How Trinidad stole our hearts

View of Trinidad from an oblong window with me sitting in the middle silhouetted by the outside light. There are storm clouds on the horizon.

Trinidad made it on to our Caribbean adventure list because the photos in the guide books looked really good. I knew it was a UNESCO World Heritage site and had cobbled streets. However, no matter how pretty the photos in the guide books were, they did not, could not, do justice to the beauty we found when we got off the bus from Varadero. From cobbled streets (as promised) and colourful houses to big windows with intricate railings and hidden nooks all over the town.

Cuban breakfast at a casa particulares.
Breakfast of kings and queens

We stayed in Trinidad for 3 days in a lovely casa particular with an interesting owner. He barely spoke English, I had the basic knowledge of Spanish but we managed to communicate and have long conversations during breakfast. They also made us dinner one night with the biggest fish I’ve ever seen on a plate. The breakfast was like a buffet, there was no end to it; we had fresh fruit every day, unlimited coffee, bread cheese and different meats, sweets, fresh papaya juice blended right there on the balcony where we ate with the view over Trinidad.

Plaza Mayor

Walking down the streets of Trinidad you do not know where to look first; the houses have massive windows, there are people selling handmade souvenirs from their verandas, pet birds (I think finches) singing in their cages hanging in front of the doors, mango trees hanging over the fences dropping fruit on the streets, flowers in bloom everywhere you look and people riding horses. Yup, you read it correctly, on horses – horses are still used for transport in the town centre and there are only a couple of cars, owned by the people who live in the centre. The riders look like cowboys with big cowboy hats, riding boots and chaps (not buttless). Bear in mind this is the strict town centre, the one which is a part of UNESCO Heritage site. Speaking of horses. you can also do a horseback riding day trip to a close by waterfall.

The centre itself is not really big, it has a big plaza in the middle with an old cathedral. We never went in to be honest so cannot tell you what it’s like from the inside. Going around the centre, you will find many smaller bars with cheap cocktails and quite a few shops with loads of souvenirs, mostly colourful paintings and some wooden carvings.

The prettiest cafe in Trinidad

There is this one cafe that is every instagrammer’s dream. There was not a corner of it I did not take a picture of. It is right next to the Museo Nacional de la Lucha Contra Bandidos which is quite interesting to visit and has a bell tower you can climb up for really nice 360 degree views (see the featured photo). We were watching the oncoming storm from there. Other good viewpoint can be found from several bars that have rooftop terraces. We’ve been to this one bar that had a band playing on the terrace and the view of the sunset was incredible. From cocktails, they did Trinidad Colonial that looked and tasted absolutely amazing.

After the storm, again came the sun and we used it for another beach day. The beach was similar to the one in Varadero, turquoise sea and almost white sand only this one had parasols made of palm leaves all over the beach to give you some shade and keep you from turning into Sebastian the crab. One thing I need to mention is that we found a needle in the sand under our parasol. I doubt the beach is full of them, but do be careful if you have kids or just like pushing your fingers and toes into sand. The sea too was a bit warm for my taste. On a plus note, it’s always fun when you can get to the beach in an old Chevy from 1948. for a cheap cab fare. That is one thing, cabs are not that expensive, however, make sure you settle on the price before you sit in the car (same situation in Morocco).

We spent three days in Trinidad and I was a bit reluctant to go, still, there were other places to see and more adventures to come. Onwards to Cienfuegos.

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