Cuba Itinerary 7 Days colonial

Cuba Itinerary 7 days – The Best Colonial Cuba Route

Visiting Cuba is an amazing and unique experience, but it can be bewildering. From where to go and what to see, never mind how to get between places.  Our Cuba Itineraries are unique, in that they primarily use the Viazul Bus service as the method of transport.  These Cuban itineraries are designed specifically to get you to places using the bus as the main mode of transport, so we provide the bus times, and the best places to stay to make sure that you’re maximizing your time in Cuba and not dragging your luggage for miles between bus stations and casa particulars or spending money on unnecessary taxis and transfers.  This Cuba itinerary in 7 days focuses on Cuba’s colonial history and takes you to all of Cuba’s colonial highlights.

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN COMPENSATED AND AFFILIATE LINKS. MORE INFORMATION IN OUR DISCLAIMER

Find Out What's in This Article hide

This Cuba itinerary in 7 days takes you to all the major colonial Cuba sites and attractions, using the Viazul Bus as your method of transport.  We’ve noted the main sites and made recommendations on where to stay to maximize your time on this trip to Cuba and also make suggestions on how to extend this itinerary.

Colonial Cuba 7 Day Itinerary

We know that there are other colonial sites and places to visit in Cuba, but this 7 day Cuba itinerary focuses on the major attractions that you can get to using the Viazul Bus as your primary mode of transport and tries to ensure that you don’t spend most of your vacation sitting on a bus but seeing and experiencing the great colonial attractions that Cuba has to offer.

7 Day Colonial Cuba Itinerary Key Information

You’ll need a copy of the Viazul Bus timetables and prices to plan and execute this itinerary and if you don’t have that yet, click here and I’ll send it to you.  Along with the Viazul Bus timetable, you’ll get a weekly email from us with on the ground updates from people like you who are currently in Cuba with up to the minute advice on currency, buses, attractions, and a whole lot more!  You can make all bus bookings online with Viazul directly.  If there’s a route that Viazul doesn’t provide, then it’s noted as we go through the itinerary and there’s a recommendation of alternative transport options. 

Arriving in Havana

Our colonial Cuba 7-day itinerary assumes that you’ll be arriving into Jose Marti (Havana) international airport.  You can read everything that you need to know about arriving in Havana airport here.  It includes what you’ll need to enter the country, including a Cuban Tourist card (buy it here if you haven’t already got one) and medical insurance, which is a requirement to enter the country.  We recommend WorldNomads for Cuban medical insurance, or Roamright if you are a US citizen.

Havana airport is about 30 minutes drive to the city of Havana and there are four Viazul buses a day from the airport to the Viazul Bus station in Havana.  You’ll need to check the times to see if they leave at the right time for your flight arrival.

The Viazul Bus station is about 3.6km (2.2 miles) from Old Havana, which is where we recommend you stay to maximize your time on this colonial Cuba itinerary in Havana Cuba, so you might want to consider pre-booking a transfer from the airport to your casa particular or hotel in Havana.  (note that both private AND shared transfers are available) We’ve also provided an alternative (and fabulous) casa particular that’s located close to the Viazul Bus station in Havana, so you can drop your bags there and then head off for Havana’s colonial attractions!

Organizing your internet access in Cuba

Our guide to accessing the internet while you’re in Cuba is here, but you should also consider pre-booking a Cuban Tourist SIM to make your internet access easier while you’re here.  You can read all about Cuban Tourist SIMs in our guide here, or TLDR:  Pre-order one and pick it up at Havana Airport on arrival.

Cash, Currency, and Cards in Cuba

You should also read our guide to Cuban Currency here.  And also understand that while the Cuban government has blocked Cuban banks from accepting US dollars, Cubanos still want them. 

