Even with the busloads of tourists and hustlers, I was able to sample the time-warp of Trinidad merely by strolling through the quaint cobblestone historic center and biking gently through the hot and dusty narrow streets. The well-preserved colonial architecture set behind the classic cars and numerous horse carts made for colorful backdrops for the perfect photo. It is easy to assume that the picturesque historic center is all for show, but even beyond the historic center and deep into the shabbier neighborhoods one will easily find more photo opportunities of locals milling about their homes.
Once you’ve exhausted your camera with colonial photos, a decent excursion outside of Trinidad is a visit to Playa Ancon. We found a casa that rented out dingy, single speed bicycles for $4/day and rode the 16 km or so down to Playa Ancon. Biking out of Trinidad alone was an intriguing way to see the daily life of Cuba; we circled around bicycle taxis and horse carts, slowed down for jay-walking fruit vendors and locals commuting by bicycle, and followed not far behind pollution-spitting vintage cars, all while listening to the clip-clop of horse and donkey hooves and locals shouting at each other.
We probably shouldn’t have waited until the hottest time of day (3pm) to bike back to Trinidad, but…oh well. Fortunately none of us suffered a heat stroke.
After two quick nights in Trinidad, we moved on to the far east of Cuba—Santiago.