City buses in Havana called “guagua”. There are often whole queues at the waiting areas for the bus, so you should always find out who is the last in line. The bus ticket costs 5 cents when paid in Cuban Convertible Pesos (CUC). When traveling on a city bus, keep a close eye on your belongings – hang your backpack on your chest, watch your wallet. Currently, the antediluvian Cuban buses gradually replaced by new Chinese ones. You are unlikely to see a bus as in the photo below in the capital.
Previously, used buses from the USSR and Canada used as urban transport in Havana. There were also typical yellow buses for schoolchildren in the USA. However, in recent years, only modern Chinese diesel Yutong buses can found on the roads of Havana. Ikarus buses are a thing of the past. City buses are always crowded with people, they smell unpleasant, and a trip on such buses another experience. City bus tickets purchase from the driver. To pay for the bus fare, you must have a change with you, because the driver does not change. Havana city bus routes show on the map below.
On minibuses (colectivos) in the capital of Cuba, you can ride at a fixed rate. You pay 10 pesos for a short trip and 20 pesos for a long trip. Minibuses leave from a stop in front of the Capitol and Parque Fraternidad. The minibus can always stop to ask where it is going. The best place to stop for minibuses is at the official bus stops.
Intercity buses in Cuba
There are 2 bus companies operating in Cuba, serving the main routes around the island: Viazul and Astro . Viazul buses well equipped – they have air conditioning, toilet, TV. These buses are popular with tourists who value comfort. Astro buses used more by locals as the fare is much lower. A significant disadvantage of Astro buses is the lack of a toilet on board. In addition to these carriers, private buses also run between Cuba cities.
Tickets for Viazul intercity buses can buy both at the ticket office in Havana and online on the official website of the bus carrier and at the travel agencies Cubanacan, Cubatur and Havanatur. Ticket offices for Viazul buses in Havana are located at Ave. 26 y Zoológico, Nuevo Vedado. It is from there that the popular tourist bus from Havana to Varadero departs. Bus carrier Astro does not have a website and can only purchase directly from the driver.
A list of major cities and resorts to which Viazul buses run from Havana and the fare can found in the table.
|City name||Distance from Havana||Fare in USD|
|Varadero airport||115 km||10 USD|
|Viñales||183 km||12 USD|
|Guantanamo||1000 km||57 USD|
|Holguin||832 km||44 USD|
|Pinar del Rio||189 km||11 USD|
|Playa Giron||208 km||13 USD|
|Sancti Spiritus||345 km||23 USD|
|Santiago de Cuba||875 km||51 USD|
|Ciego de Avila||467 km||USD 27|
|Cienfuegos||233 km||20 USD|
|Trinidad||318 km||25 USD|
When traveling to remote cities – Guantanamo or Santiago de Cuba – it is more convenient to buy a plane ticket than to shake the bus for 1000 km. If your hotel is located on the popular holiday islands of Cayo Coco or Cayo Guillermo, then first you need to take a bus to the city of Ciego de Avila, and then take a taxi to the resort.
Tourist bus in Havana
The concept of Hop on – Hop off buses known all over the world. Such a bus in Havana is inexpensive (10 CUC per day) and runs on 3 routes.
- Route T1: Parque Central opposite the Hotel Inglaterra – Plaza de la Revolucion. Stops along the route: the Vedado historic district, the municipalities of Centro Havana and Old Havana.
- Route T2: Plaza de la Revolucion – Vedado – Miramar – Marina Hemingway.
- Route T3: Parque Central – Playas del Este.
In addition to the capital of the island, hop-on-hop-off buses can found in the resort towns of Viñales, Trinidad, Varadero, Matanzas. Sometimes there are queues waiting for the sightseeing buses, so be sure to bring sunscreen with you – otherwise you will burn in the sun in no time.