Booking your Transport for this 7 Day Colonial Cuba Itinerary

The majority of the transport between the 3 different locations on this Cuban Colonial Itinerary is on the Viazul Bus.   If your plane lands at a time that can meet one of the Viazul Buses from Havana Airport to Havana city, otherwise we’d recommend pre-booking a transfer.  You will also need to book your Viazul Buses as soon as you confirm the dates of your vacation to ensure you follow the itinerary.

Don’t forget to read our guide to the Viazul Bus Service so you know what to expect!

Personal Security in Cuba

Cuba is one of the safest places to travel.  But petty theft does happen.  Especially if you openly display valuables and don’t look after them.  Take all the usual precautions that you would anywhere else.  Lock your valuables in your accommodation in a portable travel safe, don’t leave valuables lying around, and don’t openly display wads of cash and you’ll be fine.

Where to stay in Havana for a 7 day Colonial Cuba Itinerary

Most of the places that you’ll want to see in Havana on this colonial Cuba itinerary are located in Old Havana (Habana Vieja) so we recommend staying in Old Havana.   Our recommendations of where to stay in Havana Vieja are:

The Casa Buenos Aires is in a superb location in the center of Old Havana, just one block from the Museum of the Revolution, making it easy to walk all the sights of Old Havana.  There are three private, ensuite rooms here, all with a private bathroom and a private balcony.  Breakfast and laundry are available here.  There is internet access here, a glorious garden and terrace with a bar where you can enjoy a fabulous Cuban cocktail.  See photos of the Casa Buenos Aires here.

The gorgeous Casa Giraldilla is a restored colonial house dates from the 1920s and has high ceilings and a glorious balcony for people watching.   Carmen and Carlos speak English, Spanish, and a little French.   All rooms are ensuite and have either a window or a balcony onto the street.  There are two doubles and a twin room here.  Breakfast and internet access is available here.  There is a glorious terrace on the roof available to all guests.  Book a room here.

The Casa de La Plaza de Cristo is in a building that dates from 1903, an 8-meter long balcony gives all guests a magnificent view of the Plaza de Cristo.  It is a fabulous location to stay at in Old Havana.  Rooms here are bright and airy, simply decorated and have air conditioning.  Rooms are ensuite and breakfast is available for an additional cost.  You can see the location of this great old Havana casa particular here.

If you prefer to stay close to the Viazul Bus station and stretch your legs (it’s about a 35-40 minutes walk to Old Havana), then our next recommendation is very close to the Viazul Bus Station.

Casa Caribbean Blue 1927 is located in a glorious Neo-classical property just a short walk to the Havana Viazul Bus Station in the heart of Vedado.  It’s just 10 minute walk to the Malecon and the Hotel Nacional.  There’s a garden and a lovely terrace here, plus a washing machine.  All rooms at Casa Caribbean Blue are fresh with plenty of natural light and presented in a traditional Cuban style.   The host here, Noel, speaks Spanish, French, and English.    Read more reviews here.

Colonial Cuba Itinerary Day 1:  Havana

The casa particulars that I recommend staying at in Havana are all in glorious colonial buildings, so you’ll be truly enjoying the architecture here for your entire time.  I also selected them because they provide amazing breakfasts.  And you should fill up first thing with a great breakfast.  For a start buying breakfast helps your casa particular owner and the local community massively, secondly, you’ll save a huge amount of time by breakfasting “at home”.  You’re also going to take a rather late lunch today, so do fill up!

If you want to take a short wander before breakfast, then I suggest heading to the Malecon, which is glorious first thing in the morning.  After breakfast, you should head to the start point of your Colonial Cuba Tour.  And the great news is that the first stop on your 7 day Cuba itinerary with a colonial focus is free.

