 people, paying 10 CUC. Or we asked many Taxis until one took us for 6 CUC, but that takes time.
So, people in the city center are mainly not friendly – apart from when you pay them for something. But like everywhere we´ve been to, walking a little out of the center changes everything – people are nice and talk to you, without wanting something.
We spoke to a local guy who works at a governmental hotel. He told us that he oly earns 10 CUC/month and therefore starts his own Casa right now. He also explained that eating in governmental hotels or restaurants is bad, because employees will take the good food for themselves and only serve the “leftovers”. The best food you can have in local casas or cafeterias – with casas being more expensive but worth it, most of the time.
In Trinidad we spend most of our time at the beach, because we – again – wanted to dive. We were not interested in any horseback-riding tours to the mountains and only joined the little tourist train to the Valle de los Indigenos for a have day tour that costs 8 CUC/person. That´s the one touristic thing we did in the city because we where to annoyed by all the way to expensive tour offers. and we can only recommend it to persons who speak Spanish. The valley s nice and you visit the old sugar mills, but there are no descriptions and the driver doesn´t speak any English…
The amazing beach of Playa Ancon
This is one of the most beautiful beaches we have ever seen! It is a long all-white sand beach with the bluest clean water. You can easily walk into the water, it is very shallow and warm! There is one restaurant that sells Cuban dishes and takes ages to get you something because everyone eats there – the prices are 5 CUC per dish. Going to Playa Ancon, which is 20 km away from Trinidad, is easy. There is a shuttle but that charges 5 CUC for both ways, per person or you can get a Taxi (it cost us between 6-8 CUC one way). There are two big all-inclusive hotels at the beach with free areas inbetween. We also met other tourists with rented cars, who took us back to the city.
- Enjoy a 1 CUC Cocktail (across the south-east corner of the parc at Plaza Major in the small gallery in Calle Real del Jigue) and sit at Plaza Major to watch people passing and dancing at the Casa de la Musica (or join them)
- Restaurant San Jose (waiting in line is required, because you can´t book a table in advance)
- Restaurant Giroud (also waiting on line)
- If you take a taxi early morning it´s very nice and quiet – not so much of a hazzle
- It´s easy to find people to share a taxi to and from the beach
- Good internet in hotel lobby at the beach