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Trinidad, Cuba’s Prettiest and Oldest Town

Trinidad, Cuba’s Prettiest and Oldest Town

In my previous trip to Cuba I didn’t get the chance to visit Trinidad.  This time around I told my family that I wasn’t leaving without seeing the town that everyone raves about.  Especially since the town of Trinidad was celebrating it’s 500 year anniversary this year. Trinidad was founded in 1514 and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. We started our journey early in the morning knowing that we had a three hour car ride from Placetas. Trinidad is located on the southern tip of the island.

 

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Accommodations


We planned on staying only one night but more would have been better.  I left the accommodations arrangements up to my Cuban cousin, which worried me a little when he mentioned that we were staying in a room that was only $25/night in Trinidad.   What we call standard accommodations in the States are a little different than Cuba’s standards accommodations. When we arrived on this little cobbled stone side street, the first thing that I noticed was that the bus terminal was next door.  From the location and the white exterior doors, it was hard to imagine that Hostal Casa Nelson  was a B&B.

The Hostal Casa Nelson
As we walked in, we saw that all the furniture in the lobby dated back to the Victorian era.   We were told that our rooms were ready.  We walked towards the back of the building and up a flight of stairs which had a nice mural painted on it. The upstairs had four rooms each different from the other and each with its own private entrance.  My aunt and I shared a double room. The room was surprisingly large with a wall a/c unit and a small refrigerator.  The bathroom was very clean and had two clean towels hanging.   It had no soap and some toilet paper.   We were glad that we brought both with us.   My other cousin’s rooms were smaller with just a queen bed.

 

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My aunt standing in front of the entrance of Hostal Nelson
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Lobby Area to Hostal Casa Nelson, Trinidad
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Stairs to the upstairs of Hotal Nelson Casa
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Outdoor Terrace upstair Hostal Nelson Casa
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Double Bed at Hotal Nelson Casa, Trinidad

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Just outside the rooms was a nice sitting area with tables.   Upon checking in, we were asked if we wanted to have dinner at the house. They asked each of us what we wanted to eat and at what time we wanted it served. That evening as we walked outside our room we found the table all set for dinner.   We enjoyed a delicious meal and a bottle of wine. Breakfast was served the next morning at exactly the time we had specified.  I have to give my cousin credit for suggesting Hotel Nelson Casa in Trinidad. The owners are very friendly and gracious to us during our stay.   It’s walking distance to all the Museums and Plaza Mayor (Town Square).  We couldn’t have asked for a better place to stay.  I would highly recommend it if you plan on visiting Trinidad, Cuba.

 

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Dinning Area upstairs Hostal Nelson Casa, Trinidad

 

Plaza Mayor is the  historic town square of Trinidad. Around it are many striking buildings including the Museo Romantico (my favorite), Museo de Arquitectura Trinitaria and Church of the Holy Trinity.   The Plaza Mayor itself is divided it into four gardens separated by walking paths.  Cobbled streets surround the square, separating it from the surrounding buildings.

 

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Church of the Holy Trinity (Iglesia Parroquial de la Santísima Trinidad) on Plaza Mayor
Church of the Holy Trinity (Iglesia Parroquial de la Santísima Trinidad) on Plaza Mayor

 

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Playa Mayor Trinidad
Plaza Mayor Trinidad
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Plaza Mayor

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Museums

Museo Romantico (Romantic Museum) is a mansion owned by one of the richest families (Brunet Family) in the colonial era.   The house dates back to 1808 and is filled with an abundant of relics from all over the world.

 

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Museo de Arquitectura Trinitaria is on the southeastern side of Plaza Mayor in a museum showcasing upper-class domestic architecture of the 18th and 19th centuries.  It was once the residence of the wealthy Iznaga family.  It was closed during our visit so I wasn’t able to get to visit inside.

 

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Museum of Architecture, Trinidad, Cuba

 

The town of Trinidad has it all from its colorful buildings to lively entertainment in the evenings around Playa Mayor.   If you love to dance, checkout Club Las Chevas.   It’s a disco inside a cave.

 

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Trinidad’s picture-perfect location, between mountains and the Caribbean coastline, also offers an abundance of natural attractions. For those who like the outdoors, there’s the chance to climb the mountains of the nearby Sierra del Escambray, refresh yourself at the immaculate Ancón Beach, or go bass fishing in the Embalse Zaza.  We stayed in the town this trip but when I return, I look forward to exploring the natural attractions.

 

About the author

Carmen Edelson is the Founder of Carmen's Luxury Travel. Carmen has been traveling the world for over a decade. Our travels allows her the opportunity to pursuit her itch to travel to the best luxury destinations, and experience those first class tastes from around the world.

