From a glance, Trinidad looks as if the town is frozen during the 1800’s: horse-drawn carriages lazily strolling on the cobblestone roads, Spanish colonial architecture dominating the center of the city, and merchants hanging along the side of the road selling hand-woven hats and traditional linens. This quickly vanished once Kevin and I arrived to the casa on a late afternoon, discovering the owner did not have our reservation. During the one hour search for a casa to take us in with our taxi driver, we walked through crowded streets lined with vintage cars, tour buses and tourists gathered together at a wi-fi hotspot, thanks to the mystery person selling these “under the table” wi-fi cards. I’ll admit, I was not prepared for the surge of tourist in Trinidad, as I have read countless blogs and articles saying to “go before it gets too touristy”! It looks like we might have been a little too late, but I still was excited to explore the town.
On our following morning in Trinidad, Kevin and I started our day early just to walk around and take it all in. Unlike when we arrived, the streets were mellow with the song, “Cha-Cha-Cha”, lingering in our ears from a nearby quartet. We decided to order freshly squeezed juice at a shop right along Plaza Mayor, while figuring out what to do in Trinidad. I was hoping to rely on our casa to help us figure out our itinerary but unfortunately, our limited Spanish made it difficult to carry on a conversation with them.
Thanks to our Lonely Planet guide, we made a stop at the Mueseo Historical Municipal, which is known for its panoramic view of the town. We explored the museum before making our way upstairs. Honestly, I wasn’t too crazy of the exhibits since it was featuring antiques or living room displays. The view of the city definitely makes up for the exhibit, which I hope they update in the future.
Our next stop fared better, at the Galeria de Arte, which is inside a 19th century style house. We were not asked to pay admission, so I am assuming it is free of charge. Inside, you’ll find amazing local art and some of it up for sale too. This museum is also another great spot for picture taking. Then again, there is no such thing as a bad picture in Cuba!
Before sunset, Kevin and I followed Lonely Planet’s Historical Walk. We ran into other couples also following this route lol, but it was a fun walk around parts of the town you would miss as a visitor. Along the walk we got to see glimpses of how the locals live: children playing outside, adults hanging in front of their homes, and chickens and their young scavenging for food.
Of course, I can’t end this post without mentioning the food! We were warned to not have high expectations of the food in Cuba, but I was happy with my experience in Trinidad. From indulging in grilled lobster to snacking on 50 cent lechon asado sandwiches, I was in food heaven!
My one regret was that spending a full day in Trinidad was not enough to see it all. We have heard from others during our stay that there’s an amazing beach that is just a cab ride away, or that nearby city, Cienfuegos, is a place worth visiting.