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Trinidad (Cuba)

Photo © JOSE_MARIA

Travel Guide Caribbean Cuba Trinidad

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Introduction

Trinidad is a town in the province of Sancti Spíritus, central Cuba. Together with the nearby Valle de los Ingenios, it has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1988.

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Neighbourhoods

The town proper is divided into the barrios (quarters) of Primero, Segundo and Tercero. The whole municipality counts the consejos populares (villages) of Aguacate, Cabagán, Caracusey, Casilda, Guaniquical, Río de Ay, San Francisco, San Pedro, and Táyaba.

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Sights and Activities

  • Casa de la Música (at the stairs on the central square) - Open air location, where there is a small platform from which groups perform at night. Usually, there is salsa music, and great salsa dancers there enjoy the music and dance and perform with foreigners. It is great to enjoy a few drinks there as well. often free.
  • Museum of the War Against the Bandits (Lucha Contra Bandidos) - The Museum is in a former convent close to the cathedral near the Plaza Mayor in the old colonial center. The War Against the Bandits was the 1961-1969 fought against U.S.-sponsored counterrevolutionaries, who hid out in the nearby mountains. If you don't read Spanish, the displays may be difficult to understand, but the piece of the American U-2 spy plane shot down speaks for itself. Also well worth the entrance fee is the mirador (view) from the convent's tower, reached by several flights of wooden stairs, which has superb views across the whole town.

Cathedral - The cathedral is beautiful inside and has a tower you can climb for a view

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Events and Festivals

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Weather

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Getting There

By Train

Trinidad has not been connected to the rest of Cuba by train since a hurricane destroyed an essential bridge in 1992. There is a local train running to the Valle de los Ingenios.

By Bus

Viazul buses have a twice daily service from Havana stopping at Cienfuegos, and a daily service from Santiago de Cuba stopping at Holguin, Camagüey, and Sancti Spiritus. There is also a service to/from Varadero stopping at Santa Clara and Cienfuegos that is not listed on the Viazul website. It leaves Varadero at 7:30am and returns from Trinidad at 2:25pm. Viazul and Cubanacan offer direct buses to/from Viñales as well. You buy Viazul tickets from the air conditioned office right in front of where the buses park, not from the Astro or local bus counters.

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Getting Around

Street names may be difficult to find, although the town is very small. Offline GPS maps are useful, but if you ask around, people are helpful. Adding to the confusion, almost all streets carry two names an old and a new one. The central part of the town is small enough to explore on foot. The old city is centered around Plaza Mayor. he streets are cobble stones, very irregular and walking could be difficult for older folks. Wear runners for sure. Do not even think about wearing high heels. Your ankles will pay.

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Eat

There are several 'so called' peso pizza establishments in the town which allow tourists to purchase Pizza for the national peso price. This usually works out at around 5-10 national pesos or 10c. This is a good idea for travelers on a budget. One of the biggest places in Trinidad is situated on the corner of Frank Pais and Francisco Javier.

Many casa particulares offer dinner, typically for around 10 CUC per person. If you didn’t yet try local food, these usually authentic dishes are very well prepared and well worth checking out. However, Trinidad also has a good variety of restaurants and some serve food that’s hard to come by elsewhere. Note that the restaurants listed in guide books are typically well visited, so you may have to queue for a seat when coming between 7:00 and 10:00pm.

When wandering around the city, touts may offer to guide you to a restaurant. If that happens, kindly refuse their service or be prepared to have their commission added to the bill.

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Drink

In the square at night, there are often events and there is a very good club open until the early hours. It is a lovely town with amazing visitors and inhabitants, and small enough for you to wander and choose your drinking hole. The Mojito's and rum cocktails are great.

There are also places where the locals hang-out and which serve quite decent beer at a very reasonable price. These places usually serve draught beer and stay open just as long as there is beer to serve. When the beer from one place has been drunk, then it's off to the next place or not. Many of the locals drink their beer outside on the street and Trinidad is so small so these places are easy to spot.