Take a free Colonial Havana Walking Tour

This walking tour doesn’t start until mid-morning, so you have plenty of time for that leisurely wander along the Malecon (aren’t the crumbling buildings there just glorious?) and then a huge breakfast to keep you going until later.  The free colonial Havana walking tours are run by locals and there’s no fee for them, but you do have to book a place so that they know how many people to expect, you simply tip your guide appropriately for their time.  During this colonial Havana walking tour, you’re going to start at the oldest hotel in Cuba, the Hotel Inglaterra, and a stunning example of Havana’s late 19th century neoclassical architecture.  You’ll also get to explore the Gran Teatro de La Habana theatre and then Havana’s most important building El Capitolo, the seat of the national assembly.   Your next stop is an old home to one of the largest brothels in Havana (!) – the Ursuline Palace.  Your tour of Colonial Havana continued with the old Pharmacy on the gorgeous Calle Obispo, then you’ll visit Havana’s Cathedral and the stunning houses from the colonial era that ring the Plaza de la Catedral. 

Pharmacy Museum Havana Itinerary 2 days

There are heaps of other plazas the former stock exchange and the monument to the founding of Havana.  Plus, you’ll get to view La Cabaña and Morro Castle, the hilltop fortress built in the 16th century to guard the entrance to Havana Bay from pirates, Don’t worry though, you’ll see more of that later! Meanwhile. Did you book your place on the walking tour yet?

So far you’ve explored the city on foot, and just the colonial part – now it’s time to take to the road for a while at least because you simply can’t come to Havana and not see the city and the Malecon in a vintage car.

Take a Classic Car Tour of Havana

This is one of the best ways to see Havana Cuba.  You can pick up a classic car tour – pick your color and style from outside the Hotel Inglaterra.  Or near the entrance to the Museum of the Revolution.   You’ll need to negotiate, but the usual rate is about US$70 an hour.  They have a standard route that they take, (there’s more on what to expect on a classic car tour here).  You’ll need to pay cash, alternatively, you can prebook and prepay a vintage car tour in Havana here.

Classic Car Tour Havana Cuba

Now we left lunch until now so that you could fit in a short food tour of Havana.  If you don’t want to do this (after reading about it), then I suggest after the Colonial Walking Tour you head to Café del Oriente, which is very close to where you’ll finish the walking tour (112 Oficios, La Habana, Cuba), there’s a lovely colonial atmosphere here and great outdoor seating too. 

Take a short Street Food Tour of Havana

Now I admit it, there’s not a huge amount of this that is colonial, but it is a GREAT way to continue your explorations of the history and architecture of Havana. 

You don’t want to fill up TOO much though, because I have a Colonial surprise for dinner.

On this street food tour of Habana, you’ll get to try a whole host of typical local foods – and learn about their history – and you’ll be surprised by a lot of them!  There are stops to taste typical local fried foods, like chiviricos and churros, and the traditional Cuban pork sandwich, all washed down with a refreshing cup of strawberry syrup flavored crushed ice… mouth-watering!  This is a great way to understand and explore the inventiveness of the Cuban people when it comes to food.  There’s the typical Cuban sugarcane drink known as guarapo, squeezed straight from the cane – and a visit to a traditional Cuban ice cream parlor –  Coppelia!  Reserve a place on the Havana Street Food Tour here!

See the Havana Colonial Cannon Firing Ceremony & Have Dinner

You saw the cannons at a distance earlier on your Colonial Havana walking tour.  And these cannons, located at Havana’s El Morro fortress have fired, since colonial times, warning the residents of the city that the city wall gates were closing.    The ritual dates back to 1774 when pirate attacks were a regularity and the cannon firing used to happen from a ship in the harbor.  The ceremony then moved to the San Carlos de la Cabaña Fortress, known locally as La Cabaña.  Guards dressed in historic colonial uniforms continue to perform the ceremony, although the pirates are long gone.  This is a great way to see a bit of history and then head to a local restaurant for dinner.  Check out more details of the Havana Colonial Cannon firing ceremony here.

Havana Cannon firing ceremony

Now we’ve reached the end of your first day on this 7 day Colonial Cuba Itinerary (it’s going to be around midnight by now), so its time to head back to your Casa Particular for a good night’s sleep, you’ve got a packed day and a lot of travel to do tomorrow!  Sleep Tight now!

