DURATION: 4 DAYS
The Cuban city of Trinidad is a protected world UNESCO heritage site and it is easy to see why. Located between the Caribbean sea and the Topes De Collantes National Park Rainforest, it is a historic town founded in the 16th century that has been marvelously preserved. The region boasts a vibrant cultural and social scene, harmonious with the natural beauty of the surrounding areas, a wonderful mix and balance of all that is Cuba.
Upon arrival all you will want to do simply stroll the cobble streets and marvel. Perhaps climb the bell tower and gaze over the red tiles roofs of the town, dotted with churches, museums and town squares. The laid back lifestyle is apparent for all to see, which is a welcome adjustment, with musicians playing in squares while children play and people go about your daily routines.
Located in the coffee growing region of the world, the best coffee of our trip to Cuba was to be had in Trinidad, pull up a pew in Don Pepe's leafy courtyard and order yourself a 'Cortada'. A ritual that became a daily occurrence on our time in the city. One of the best meals we had in Cuba was in Palladar Estella, wonderful setting, wonderful food and a host that is sure to bring a smile to your face.
Like all of Cuba, accomodation in can be arranged in a small number of hotels in each town or a room in the more authentic Casa Particulares. Our recommendation is the wonderful 'Paladar' Casa Cofrida, located within the historic town. A stunning house, recently renovated but still containing Spanish tiles used as ballast for European's crossing the Atlantic for the trade of sugar. Coupled with great hosts, who went above and beyond to help arrange our transport on our excursion into the rain forest.
As a tropical region, Trinidad has a rainy season, depending on what time of year you arrive (October in our case) you, like us, will be treated to afternoon thunder storms, a light rain jacket and a camera for the lightening shows are all that are needed.
A must is a day to the beach, Playa Ancon is only a 15 minute drive from Plaza Carillo in the town centre. Pick yourself up a Classic American Car Taxi (Photo above) and sit back and enjoy the short but scenic ride along the bay . We arranged for the taxi to pick us from the beach later in the day. The beach has everything a day visitor could need: snacks, drinks, loungers, shade, paddle boats, crystal blue clam waters and more sand than you can walk in a day.
Undoubtedly, the highlight of our trip to Trinidad was an excursion into the rainforest to the El Nicho Waterfalls and lake. Located in the Topes De Collantes National Park behind Trinidad and accessible for a small fee are two stunning waterfalls and a series of look outs. A short hike from the car park brings you to the first, which thunders down while spraying your face, the second is a more sober affair and flows into a pool which is ideal for cooling off with a swim on a warm day. Hopefully you are lucky enough as we were and have this wonderful place to yourself.
Prior to our trip we could not see much on the internet on how to get to El Nicho, could we access from Trinidad or would we have to stop off in Cienfuegos?. The road from Trindad is long and in parts rough due to the heavy rains, it is only passable in a 4x4 and at times progress is slow. We were able to hire a modern 4x4 taxi in Trinidad to take us on the 2/3 hour trek, stopping off for some noteworthy coffee at the half way point while witnessing what life is like for locals in the more remote parts of Cuba. Don't be deterred - it's well worth it!
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