28 Comments

  1. OMG!! The Hostal is a little bit scary. It seems to be in another era as you said.
    Great photos!!

    Kisses!!

    http://www.missarretrancos.blogspot.com

    • Carmen

      Hi Vicky, We couldn’t of ask for a better hotel in Trinidad. I plan on staying there again if we go back.

  2. I just got back from Cuba, and I’m sad I didn’t get to make it to Trinidad! This post does not help… 😉 You’re right, it does look very pretty. Hoping to head back to the island one day and do a big loop around the whole thing!

    • Carmen

      Hi Emma, Glad to hear that you visited Cuba. Where did you go? Hopefully, next time you get the chance to go to Trinidad. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  3. A disco in a cave! That would have been fun to check out. If I ever go back I would want to spend the night & not visit on an excursion. There were so many interesting & beautiful places we didn’t get to explore.

    • Carmen

      Hi Rhonda, In order to see everything you need to spend at least two-three days. I feel like we missed a lot because our visit was short.

  4. Indeed, Trinidad was just The Best. Loved the vibe there. So many music festivals were going on when we were there. We also checked out the Topes de Collantes when we were there and we LOVED it.

    • Carmen

      Esther, It was quiet when we went, no music festivals. I’ll make sure to make time on my next trip to see the Topes de Collantes.

  5. I love Cuba. We back-packed around quite a bit a few years ago now, but we didn’t make it to Trinidad sadly, one day maybe… 🙂

    • Carmen

      Hi Emma, I didn’t get to go my first trip either. I’m glad we went this year. When you go try and stay for a few days. There are so many things to see around town.

  6. It’s an absolute dream of mine to visit Cuba and your pictures of Trinidad look amazing! It reminds me of a mix between Paraty, Brazil and Granada, Nicaragua. And the hotel you stayed at is such a great deal – wow!

    • Carmen

      Hi Dana, I couldn’t of ask for a better place to stay. The location was walking distance to the center of town. I hope to get to go one day soon. 🙂

  7. These have to be the photos from your Cuba collection so far – so bright and colourful! Totally loving your Cuba series. Thanks again for linking up to #SundayTraveler

    • Carmen

      Hi SJ, I agree Trinidad was probably one of the best places to take pictures. The town is so colorful. My cousin who went with me said it was a photographers dream.

  8. Oh what a cute charming little town! Cuba is a country that I would love to visit one day. I love the colorful houses and cobblestone streets!

    • Carmen

      Hi Anna, Cuba is still frozen in time which is what makes it so unique. I hope you get to visit one day.

  9. What a great set of photos! They’re so bright and colourful. Did you say a disco in a cave? I’d be up for checking that out!

    • Carmen

      Hi Adelina, It was my favorite of all the town we visited by far. Yes, they have a cavern that is converted into a disco in the evenings. I was too tired to check it out since we had a long drive that day.

  10. I’d really love to visit Cuba- it seems like a place frozen in time. And I love the little terrace of your hotel. So charming! 🙂

    • Carmen

      Hi Karisa, Being in Cuba is like traveling back in time. No much has changed in the last 50 years.

  11. Fantastic photos! I hope to visit Cuba someday!

    • Carmen

      Thanks Lauren! I took some many great photos that it was hard to decide which ones to share.

  12. Bryna
    Reply

    Love the pictures! The sky is such a pretty blue! I’m toying with the idea of going to Cuba this year. What time of the year did you go and was it too hot?

    • Carmen

      Thanks Bryna! We were just there in March. It was perfect. Not so many mosquitos and it wasn’t too hot. My last trip we went during December. I would avoid going in the summer.

  13. I devoured this article like a bowl of warm soup on a chilly night! This is perfect.
    I want to go to Cuba so bad! Trinidad looks lovely as does the hotel. Looks like its all set in a different time.
    Your photos are among the best ones I’ve seen of Trinidad, thank you for sharing!

    • Carmen

      Hi Natasha,

      I’m glad you liked the article and the pictures. If you’re interested in reading more about Cuba, just type “Cuba” in my search field on the front page and all the articles I’ve written should show up. I’ve traveled all throughout Cuba. I’m actually planning a trip in the next couple of months again.

  14. Love Trinidad, we spent a week there a couple of years ago and like you had a great Casa experience and the hosts became good friends (my husband is actually a doctor in town, always a good thing to have a doctor in the house).
    Nice photos, brings back memories.
    Frank (bbqboy)

    • Carmen

      Trinidad has gained popularity over the years. When we were their last week all the Casa’s particular where full. Tourist were sleeping in the park. I wouldn’t want to get sick in Cuba. I’ve seen what the hospitals look like inside, and they aren’t pretty.

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