Colonial Cuba Itinerary Day 2:  Havana to Cienfuegos

You’ve only got half a day in Havana today, so you need to make the most of it.  And you’ll need to be at the Viazul Bus station by 13:45 AT THE LATEST to check-in for your bus to your second location on this 7 day colonial Cuba itinerary.  Don’t be late!

Start the day by having a great breakfast at your casa particular, or if you want a change, then head to Café Bohemia on Plaza Vieja in Old Havana.  

Explore Havana’s Colonial Museums

And now we’re off to learn more about Colonial Cuba through some of Havana’s museums.  You can read more about the top Havana museums in our guide here, but the ones that have a colonial focus are as follow:

Museo de la Ciudad (Museum of the City of Havana)

The museum of the city of Havana is found in the Plaza de Armas.  You can’t miss it as it occupied the entire west side of the square.  El Museo de la Ciudad was once the Spanish government headquarters in Cuba.  It was also home to the Viceroys that ruled Cuba.  Originally the site of a church, this building was constructed in 1770 and is a superb example of Cuban Baroque architecture.

museum of the city Havana colonial cuba itinerary

After 1898 and Cuban independence it became the US military administration.  Today this museum houses the history of Havana.  And it’s a great way to see the development of the city.   Key things to see here include:

  • La Parroquial, the first church in Cuba
  • La Giraldilla, the first sculpture made in the city 
  • La Heráldica, objects and documents detailing the importance of heraldry to the Cuban aristocracy
  • La Pinacoteca shows the important works of Cuban artists from different periods in time
  • The Spanish Uniforms Room and the Heroic Cuba Room

The living quarter’s display of the Spanish governors is stunning.   The building has a glorious central patio, which has a white marble statue of Christopher Columbus, which has been here since 1862.  You’ll find lots of antique furniture, 19th– century carriages, and a rather interesting exhibition of photographs about important moments in Havana’s history

  • Museum of the City of Havana Opening Time:  From Tuesday to Saturday from 10:30 to 17:00.  Sunday from 9:00 to 13:00.
  • Address of Museum of the City of Havana:  Calle Tacón (between Obispo and O’Reilly), Plaza de Armas, La Habana Vieja, Cuba.
  • Entrance Fee for Museum of the City of Havana:   US$3

Museo de Arte Colonial

The entire focus of Havana’s Museum of Colonial Art is on what life was like for the wealthy Cubanos during the colonial period.   The museum is housed in the oldest building in Havana, a stunning and enormous two-story house that also has a large courtyard.  Room upon room is stuffed full with antiques, furniture, china, and clothing all dating from the colonial period.

  • Museo de Arte Colonial Opening Time:  Tuesday to Sunday 0930 – 1700
  • Address of Museo de Arte Colonial:  San Ignacio nº61 (Plaza de la Catedral), La Habana – Cuba.
  • Entrance Fee for Museo de Arte Colonial:   US$2
  • Website for Museo de Arte Colonial

Castillo de la Real Fuerza

You saw the Fort twice yesterday – once from a distance on the Colonial Havana walking tour, and then again at the cannon firing ceremony.  Now it’s time to get up close.   The Castillo de la Real Fuerza is located at the mouth of Havana Bay, just a short distance from where legend has it that Havana was founded.   This fort was built to defend the city and was completed in 1577.  It is the oldest preserved fortress in the Americas.  Over the centuries the enormous series of buildings has had many uses, it’s been a barracks, a location for the city archives, a governor’s residence, a museum, and offices for the government.  Today and since 2010 its been Havana’s maritime museum.

morro fort Havana

The fort and the museum are part of the UNESCO world heritage site that also encompasses Old Havana.  In the museum, you’ll find ship models, maritime instruments, and items retrieved from shipwrecks.  For colonial interest, you’ll also find displayed items relating to daily life in the fortress between the 16th and 18th centuries.

