You will never believe what’s inside this cave in Trinidad.
This experience is something I’ve never really planned out or expected to do during my 16-day backpacking trip in Cuba almost two weeks ago. My Lonely Planet Guide Book describes it like it’s really no big deal—I suspect, the writer is a terrible dancer! I certainly don’t doubt that. This should be a big deal because this is something that’s very unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience that could, perhaps, elevate your party life 5 notches above your fellow hedonists (you know who you are!) who have never been to a cave like this.
Caves are either beautiful or ugly. The beautiful ones are those with impressive stalactites and stalagmites. The ugly ones are full of bats and batshit. But, if you have fetish for shit, it’s ok. I’ll still move on with my life.
So, what exactly is the big fuss about this cave? Let me take you there. To Disco Ayala.
The cave is 10 minutes walk from the city center of Trinidad, Cuba.
At the end of the street, you turn right and see this unflattering view. It’s a mess of a view.
Then, you see this big tree on top of the hill.
Under the tree is this tiny entrance to the cave: Disco Ayala.
After paying $3 (which includes a drink), you go down to these stairs.
Then to another flight of stairs in a tunnel.
And behold! This is what awaits you when you come out of the tunnel.
Go up 5 more steps and you’ll see the grand beauty of the natural cave.
This is the bar. Most drinks are priced at $3 — mojito, Cuba libre and cerveza (beer).
There are only limited tables and chairs—–for those who come early.
And this is the main dance floor.
Behind the video screen is the DJ’s booth and another stairs that lead up to two smaller dance floors.
And this is one of the two. There’s a natural light coming through the hole during the day.
In the first few minutes of your stay, you’ll find yourself gazing up in all directions, trying to absorb the strangeness of it all.
Disco Ayala has been around for more than 30 years!
During high season, this cave can accomodate 3-4,000 people at once. Yes, it’s huge…
Disco Ayala has 5 dance floors (3 small ones) and 3 bars.
It’s only open from 11:00 PM to 3:00 AM but seven days a week.
At 1:00 A.M. they have shows that last for 30 minutes. Performances include snakes, eating broken glasses, walking on fire, acrobatics, and removing coconut husks using teeth. And oh, hard muscles and washboard abs, too!
Tips on visiting: Should you visit during the day, go down to the gate and see if there’s a security guard inside. He’s actually not allowed to do it but hand him $3 and he’ll be happy to open the gate and show you around.
For solo travellers, walking alone all the way up to the cave at night is a scary thought but it’s actually safe. Most parts of the street has lamp posts. But, still, take an extra care. If possible go/walk with other tourists.
Scam/Annoyance: On your way up, there are few people sitting on the street and they might offer you directions to Disco Ayala without even asking them. Before you know it, they’re walking with you until the cave is visible. That’s when they ask you $1 for “guiding”.