Saturday, December 16, 2017
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You have many options for getting around in Cuba. For longer trips, there are airplane and railroad services. Within the cities, there are buses and taxis.

The airplane service is inexpensive and reaches many of Cuba's major cities. You can also cheaply visit the Isle of Youth through a plane ride. The train service is another option. There are two choices, the regular and the especial. Both make the trip from Havana to Santiago de Cuba.

Most tourists take the especial, which makes much fewer stops and is the faster of the two services. Within the cities, you can take taxis, buses, bicycles, or rent a car. If you choose to rent your own car, you will be able to reach anywhere you want to go. Some roads are in bad condition, but you can drive on almost all. Many tourists also decide to rent bikes.

This will be quite inexpensive, but your mileage will be limited. The buses in Cuban cities also serve many people. You can also take buses between cities using Viazul company Busses, mainly for tourists.


To take a bus around town is very cheap. It shouldn't cost more than 5 or 10 US cents. The buses reach nearly everywhere, and will stop when you want.

Your last option is to take a taxi around town. There are both state-owned taxis and private ones. You can call a taxi if you need to, otherwise just wait around and many will come. Taxis are more expensive for tourists than other ways of getting around cities, but still less than in other countries. You should expect to pay anywhere from three to six US dollars, but can ask and negotiate before you start your trip. Non-automobile taxis are also available. Occasionally you will see a carriage drawn by a horse, but much more often there are bicycle drawn cabs around. These are inexpensive and plentiful.

More about Transportation in CUBA 

- Airports 

The only international airport of Cuba is in Havana. Other airports are in Santiago of Cuba, Camagüey, Cienfuegos, Holguín, Ciego de Ávila, Las Tunas, Bayamo and Varadero.  

- Airplane  

Is the fastest way to move through the country, although it is necessary to consider that most of the flies are made in old airplanes that do not reunite all the desirable comfort conditions. The prices are reasonable. From Havana it’s possible to fly to different cities and to the tourist centres. Some flights are regular and other charter. The airline company Cubana de Aviacion offers these internal flights.  


 The state of the Cuban roads is generally acceptable, but many secondary roads had its asphalt pocketed. The main road goes from Pinar del Rio to Guantánamo, crossing longitudinally the island; it goes through most of the province capitals. It has freeway rank from Pinar del Rio through Havana and to near Jatibonico. Also a small Freeway section out of Santiago de Cuba.

Rent: the main tourist hotels of Havana, Playa del Este, Varadero and Santiago de Cuba offer a car rental service, that usually is rented with limitless kilometre. The fuel is paid in CUC. The stations do not abound, reason why it is necessary to try to travel with the possible fullest deposit. The obligatory insurance is not included in the price. The minimum age to rent a car is 21 years, and in addition it’s demanded to have a minimum driver experience of a year. A good alternative is to rent the car with a driver, which avoids problems, in addition to not being much more expensive.  

 - Bus  

Cuba has an acceptable interurban bus service. The most extensively used means of transportation in the country. There are several omnibus terminals in Cuba although the most recommended is Via Azul, it has comfortable and acclimatized vehicles at reasonable prices quoted in convertible currency. The tickets are sold directly in the bus terminals and it is advised to purchase the passages in advance.  

- Train 

Cuba has a 5,000 km public railroad network and almost 8,000 km more dedicated to the transport of the sugar cane. Havana is communicated with the main cities, such as Matanzas, Santa Clara, Ciego de Avila, Camagüey, Victoria, Las Tunas, Bayamo, Holguín, Santiago and Guantánamo. The trains are divided in express -with air conditioned - and regular -slower than the first and without air conditioned -. The service schedules and frequency can be consulted in the railway stations.  

- Taxi  

The island has a taxi service. Had to be contracted for a precise service of hours or days; usually are in the front of the hotels, restaurants, cabarets and nightclubs. The conventional taxis are taken in any place but there are quite little. Although they have a taximeter, it’s not usually used, since they agree to the price of the service with the client.  