The original way to explore Old Havana is to drive a retro car as part of an individual sightseeing tour. It is best to book an excursion in advance online, because there is a great demand for it. You can book the date that suits you by following the link ” Sightseeing tour of Havana in a retro car “. An incredibly interesting guided tour for the Hemingway fan is also available. Online booking using the link “The Old Man and the Sea. In the footsteps of Ernest Hemingway . “
Rail transport in Cuba
Surprising but true: there are trains in Cuba. Moreover, both suburban and long-distance trains. Used French rolling stock operates on Cuba’s railways. The country’s main railway line links Havana on the northwest coast with the city of Santiago de Cuba on the southeast coast. This distance can cover by a night train (however, note that there are no sleeping cars). The ticket price will be around 50-60 CUC.
In addition to the indicated route, trains also follow other less popular routes on the island, but there they are less reliable, and their waiting can take several hours or even days. Train tickets for tourists are more expensive than for Cubans. However, train tickets are cheaper than bus tickets in the same direction.
The central railway station in Havana called Estación Central de Ferrocarriles. From there, as well as from La Coubre and Casablanca stations, trains leave for other cities and provinces of Cuba.
Trucks in Cuba
Photos of huge trucks (camiones) carrying passenger traffic in Cuba have been around the world for a long time. There is such an outlandish form of transport in the Cuban provinces. It is the cheapest, but at the same time, the slowest form of transport in the country. The trip costs 0.2-0.4 CUC per hour on average. Truck stops not marked in any way, so it difficult to know where their departure point is. You can ride a truck just for the sake of exoticism and hardcore, otherwise they are terribly uncomfortable and packed with passengers. If you want to get off the truck, knock on it until it stops.
Hitchhiking in Cuba
Cuba is perhaps the only country in the world where hitchhiking is part of the public transport network. There are vehicles that anyone can use for a modest fee of 0.2-0.8 CUC. There are special stops around the city, the so-called “Amarillo Points”, where you can get into such a car. At the stop there is a special employee in yellow clothes who asks where you need to go, after which you just have to stand and wait until he calls you and puts you in a suitable car. However, as you can imagine, hitchhiking is not the safest way to get around the island.
Taxi in Cuba
Taxi cars in Cuba now represented not by vintage cars, but by used Hyundai and Skoda cars. Taxis equipped with meters, but you should always check to make sure the driver does not forget to turn on the meter. On average, one km by taxi around the city costs 1 CUC and 1 CUC per landing. Drivers usually offer the tourist a fixed fare, excluding meter readings. The amount will be the same, just when paying by the meter, the taxi driver will have to share part of it with the state, and at a fixed rate without a meter, the taxi driver will take the entire amount for himself. The most famous taxi company in Cuba is Cubataxi.
In addition to standard taxis, double-seat tuk-tuks are popular in Havana, Camaguey and Holguin. Minimum fare for a tuk-tuk in Havana: 2 CUC (and for locals the price is only 5-10 pesos). Be sure to negotiate the fare before boarding in order to avoid misunderstandings.
A big plus, if you take a taxi from the wheels, is the knowledge of Spanish. With English, you won’t get very far in Cuba in the literal sense of the word. It is customary to bargain in a taxi in Cuba, so do not hesitate – you will definitely succeed in knocking down about 5 cookies per trip.
If you do not want to use the services of a local taxi and you are guaranteed to get to a certain place in Cuba, for example, to the Havana airport , then as an option, you can pre-order a taxi transfer from a company on the Internet. You will not have any over payments and will travel at a fixed price.
Car rental in Cuba
Renting a car in Cuba is easy: you can do it at the airports of Havana or Varadero or in the major cities of the island. To rent a car, you will need a valid international driving license, passport and a refundable deposit of 250 CUC. You must also be over 21 years old. It is possible to rent a car in one city and hand it over in another for a surcharge. Most of our rental cars have a manual transmission.
The two main rental offices in Cuba are Cubacar and Havanautos. The cost of car rental per day starts from 45-55 cookies, including insurance and gasoline, and averages 70 cookies. As you can see, a car is not the cheapest transportation in Cuba.