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Sleep

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Ana Elena HomestayCamilo Cienfuegos #265 entre Maceo & Francisco Cadaia Downtownguesthouse-
Casa Bernardo & SarahiFco. Peterseen 179Guesthouse-
casa mercedes albalat milordCalle José Martí no.330 entre Simón Bolívar y Francisco Javier Zerquerahostel-
Casa Particular 1830Gustavo Izquierdo # 124 Simón Bolivar y Piro Guinart.Guesthouse-
Hostal Dr Lara y Sra YudaCamilo Cienfuegos No. 118 % Miguel Calzada y FranGuesthouse-
Hostal Dr.Suarez y Sra. AddysCalle Santiago Escobar 174 Jose Marti y Frank PaisGuesthouse-
Hostal La MilagrosaCalle Miguel Calzada (Borrell) 55 A entre CamiloGuesthouse-
Hostal RocaverdeSimon Bolivar # 166. Trinidad. Santi SpiritusGuesthouse-

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Work

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Learn

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Keep Connected

Internet

In many cities the only way for tourists to access the internet is through the government's communications centers. Look for buildings bearing the name "ETECSA", which stands for Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba S.A. ETECSA also has internet stations in some of the larger government hotels and resorts. The connection speed is comparable to analog dial-up speed in Havana or slower in smaller locations, at a cost of 6 CUC/hour. This is payable by purchasing a prepaid scratch card with a PIN code granting you access for one hour. The same card can be used throughout the country at any ETECSA terminal, allowing you to disconnect after your session and use the remaining time on the card further at the next hotel/city you go to.

WI-FI in hotels and restaurants is certainly uncommon if not non-existent and tourists should not rely on this being available when planning their means of communication.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to Cuba is 53. To make an international call from Cuba, the code is 119. The emergency number is 116 and information number 113.

GSM cell phones will work in Cuba (900 MHz). Cuba is one of the most expensive countries in which to communicate. When bringing your own cellphone, incoming phonecalls to Cuba cost about $1/minute. Outgoing calls from Cuba are similarly expensive, and can be as high as $5 per minute for making international when roaming with your cellphone from overseas.

A better way is to rent cellphones, which is possible at several stores in Havana, including one in the airport. The rates are 9 CUC per day (6 CUC for the phone and 3 CUC for the SIM card), plus about 36 cents a minute for prepaid cards. If you bring an unlocked GSM phone operating at 900 MHz (or quad-band world phone) you can buy a SIM card for 111 CUC, plus your prepaid minutes. If you're staying two weeks or more it makes sense to bring a cheap phone, buy a SIM card and prepaid minutes, then give the phone to a Cuban friend when you leave. Cellphones are among the most desired items for Cubans (bring a case for the phone too, Cubans are very fussy about keeping their phones scratch-free). You will have to go to a cellphone store with your friend and sign a paper to give the phone to your friend.

Post

Correos de Cuba operates the Cuban postal service. They are generally quite slow, and delivery is never guaranteed. Mail is read by Cuba’s censors; avoid politically sensitive comments. Also, never send cash! Post offices (correos) usually are open weekdays 8:00am to 6:00pm and on Saturday 8:00am to 3:00pm, but hours can vary widely. Most tourist hotels accept mail for delivery as well, which might be a better option. International airmail (correo aereo) averages from at least 2 weeks to over one month, and even domestic posts might take 1-2 weeks. When mailing from Cuba, write at least the country destination in Spanish (as well). International postcards, cost CUC 0.50 to all destinations; letters cost CUC 0.80. Within Cuba, letters cost from 15 centavos (20 grams or less) to 2.05 pesos (up to 500 grams); postcards cost 10 centavos. Stamps are available in US dollars as well (if buying at hotels, this is actually your only option) and can be bought at hotels and blue and white kiosks labelled Correos de Cuba. Parcels from Cuba must be unwrapped for inspection. It is far better to send packages through an express courier service, like DHL or the Cuban local one (called EMS), although the same regulation applies.

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This is version 4. Last edited at 9:57 on Jul 26, 17 by Utrecht. 7 articles link to this page.

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