Thing to do
Six Cool Things to Do in Trinidad
View of the city of Trinidad, Cuba
Discover the Top Things to See and Do in Trinidad, Cuba
Come discover Trinidad, one of Cuba’s most charming cities, captivating visitors with its cobblestoned streets, vibrant cultural scene, and a plethora of activities for the intrepid traveler. From adventurous hikes in cloud-kissed forests to the beautifully preserved historic center, and the pulsating rhythms of rumba under starlit skies, there's an abundance of things to do in Trinidad. Each corner of this UNESCO World Heritage site beckons for exploration, offering a glimpse into its rich colonial past and a culture that warmly welcomes every visitor.
Manaca Iznaga tower near Trinidad, Cuba
1. Climb the 184 steps of the mystical Manaca Iznaga Tower
In the heart of Trinidad’s lush landscape, the Manaca Iznaga Tower rises—a colonial-era titan with stories etched into its heights. Built in the early 19th century, it whispers tales of an age where sugar barons watched over their estates from such lofty perches.
From its peak, the panorama extends over the valleys and colonial relics visible from what locals fondly dub 'Cuba’s Leaning Tower.' It’s a monument not just to the Iznaga family, who erected it amidst a fervent rivalry, but also to the more somber history it oversaw, a silent sentinel above the plantations.
Visitors can immerse in the local myths of love and jealousy that still linger around the tower. Some say the winds carry whispers of the past, tales of a love so fierce it led to the tower's creation, and of a jealousy so strong it turned to tragedy.
Reaching Manaca Iznaga is a short 20 minute drive from Trinidad's city center, where taxis stand ready to transport you back in time for a modest fare. And a mere $1 entrance fee grants you passage up the steps to the top of the tower.
Plaza Mayor in Trinidad, Cuba
2. Find peace at Plaza Mayor
Plaza Mayor is a central piece in the puzzle of things to do in Trinidad, encircled by the storied facades of colonial houses and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its compactness offers a leisurely escape, where one can revel in the historic ambiance and enjoy local crafts and bites.
If you’re exploring the myriad of activities Trinidad has to offer, the plaza serves as a perfect pause point. Especially in the cooler hours of dawn and dusk, when the sun casts an enchanting glow on the surroundings. Whether you’re seeking a moment of relaxation on a bench away from the cobblestone streets or indulging in the local fare at a nearby café, Plaza Mayor enriches any visit to Trinidad
Mayor Santísima church in Trinidad, Cuba
3. Step Inside the Church of the Holy Trinity
While exploring Plaza Mayor, the sight of Iglesia Mayor Santísima Trinidad (or Church of the Holy Trinity) is hard to miss. It has been part of the square's landscape since its initial construction in wood back in 1514, with the current stone structure taking shape over the course of the 19th century.
The church's architecture is a tapestry of styles, a visual narrative of the 75 years it took to reach completion. Should you find its doors open, step into the cool interior and let your gaze settle on the altar carved from precious woods by a Dominican friar. With Gothic touches, this altar is not just a centerpiece of worship but also a splendid piece of artistry from bygone days.
Casa de la Música de Trinidad
4. Dance the night away at Casa de la Música de Trinidad
Casa de la Música stands out as a lively beacon for night owls and music lovers, just a heartbeat away from the Plaza Mayor on Calle Cristo. It's one of the top things to do in Trinidad, offering an unforgettable evening with the locals over the universal language of dance. From the first strum of the guitar to the last call of the trumpet, the open-air venue invites you to sway to the rhythm of the city’s best live bands.
The music and dance start at 9:00 p.m. and the infectious beats ensure that even those who arrive solo won’t stay that way for long. It’s almost guaranteed that you’ll be whisked away for a dance, making new friends as the rumba spins around you. With tables dotting the area, you can also enjoy local refreshments and snacks without missing a beat. At Casa de la Música the night is always young, and the music is always warm, an experience to savor one beat at a time.
Horse carriage ride through the streets of Trinidad, Cuba
5. Experience Trinidad's history on a carriage ride
Travel through Trinidad's streets as generations before have, in a horse-drawn carriage that offers a different pace to explore the city's rich heritage. This tour isn't just a nod to the city's colonial architecture; it's a narrative of Trinidad's evolution, told through visits to landmarks like Plaza Santa Ana and the evocative Valle de los Ingenios.
On this 2- to 3-hour journey, you'll gain insights into the culture and history that makes up modern Trinidad, with guides who bring depth to the experience, connecting you to the stories that shaped the city. It's a thought-provoking way to engage with Trinidad's history, offering a window into the complexities of its past.
Salto del Caburní waterfall near Trinidad, Cuba
6. Looking for adventurous things to do in Trinidad? Hike the rugged trails to Salto del Caburní!
Salto del Caburní isn’t just a destination; it's an awesome daytrip for the prepared and the adventurous. The trek to this cascade which is one of the prettiest waterfalls in Cuba, is a challenging descent through the untamed jungle forest of Topes Collantes National Park. The rugged terrain requires sturdy shoes and a readiness for a strenuous hike, not just a casual walk. There are no smooth paths or handrails here, and the rocky stretches might test your endurance and agility. Expect to hike 90 minutes to get there from the entrance of the park.
For the best experience, we highly recommend the company of an experienced guide. Their knowledge not only ensures a safer trek but also enriches the journey with insights into the local ecosystem. The climb back is equally demanding, and an expert can help navigate the quickest and safest route back to civilization. A dip in the refreshing pond at the waterfall's base awaits those who undertake this adventure, a natural reward for your efforts. Remember to visit outside the dry season to see the falls at their most impressive and bring along plenty of water to stay hydrated throughout the hike.
Written by Teresita Padrón.
Published November 2023.
Looking for Some Cool Things to Do?
Subscribe to our newsletter
Get more travel inspiration, tips and exclusive offers sent straight to your inbox