  • Castillo de la Real Fuerza Opening Time:  Tuesday to Sunday 0930 – 1700
  • Address of Castillo de la Real Fuerza:  Calle O’ Reilly (Plaza de Armas) / Avenida del Puerto, La Habana – Cuba.
  • Entrance Fee for Castillo de la Real Fuerza:   US$2

Lunch

Don’t forget to grab some lunch before you head towards the Viazul Bus Station.    The ropa vieja at El Gusto is fabulous and it is just a short walk from the bus station.  All their dishes here are filling and cheap.

Viazul Bus from Havana to Cienfuegos

On the afternoon of your second day on the colonial Cuba 7 day itinerary, take the 14:45 Viazul Bus from Havana to Cienfuegos.  The bus arrives into Cienfuegos at 19:45, so you’ll want to prearrange your accommodation in Cienfuegos (see our recommendations below).  The bus costs US$16 and you can book your tickets online with Viazul.

Make sure you read our guide to the Viazul Bus carefully, as you’ll need to check-in personally at the Viazul Bus station at least an hour before your scheduled departure.

The Viazul Bus station is in central Cienfuegos as are the locations you’ll want to visit, so be sure to opt for one of the very central casa particulars.

Where to stay in Cienfuegos on your 7 day Colonial Cuban Itinerary

You’ll want to stay centrally on this Cuban itinerary, to save time traveling to and from your accommodation. Here are our recommendations of where to stay in Cienfuegos.

Hostal Madera Colonial 1906, hosted by Leticia y Oscar is just 200 meters from the Viazul bus terminal and 700 meters from the Historic Center of Cienfuegos.  It is an elegant house, of Californian colonial style, built in the first decade of the 20th century.  There are spacious rooms here, and common spaces that include a living room, parlor, dining room, terrace, and patio and is surrounded by gardens with abundant tropical vegetation. The owner of the house, Oscar, speaks English and Spanish.   There are two triple en-suite rooms here with air conditioning and a patio.  There’s also a laundry service available. Breakfast is available.  See photos of the Hostal Madera Colonial in Cienfuegos here and reserve your room.

Cienfuegos Center Hostal Raquel is located right in the center of Cienfuegos, it’s just 8 minutes from the Viazul Bus Station. Your hosts, Raquel and Osmany provide excellent dinners and rooms with private bathrooms and A/C throughout. There’s also a spacious terrace, and living room, and both breakfasts and dinners are provided. This is a great location next to Paseo del Prado. Reserve early this is a very popular place to stay in Cienfuegos.

Colonial Cuba Itinerary Day 3:  Cienfuegos

Cienfuegos has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2005 because, for one reason, of its harmonic grid of beautiful classical structures.  This seaside city in Cuba was founded in 1819 by French émigrés.   There are two main sections to the city, the colonnaded central zone, with its majestic Paseo del Prado and lush green park, and Punta Gorda, a tiny knife of land that plunges into the sea and is home to a collection of crazily eccentric mansions built by the city’s wealthy and influential classes in the 1920s.   Often called Cuba’s “Pearl of the South” people come here because of its natural beauty, refined French airs, and feisty Caribbean cultural heritage. If there is a Paris in Cuba, this is unquestionably it.

You have just one day in Cienfuegos on this 7 day Cuba itinerary, so you need to make the most of it.  Your bus gets in at 19:45, so drop your bags at your casa particular and head for a cocktail at one of the central bars. You’ll find most of them on the Paseo El Prado.  I recommend El Palatino.  Want to know what to drink?  Check our guide to Cuban cocktails here.

The casa particulars that I recommend you stay at in Cienfuegos are both very close to the Viazul Bus station to reduce the distance you’ll need to carry your bags, but also provide great breakfasts.  Make sure you start the day with a great breakfast and then it’s time to head out and explore colonial Cienfuegos.  The highlights of what to see are below.  But if you want to spend longer here, then our guide to Cienfuegos details the best things to do here and in the surrounding area.

