Our third city to visit was only 107km away from Santa Clara if we took the direct route, but the buses seem to circumnavigate to destinations, so we had a 3-hour bus trip. Our Casa host was even kind enough to wait for us at the bus station – although we realised afterwards that they do that to ensure the touts don’t try to sucker us into thinking that the Casa no longer exists, or that the host has died or gone to Miami.
Trinidad – a World Heritage Site – is known for its 400-year-old architecture and streets in a tightly packed historical centre with few motorised vehicles. we were able to walk around from sight to sight easily.
What to do in Trinidad
In the 3 days there, we visited (amongst other things):
- Museo Nacional de la Lucha Contra Banditos ($2CUC entry) – displaying impressive artefacts of the 1959 to 1965 period when Cuba fought off American-backed fighters after the revolution. The view of the town from the building’s soft-coloured bell tower was amazing.
- Valle de Los Ingenios – a sugar plantation 20km from Trinidad with the tallest watchtower in Cuba.
- Iberostar Grand Hotel – a sight only because it is a 4-star hotel situated at one of the main squares of the town. It is a place to have a drink in the air-conditioned luxury but cannot understand how anyone could stay there – given the quality, affordability and attraction of more than 400 Casas in Trinidad.
We had our best meal in Cuba at a small paladar restaurant called La Malvasia on Fransisco Javier Zenquera street in Trinidad. The wait staff were pleasant, the surroundings/decor were tidy and romantic and most importantly, the food (freshly caught fish for me and shrimps for Sandra) was exquisite. Plus it only cost $20CUC for two mains, two Mojitos and coffees afterwards.
Casa de la Musica
After the best meal, we headed to the steps – Site of the open-air bar called Casa de la Musica. This was one of the highlights of our trip. To sit on that 400-year-old steps, listening to great live Cuban music and then being able to dance under the stars on a beautiful balmy night – what more could we ask for? The audience is mainly made up of tourists, who can’t or don’t dance, and there are several Cubans who take to the dance floor to show us how it is done. I was brave enough, after dancing through several songs with Sandra, to ask another Cuban girl to dance to a cha cha cha number. Her partner took the opportunity to dance with Sandra. Hard to describe how much I enjoyed myself.
After 3 nights, we then travelled to Camaguey – a central island city – again by bus.