Dec 29-Jan 2
Havana may have the reputation for being the colourful Cuban city, but Trinidad steals the show with it’s pastel coloured buldings, colonial architecture, brick roofs and cobblestone streets. The stunning views of the nearby mountains from the rooftops and bell tower further add to this city’s charm. It’s no wonder that in 1988, Trinidad become a UNESCO World Heritage site.
We left Vinales first thing in the morning to make our way to Trinidad. This time, we decided to take a taxi collectivo (the shared taxis) but since each car takes 4 people, it turned out to be private since we were 8.
As it was a 6 hour taxi ride, we decided to break the journey a little by stopping in Cienfuegos — a colonial town founded in 1819 — to take in the town and enjoy a late lunch stop.
Upon arrival in Trinidad, we got situated in our casas. Bastiaan and I attempted to find another casa as we were concerned the place we booked did not have enough space for eight. Our additional casa turned out to be not very nice and long story short, we ended up joining the group as the casa we booked had more than enough space. The journey to get our luggage from one casa to another was an adventure though – we ended up in a taxi where the driver was from Havana and not local to the area. This meant that he needed to stop every block to ask for directions to the casa, and each conversation required discussion, which he then commented to me about following the discussion. It was like impromptu comedy – he would comment to me about each person he met along the way and we both were just laughing hysterically.
Between the taxi ride and our getaway from the casa, it was enough of an adventure for one night, so Bastiaan and I opted for staying in and having a chilled out night. Svetlana stayed in as well and rested, and the rest group ventured out for dinner and drinks in town.
Our first full day was a great opportunity to explore. We roamed the city, and used the Lonely Planet walking tour as our guide, but meandered around and explored along the way – visiting historic sites as well as going in and out of art galleries. We of course, all got lost amongst the group during the day but we all reconnected for lunch as well as dinner that evening. In fact, Olivia and Umesh were also in Trinidad at the same time so they joined us for dinner as well.
The second day was meant to be a visit to the Topes de Collantes to hike some of the waterfalls but my feet were swollen with hives so I needed a less walking intensive day, and therefore, Vaibhav, Ryan, Bastiaan, Svetlana and I decided to make our way to Playa Alcon and just hang out along the beach. I especially enjoyed being in the water and getting a bit of a lesson on free diving/swimming under water.
Vaibhav and Bastiaan biked the journey, and we taxied over, which made finding a taxi back a bit of a challenge, especially since it was new years eve and everyone was looking to get back before sunset.
Once back, we started our evening on our terrace with some cava and rum. Getting ready had its challenges since we struggled to get the water consistently working in the house, but eventually we all managed and headed out to Rintintin, our casa owner’s restaurant for dinner.
Following dinner, we stumbled over to Casa de la Musica to bring in the new year.
Our final full day in Trinidad was January 1st, which is the Cuban National Day, meaning everyone was on holiday. Trinidad was quiet and the city was hard to get around. Adriana and I decided to just have a relaxed day where we strolled through the city. We ended up visiting Canchancharra where I got a brief intro in how to play the congas.
We ended the night with a fairwell dinner and drink, given it was Vaibhav and Ryan’s last day with us. While most of us were still recovering from the night before and wanted an early night, Popy and Ahu decided to party it up for our final night in this lovely town.