When our original Casa Particulares host had to cancel on us for Havana, we changed our plans for Cuba and decided to include a trip to Trinidad and I'm so glad that we did. We took a shared taxi to Trinidad from Havana which was door to door service for $80 for two people. The journey took about four hours from Havana, and we ended up spending two nights in this small and colourful colonial town with an amazing atmosphere.
Where to eat
We found a lot of amazing and reasonably priced places to eat in Trinidad which were surprisingly vegan friendly. Our favourite place that we ate in was Giroud, not far from the central Plaza Mayor, it had a cute layout with hanging tables and some old TV sets as seats. The food was very good, and amazingly priced ($5 USD for a pizza), and the staff were lovely.
We also ate at a fajita restaurant which was just off the Plaza Mayor but couldn't remember the name! The fajitas aren't exactly what we would usually describe a fajita as but they were good none the less. They also served chips (fries) which was a plus for me as I am addicted to potatoes. They had a variety of vegan options here.
There are many restaurants around the Plaza Mayor with a variety of food and prices. In the early evening lots of people gather in a corner of the Plaza Mayor to use the WiFi hotspot. There are a number of bars around selling $1 and $2 cocktails which made it a great place to watch the world go by before deciding on where to eat.
One evening we ate dinner at Paladar La Nueve Era, the food wasn't bad and was well priced and they were happy to adapt orders to make them vegan. It is also a really beautiful setting to eat and there was a fantastic live band playing.
Two places that we didn't get to try but looked fantastic were La Bojita, a lovely little spot which seemed to be very popular with the locals and was always packed out. We weren't sure about vegan options but at the very least it looks like a great place for a drink. Los Conspiradores was the closest restaurant to the WiFi hotspot on the Plaza Mayor and is probably the most beautiful restaurant in Trinidad but prices are a little higher.
Where to sleep
We stayed right in the centre of town in a Casa Particular that we found on Airbnb for $15 a night, the price was fantastic as we had a perfect location. The room was spacious with two double beds, AC and our own bathroom. The WiFi wasn't fantastic but the public hotspots in Trinidad are actually quite speedy so it doesn't really matter. I would really recommend staying in the centre of town as that is where most of the bars and restaurants are and you can wander the cobblestone streets whenever you like. Trinidad does spread quite a way away from the historic centre so you can think you can end up staying a 10-15 minute walk without really saving much money.
What to do
We had two full days in Trinidad which is plenty to see and do everything that is on offer. On our first day we got up at sunrise and wandered the streets as the town was waking up, watching people make their way to work and setting up their market stalls. I really love this time of day as you get to see the real people and the real town before the hawkers have woken up.
On our second day we decided to do a horseback riding tour of the mountains surrounding Trinidad. We booked our tour through Airbnb experiences and I would highly recommend doing this. They do offer tours that you can buy on the street but they can be more expensive, offer less, and the horses aren't treated as well.
I loved our tour as we had the loveliest tour guide called Reinier from Trinidad Travels. There were meant to be a few more people on our tour but they cancelled last minute and he still took us out for the full tour even though it was just the two of us. He met us early in the morning so we could reach the waterfall when there were less people. We had coffee, a cigar and a sugar cane juice included and we learnt so much about Cuba which was really fascinating. Most importantly, when we mentioned how well the horses looked, he advised that they are very well looked after as they are how he earns a living and they have to be happy and healthy above anything else.
We got the bus back to Havana from Trinidad which was $25 USD each plus $1 for each item of luggage to be stored. The bus as very hot and very uncomfortable! It did save us a little money compared to the share taxi but we also had to take a taxi once we arrived in Havana so unless money is really tight we would recommend the share taxi as the faster and better option.