Last weekend, we took a trip too the small town of Trinidad, passing through the town of Santa Clara. Trinidad is located relatively in the middle of Cuba’s southern coast. It has beautiful scenery and it nestled surrounded by mountains and forest.
Our trip started off with a 9 am bus ride from Havana. We had an entire tour bus to ourselves on this specific trip so we each had our own row and that was tiiiiggghhht. We stopped once to refuel and then once to eat. Lunch was at some sort of all inclusive resort on the outskirts of Santa Clara. It was a buffet and I was pretty excited as this was the first buffet I had attended since arriving in Cuba. I have been warned by Cubans and tourists alike that the buffets at the all inclusive resorts can at times be a little suspect, leaving attendants with some unexpected surprises. However, I could have cared less and continued to gorge on the various options. We got to Santa Clara with relative ease and went directly to the Che memorial and museum which had photographs of Che, and assorted random goods that he may or may not have touched over the course of his life.
After the Museum, we left Santa Clara and headed for Trinidad. This route required the bus to make it over a steep and high mountain pass with some tight switchbacks (mad props to the driver I mean these turns were tiiiiiigggghht). Once we got to Trinidad, we checked into our casas and then went out to get a bite at a delish restaurant called la Redaccíon I got some chocolate sauce chicken curry and a lamburger. Afterwards we went to Casa de la Music and saw a live performance of some music with dancers. It was a neat little show situated on cobblestone steps that ran to the main plaza. The crowd was mostly tourists and nobody in the crowd danced to the music. Then we walked to a club in a cave—a very real cave. They played the classic pop and reggaeton but it was a cave so that’s a plus I guess.
Woke up the next day to a pleasant alarm from my bowels. Buffet food was working its magic. Nice. That day we perused the town, hit a colonial museum and a counterrevolutionary museum that had an awesome view of the whole town. Then had the rest of the afternoon free. I went to the beach and nursed my sick self in the salty bath of mother nature. That night we watched a catholic procession on good Friday. A parade carried painted sculptures of Jesus and Mary and company throughout the town. Trinidad is much more religious than Havana, which is relatively non religious but has a larger population of Santeria practicers.
Next day we did took a quick botero ride in a fleet of Ladas to the mountains for a hike to a waterfall. The vegetation changed from arid to lush as we climbed the first set of hills. At the waterfall, you could swim in the pool below. The water was super refreshing and I even saw a freshwater crab. That afternoon we took a tour in the same Lada fleet through the valley de los ingenios—an important valley for sugar production in the 18th and 19th centuries. We visited he ruins of a processing plant and ascended a watchtower used to spot runaway slaves and bushfires. Not much was left standing aside from the tower. Remnants of the foundation zigzagged along the ground, giving me a fuzzy image of what once was. That night, we returned to the cave for some good clean cave fun.
Woke up on Sunday and explored Trinidad after breakfast. We went to the Floriditas in Trinidad, found some abandoned train cars, and explored a school before we jumped on the bus to return to Havana. Overall, I enjoyed my time in Trinidad. At times, it feels as if it was created solely for tourists (in old town there are a couple mojito stands on each block, and these are small blocks). People were kind and always willing to help out with directions or advice. Would recommend if in Cuba (4/5).