Start in Parque José Martí – Cienfuegos

The Parque José Marti is known as the heart of Cienfuegos, both for its historical significance and its symbolic value. In the park be sure to visit Cienfuegos’ very own Arc de Triomphe, the only one of its sort in Cuba, created in celebration of the country’s independence. There’s also a marble statue of José Marti himself just next to it. While the plaza was initially constructed when Cienfuegos was founded in 1819, it was renamed in honor of Marti, the father of Cuban freedom.

things to do in cienfuegos central cienfuegos

Explore Palacio Ferrer in Cienfuegos

This magnificent neoclassical edifice (1918) is located on the western side of Parque José Marti and was meticulously renovated in time for Cienfuegos’ 200th-anniversary celebrations in 2019.  The rooftop cupola has a wrought-iron staircase that leads to a viewing platform with incredible city and lake views. Don José Ferrer, who commissioned the construction of this “palace” in the early 1900s, may have wished for visitors to have a glimpse of what it must have been like to be a member of the Cuban aristocracy in the first half of the 20th century.

things to do in cienfuegos palacio ferrer
  • Palacio Ferrer Opening Time:  0830 – Midnight
  • Address of Palacio Ferrer:  Street 25 nº5401, Cienfuegos
  • Entrance Fee for Palacio Ferrer:   FREE

Palacio del Valle, Cienfuegos

The Palacio del Valle, built by Italian architect Alfredo Colli for wealthy trader D. Acisclo del Valle and constructed between 1913 and 1917, is one of the most important buildings in the city. The palace is a kaleidoscope of styles, combining mudéjar decoration with Gothic entrance, Colonial ceilings, and a music chamber influenced by Louis XVI.  Today, the palace is home to a museum as well as a great rooftop bar and restaurant.  You have the option to pay US$2 to walk up the stairs and see the gorgeous view from the rooftop. The payment also includes a free drink from the restaurant downstairs. It is definitely worth visiting.

  • Palacio del Valle Opening Time:  0800 – 1700
  • Address of Palacio del ValleSouth of Calle 37 in Cienfuegos, Cuba
  • Entrance Fee for Palacio del Valle:   US$2 for rooftop views
things to do in cienfuegos palacio del valle

This is a great place to end your short tour of Cienfuegos, the restaurant at Palacio del Valle that specializes in seafood, so get yourself an early dinner, as you’ll be on your next Viazul Bus shortly.

Take the Viazul Bus from Cienfuegos to Trinidad

At the end of day 4, take the Viazul bus at 19:55 to Trinidad.  Note that you will need to check-in at least an hour before the bus departs, so have an early dinner.  The bus arrives in Trinidad at 21:30 and while the Viazul Bus station is in the center of downtown Trinidad you’ll want to prearrange your accommodation in Trinidad.

Where to stay in Trinidad for a 7 day Cuban Itinerary

Casa Colonial Torrado 1830 is a stunning casa particular in the center of Trinidad.  The house was built in 1830 and has been remodeled several times, but still retains the Cuban architecture of the 19th century.   Rooms here are opulent with air-conditioning, fabulous views from the terraces, and glorious courtyards.  Stay here, you won’t regret it.  Take a look at the amazing photos and reserve a room while you can!

Hostal Omara – close to the center of Trinidad, with lovely design and two fabulous terraces where you can watch the city go by. Rooms all have private bathrooms, hot and cold water 24 hours, air conditioning, WiFi, TV and Minibar Check prices, book and pay for this Trinidad Casa Particular online here.

Colonial Cuba Itinerary Day 4:  Trinidad

Founded by the Spanish around 1514, the entire city of Trinidad is a UNESCO World Heritage site.  Trinidad combines picturesque cobbled streets with a crumbling colonial architecture built on the profits of the sugar cane trade and a truly Cuban vibe.    It became one of Cuba’s richest cities on the backs of the labors of slaves from Africa producing sugar cane, tobacco, and farming cattle.  Trinidad is small and very easy to explore on foot. 