Also exist taxis for the locals, known as colectivos, that in principle cannot take foreign passage but they skip the rule generally to gain a few dollars. Finally are the particular taxis, known as boteros. They are private cars without license that offer themselves to the client in strategic places of the city. The taxi stops are known as piqueras. The important cities have a bike-taxi service, offered as a tourist stroll but also are a good way to move by the centre of the great cities. In Havana they are of two passengers and in other cities, like in Baracoa, of one. The price of this service is very economic.

- Urban transport

Havana and Santiago have an acceptable bus network, conventional buses that communicate downtown with the outskirts. The frequency of bus is insufficient to gather the users, reason why they overload at rush hours.

Land transports

- Autobus:

The network of tourist bus is very wide, and covers all mass-destinations; this is the main reason why it won't be possible to go to isolated spots with the bus service. Bus company Viazul offers at least one journey a day towards the oriente provinces, along the road-spine of the Autopista Nacionàl and the Carretera Central.

Seats on Viazul buses are sold out very quickly, and sometimes you will have to wait for the day after, so book your seat at least one day in advance; buses are of European standards, comfortable, with air conditioning. You will notice the difference with the ones used by Cubans (Astro buses); they're very old.

Remember to take with you a bottle of water and something to eat, as stops are not so frequent; to check timetable, prices and road-network, visit the Viazul site. In town, buses are called guaguas and are of different types; there are mini-vans, buses that have been donated by other countries (still with the original plate and signs in the original language) and, in la Habana, long vehicles called Camel, the real mass-transport in the Capital. All of them characterized by long queues at the bus stop. The ticket price changes, according to the destination, and is paid to a ticket seller standing at the door.

- Car rental:

If you'd like to drive, ther are several state-run car-rental companies. The cars are usually Korean , French, Chenesse (Hunday, Peugeot, Geelly CK etc.) and have already gone for lots of kilometrs (compared to european standards), but are usually in fair conditions.

Renting rules are a bit different from Europe: the full amount of your rental must be paid in advance; in case you come back earlier, the correspondent amount will be credited back to your credit card. The car is given with fuel tank and must be returned empty, so everything's left in the fuel tank is a present to the rental company.

Check (on a sticker placed on the edge of the car-door) at which mileage the car must be mandatory returned for servicing (failure may result in a fine); if you think you're going to reach that threshold during your trip, ask for another car or bargain to change that date before signing the contract. It's a good habit to check tires and scratches (there will be many) before leaving.

When driving, pay extra-attention to holes in the road, (it's suggested to drive only with daylight), to bicycles, animal-powered carts (very common in the Oriente provinces). Moreover, each time you'll ask for an information, you'll be asked for a lift; if you think this is a nuisance, just ask information to policemen, they're everywhere.

- Taxi:

In Cuba there is a company Cubataxi . In the last few years, a grapefruit-shaped taxi has become very common, and it's called Coco-Taxi. Usually, to grab a taxi, just raise your arm, and maybe an american car dating back to the 50s, already full of Cubans, stinking of petrol, but very charming, will stop to take you around la Habana for the price of 1 or 2 CUC. A not-to-miss experience!! You can also use the taxi to go from one town to another, bargaining the price with the driver; usually the fare should not be more expensive than the correspondent bus ticket. Sometimes taxi driver wait outside the Bus Terminal for those who were not able to board the bus, offering the same journey for the same price of the bus. If you book a taxi to reach the airport, do it wit a lot of anticipation, as sharpness is not a quality of Cuban taxi-drivers.

- Tricycle:

These 3-wheels bikes are very common in la Habana and the Oriente Provinces and can carry up to two persons; they're very cheap, but they've no license to carry tourists. Nevertheless, especially in la Habana, yuo'll find many of them offering their service, maybe asking you to hide the camera not to make policemen suspicious.







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