If you’re traveling to Cuba and are going to be making your way down to Trinidad, I highly recommend taking a day trip out to Playa Ancon. This breathtaking peninsula is only 7 miles from the city center of Trinidad and well worth the $8 cab ride.
We actually stayed on Playa Ancon at Club Amigo Costasur Hotel. We decided to stay outside of Trinidad at the beach because we have children, and thought they would appreciate some beach time in between walking the streets of Havana and then Trinidad. Even if you don’t have children, staying at the beach is an excellent option.
Club Amigo Costasur hotel is a 3-star all inclusive hotel that was pretty basic and very dated, but it’s Cuba – nothing here is very fancy. There are only a few hotel options on Playa Ancon and we thought this one looked like the best option. We booked one of the beach view suites and we were literally steps to the beach with a gorgeous view. We had to book two suites because they only allow three people to a room in Cuba. (yes, it’s frustrating but you have to let it go.)
The suite had two rooms, a sitting room with a couch, chair and a TV and the other room had the two double beds. The double beds were comparable to an American full size bed. The room furnishings were very basic and the bathrooms were very small but it was indeed clean. Our suite came with two hours of free internet which was pretty much a joke, it was dial-up and Harris couldn’t even get into his email because they didn’t have the latest version of Internet Explorer installed.
*Please do not travel to Cuba if you cannot truly unplug and laugh at some of the modern conveniences they are lacking.
The hotel has a large pool, chess game, pool tables and two bars, one in the lobby area and one out by the pool. All the Rum you can possibly drink. There is a small snack bar by the pool that makes pizza, burgers and french fries in the afternoon. They did have some entertainment around the pool at night, but we missed these. There was a lady selling some clothing around the pool and I ended up buying a linen crocheted cover up for $10. I wear that cover up in Costa Rica and get complimented every time I wear it. I wish I could buy more of them!
The food here is not great, but food in Cuba is not the greatest overall. Club Amigo’s buffet had fresh vegetables for making a salad, pasta salads, potato salads, rice and beans and a variety of meats and cheeses. My daughter loves salad and pasta so she ate well, but my son pretty much ate french fries and bread and butter for two days. Eating here one day was fine but be sure to head into Trinidad for the rest of your meals.
Also, while we were staying here two large busses filled with Russian tourists came in. So it is important to get to the food as soon as the restaurant opens, to avoid long lines and while it was still fresh and not picked over. If you show up later in the night, it does not look appetizing.
There are not a whole lot of beach activities, but we did manage to find the guy that was renting snorkel equipment!
My husband and I debated over going to Trinidad or going to the popular beach area of Varadero, but we were so glad we made our way to Trinidad. We were able to explore Trinidad and still spend some time relaxing at the beach. Playa Ancon wasn’t filled with tourists, it seemed to be more of a locals, and I rather skip the crowds and go where the locals go.
*If you are traveling to Cuba with kids, make sure to bring some cards, small games, books and other things to keep them busy back in the hotel room. Internet is not always available and as nice as it was to go off the grid and get the kids off their electronic devices, you don’t want to kill each other.