It’s easy to see why Trinidad has been called “the museum city of Cuba.” The meticulously preserved town offers a window into the past, from its sprawling colonial palaces and plazas to its remnants of sugar mills and slave barracks from another era. Soak up the rich Spanish colonial architecture by taking a stroll through the picturesque cobblestone streets of this very walkable city.
Trinidad was founded in 1514, and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. Many of its most striking buildings, including the Museo Histórico Municipal and the Museo de Arquitectura Trinitaria, are situated around Trinidad’s central public square, Plaza Mayor. Be sure to make time for a trip to the Valle de los Ingenios [Valley of the Sugar Mills] to see the ruins of dozens of 19th century sugar mills located just outside the city.
Trinidad’s picture-perfect location, between mountains and the Caribbean coastline, offers an abundance of natural attractions. Climb the mountains of the nearby Sierra del Escambray, refresh yourself at the immaculate Ancón Beach, or go bass fishing in the Embalse Zaza.
Climb atop the distinctive Iznaga Tower in the Valle de los Ingenios to enjoy a panoramic view of the valley and the Ancón and Maria Aguilar beaches.
Head south to the nearby Ancón Peninsula to swim, fish or dive at the most spectacular beaches on Cuba’s Caribbean coast.
The warm waters off this beach, on the Ancón Peninsula, are perfect for swimming and snorkeling.
Mingle with the locals at this rocky beach off the beaten path. It also boasts striking views of the Escambray Mountains.
Bask in the shade of the pines lining this picturesque beach located just 13 km from Trinidad. It is widely recognized as the best beach on Cuba’s south coast, thanks to its dazzling mountain views and fine, white sand.
Lapped by the waters of the Caribbean, the Ancón Peninsula, just walking distance from Trinidad, offers something for everyone. Check out the region’s famous black coral formations on a diving excursion, book a yacht ride to the nearby Canarreos Archipelago, or spend some time reeling in the region’s big fish.
Embalse Zaza (Zaza Reservoir)
Enjoy excellent freshwater fishing in Cuba’s largest man-made reservoir. Located in Sancti Spíritus, the provincial capital, close to Trinidad.
Marlin Marina Trinidad
Book your fishing excursions here, including deep-sea fishing, fly-fishing and bottom-fishing.
Scuba diving and snorkeling
Cayo Blanco International dive center
Explore an amazing variety of marine life and black coral from this diving centre located at the Marina.
The narrow insular shelf has a sandy bottom with patches of coral forming tunnels and towering ridges. You will see an extraordinary diversity of marine sponges, black coral and tropical fish.
There are many ways to enjoy the sights around Trinidad – bike, hike or explore on horseback. The area is rich in natural attractions – including one of the highest waterfalls in the Caribbean.
Sierra del Escambray
Book a jeep excursion through the Escambray mountains through a local tour operator like Havanatur or Cubatur.
Valle de los Ingenios (Valley of the Sugar Mills)
Get a taste of the region’s sweet history by exploring the 70 historic sugar mills lining this valley just outside Trinidad. Don’t miss the 146-foot-tall Iznaga Tower, which provides an excellent view of the nearby mountains and beaches.
Salto del Caburni
Hike to the top of Salto del Caburni, which at 75-metres is among the tallest waterfalls in the Caribbean.
The Sierra del Escambray mountain range offers an extensive network of trails for your hiking pleasure.
Finca de Recreo María Dolores (María Dolores Recreation Farm)
From this hotel, you can arrange a horseback ride to nearby Ranchón El Cubano.
The region surrounding Trinidad has it all – from mountains and rivers, to caves and grottos, to waterfalls and swimming holes.
Topes de Collantes
Explore the local flora and fauna – including colourful parrots and the Tocororo, Cuba’s national bird – at this park, deep within the Escambray Mountains. Be sure to stop by the towering Salto de Caburni waterfall.
Arts and culture
Trinidad’s reputation as “the museum city of Cuba” is well deserved. Meticulously preserved Spanish colonial buildings cluster along charming cobblestone streets that echo of times gone by.
Antigua Convento de San Francisco de Asís
This is the classic postcard-view of Trinidad: the bell tower of the ancient convent, rising above the rooftops with the green slopes of the Escambray Mountains as a backdrop. Climb the tower for a commanding view of the old town.
Ermita de la Popa (The Popa Hermitage)
Visit this notable church inspired by Spanish maritime tradition. Its elevated perch was chosen so it could be seen from the sea.
Valle de los Ingenios (Valley of the Sugar Mills)
Board a steam train for a trip through the valley that houses the ruins of 70 historic sugar mills, just east of Trinidad. Make sure to climb the Iznaga Tower, which offers a stunning view of the region.
This city square is the home of several richly decorated palaces that have been converted into museums, like the Museo Histórico Municpal and the Museo de Arquitectura Trinitaria. Here you can also find the Iglesia Parroquial de la Santisima Trinidad, which houses the famed Christ of the True Cross from 1713.
Museo de Arquitectura Trinitaria
See how Trinidad’s upper classes once lived by inspecting the domestic artifacts inside the former home of the prominent Iznaga family.
Examine the elaborate period pieces on display at this museum located inside the Palacio Brunet.
Museo Histórico Municipal
Stop by this mansion to see documents and maps related to the sugar trade, the slave trade and the War of Independence. From the top of the museum’s tower, you’ll get an unforgettable bird’s-eye-view of the city.
Show the kids that history can be fun with an enjoyable steam train ride through the region’s historic sugar mills.
Steam train rides
Hop aboard one of Cuba’s 100 steam trains, including one that used to haul sugarcane through the Valle de Ingenios just outside of Trinidad.
Browse the handcrafted items at Trinidad’s street markets by day, and then dance the night away inside a two-storey cave.
Nightclubs and Bars
Las Ruinas del Teatro Brunet, Maceo (Brunet Maceo Theatre Ruins)
Enjoy the nightly Afro-Cuban shows at this club located in the ruins of Trinidad’s first theatre.
Casa de la Música
You can hear excellent traditional Cuban bands here, whether you’re dancing with the crowds inside or sipping a mojito under the stars.
This unique club-within-a-cave plays a mix of disco-salsa music, very popular with the locals.
Its name corresponds to a Cuban cocktail, consisting of honey, lemon and “aguardiente” – considered the distinctive taste of Trinidad.
Restaurants and Cafes
Try the Chicken Jigüe, a unique and delicious specialty of the house.
The house specialty is fresh Fish Fillet.
Enjoy the Special Buffet or the Mar y Tierra Barbeque, quite a contrast of flavours within an old, restored house.
Trinidad’s markets are renowned. You can find everything from lace and clothing to woodcarvings and musical instruments.
Spas and wellness
Rejuvenate yourself at a lakeside spa in the Escambray Mountains.
Pamper yourself at this lakeside spa located deep in the Escambray Mountains. It offers a wide array of spa services, from massage to hydrotherapy.
Festivals and holidays
Locals recreate the journey of Mary and Joseph around Christmas time in Trinidad.
Way of the Cross
At Easter, devout Catholics follow the “way of the cross” procession down the winding cobblestone streets of Trinidad.