Start your day with a good hearty breakfast at your Casa Particular.  Trinidad is, I think, even more touristy than Havana, so I advise picking a casa particular that has a fabulous patio or garden, you’ll love the escape from the hot sultry streets of Trinidad. Then when you’re ready, get started with a guided tour of Trinidad. If you plan to stay longer in Trinidad, then our guide to Trinidad is here.

Take a Free Walking Tour of Trinidad, Cuba

This free walking tour of Trinidad is a fabulous introduction to the sites of Cuba’s best-preserved colonial city.  It is free, but you will need to prebook here.  And, like Havana, tip your guide at the end of the tour.  As well as giving you a historic introduction to Trinidad, this walking tour will take you past all the main sites in Trinidad.  You’ll explore the main historical center of Trinidad, the Bell Tower, and the views across Trinidad, the Palacio Cantero, and Plaza Mayor, Trinidad’s main square.  Your tour will take you to the San Francisco de Paula Church, a place of worship in Cuba’s central region during the colonial era.  

Plaza-Trinidad-Cuba

Then there are the ruins of the Brunet Theatre and the buildings that surround the Plaza Mayor will be explained to you.  As will the landmark of the yellow tower of the San Francisco de Asís Church, built in the 18th and 19th centuries.  The tour finishes at the ruins of an ancient prison from colonial Trinidad in Plaza Santa Ana. Reserve your place on this tour for your preferred dates.

Lunch

One of the great things about taking a walking your in Trinidad is that your guide will make recommendations of the best places for lunch!  If they don’t, then we recommend Restaurant San Jose, 328 C. Gutiérrez, Trinidad, Cuba for great service and good options.  After lunch its time to explore some more colonial-era Trinidad

Visit the Palacio Cantero in Trinidad – Museo Historico Municipal

This once beautiful but now crumbling palace was built in the early 1800s – there are large open rooms and Italian marble floors.  It’s now a museum that covers the history of Trinidad and the area surrounding the city.    You’ll get a flavor of the history of the area, the UNESCO World Heritage Valle de Los Ingenios, and learn about some of the slave trading that happened here and Cuba’s independence wars.  The signage in the museum is quirky, to say the least.  It’s a great opportunity here though to take a look around the inside of the neoclassical palace.   The mansion was originally owned by the Borrell family and was then bought by a German sugar cane planter called Kanter (Cantero in Spanish), hence the name.

  • Palacio del Valle Opening Time:  0800 – 1700
  • Address of Palacio del ValleSouth of Calle 37 in Cienfuegos, Cuba
  • Entrance Fee for Palacio del Valle:   US$2 for rooftop views
Museum-Trinidad-Cuba

Explore the Museum of Colonial Architecture, Trinidad’s Museo de Arquitectura

This 18th-century mansion was originally owned by the Sanches Iznaga family and is now home to the Museum of Colonial Architecture in Trinidad. The style of the period has been retained to some extent and you’ll see architectural details such as doors, windows, grills, and a recreated bathroom. 

  • Museo de Arquitectura Opening Time:  From 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Saturday-Thursday)
  • Address of Museo de Arquitectura83 C. Ripalda, Trinidad 62600, Cuba
  • Entrance Fee for Museo de Arquitectura:   US$1
  • Website for Museo de Arquitectura Trinidad:   https://www.ecured.cu/index.php/Museo_de_Arquitectura_Colonial

After all that colonial exploration I think you deserve a treat and that means it’s time for cocktails.

Head for Cocktails in Trinidad

You’ll want to head to Bar La Canchanchara in Trinidad for a special cocktail that you won’t find in many places outside the city.

canchanchara

The Canchanchara is believed to have been invented by Cuban Mambises fighting against the Spanish for independence in 1869.  It contains ingredients that would have been readily available to the freedom fighters, it was originally drunk as a warming drink to ward off the cold of the morning.  Combining a rough sugar cane alcohol, honey to sweeten it, and widely available citrus fruits.  Of course today it’s served iced, with rum rather than rough alcohol.  The La Canchanchara bar is famous for serving Canchancharas in handle-less pots.

  • La Canchanchara Bar is located at 90 Calle Real del Jigüe, Trinidad 62600, Cuba.

Colonial Cuba Itinerary Day 5:  Trinidad

On day 5 of your 7 days Cuban colonial itinerary I recommend you leave the city.  Don’t worry you’re coming back tonight, but to follow the colonial theme, then head to the Valle de Los Ingenios from Trinidad Cuba.  This is one of the best day trips from Trinidad and it’s also another UNESCO World Heritage Site.  There is (sometimes, when it doesn’t break down) a tourist steam train that runs here from Trinidad, but as I say, sometimes.  The most reliable way to visit the Valle de Los Ingenios from Trinidad is to take a day trip, which is best to organize with your casa particular. (they’re not available to book online at this time)

The Valle de Los Ingenios means the valley of the sugar mills and it’s here you’ll find relics from the sugar cane plantations and sugar mills of the area. There were more than 30,000 slaves working in the plantation and mills here at its peak and this was the sugar capital of the world.  There were once 60 sugar mills here.   You’ll want to visit

Valle-de-los-Ingenious-Trinidad-Cuba
  • The Mirador de La Loma Del Puerto – this lookout gives you great views of the entire valley.
  • The Manaza Iznaga Tower – this 44-meter high (147 feet) tower has great views and was previously used to both watch slaves at work in the fields and also spot runaway slaves.  From here you can see the remnants of the main house and climb the tower.   There was once a huge bell hung there that tolled for the slaves in the fields signaling the beginning and end of their working days.
  • Casa Guachinango – an 18th-century house owned by the Borrell family – there’s a restaurant here that you may wish to visit for lunch. You’ll also be able to see the local River Ay here.

Colonial Cuba Itinerary Day 6:  Trinidad or Havana

Today, you have a choice. You can either spend another day in Trinidad. Or head back to Havana. Whatever you decide here’s some more information to help you.

  • For more things to do in Trinidad take a look at our guide here.
  • For additional day trips from Trinidad, our guide is here.
  • If you plan to head back to Havana, then our guide of more things to do in Havana is here
  • And our guide to Havana day trips is here.

Colonial Cuba Itinerary Day: Trinidad to Havana

It’s your last day on the Cuban colonial itinerary and it’s time to head back to Havana (unless you headed back yesterday of course!).    Carefully note the departure and arrival times of the Viazul Bus and consider that you will also need time to get from the Viazul Bus station to the airport if you are flying home on day 7.  Depending on traffic it is likely to take around 30 minutes to go from the Viazul Bus station to Jose Marti International Airport in Havana.

The bus from Trinidad to Havana leaves at 07:00 and it arrives in Havana at 13:45. Note that this bus does not continue onto Havana Airport.  There are two buses later afternoon and in the evening that go to the airport.  Alternatively, you’ll want to arrange a transfer from the Viazul Bus station to the airport or take a taxi or colectivo, which will be plentiful at the Viazul Bus Station.  You will need cash though, as none of the taxis or colectivos accept cards.

Want more Cuban Itineraries?

If you’re looking for alternative itineraries for Cuba, then head on over here to check out the different options. From 1 day Havana itineraries, to our Cuban Revolution Itinerary, to 10 days in Cuba right up to 14 days in Cuba.

Travel Tips for Exploring Cuba

Final Words on this Colonial Cuba Itinerary for 7 Days

Putting together your own Cuban itinerary is great fun and can be flexible.  If you’re planning on using the Viazul Bus service for transport during your visit to Cuba, then you need to take into account the timetable and times that the bus arrives and departs.  This colonial Cuba itinerary is a great start to showing you how far you can get and what the main colonial attractions of Cuba are and how to get to them.  We’d love to get your feedback and how you’ll adapt this Cuban itinerary to fit your requirements!

Cuba’s Best is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com, amazon.co.uk, amazon.ca. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.