Transportation in Cuba usually takes the form of buses, taxis, and rental cars. It’s fairly easy to get around on the tourist buses, and you can also book fairly cheap domestic flights. Make sure to read more about the pros and cons of each form of transportation.
Frequently asked questions
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- What Destinations in Cuba Offer Domestic Flights?
Many major cities and visitor destinations in Cuba have their own domestic airports. Baracoa, Bayamo, Camagüey, Nueva Gerona, Holguín, Santiago de Cuba, Varadero, and Las Tunas all have airports that offer domestic flights.You can fly to popular islands like Cayo Largo del Sur and Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo.
Besides the José Martí International Airport in Havana, Havana also has a domestic airport called Playa Baracoa.
- What Are The Roads Like in Cuba?
Cuba’s major highways are in good condition, but other roadways invariably have potholes. A more relevant concern is the lack of signage – or even officially named roads – that often confuses travelers. Driving around Cuba is absolutely doable, but taking the lack of direction into consideration, as well as the lack of other services such as gas stations, repair stations, or places to stop for food and water along the way – is essential.When driving in the countryside, watch out for roaming livestock and other animals.
- What Are the Driving Times Between destinationsin Cuba?
The following lists general travel times from Havana (and José Martí International Airport): Santiago (10 hrs.), Viñales Valley (2 hrs.), Cienfuegos (2.5 hrs.), Trinidad (4 hrs.), Santa Clara (3 hrs.)The following lists general travel times from Santiago de Cuba: Havana (10 hrs.), Viñales Valley (12 hrs.), Cienfuegos (8.75 hrs.), Trinidad (8 hrs.), Santa Clara (8 hrs.)
The following lists general travel times from Viñales Valley: Havana (2 hrs.), Santiago de Cuba (12 hrs.), Cienfuegos (4.5 hrs.), Trinidad (5.5 hrs.), Santa Clara (4.25 hrs)
The following lists general travel times from Cienfuegos: Havana (2.5 hrs.), Santiago de Cuba(8.5 hrs.), Viñales Valley (4.5 hrs), Trinidad (1.25 hrs), Santa Clara (1.25 hrs)
The following lists general travel times from Trinidad: Havana (4 hrs.), Santiago (7.75 hrs), Viñales Valley (5.5 hrs.), Cienfuegos (1.25 hrs), Santa Clara(2 hrs.)
The following lists general travel times from Santa Clara: Havana (3 hrs.), Santiago de Cuba (8 hrs.), Viñales Valley (5 hrs.), Cienfuegos (1.5 hrs.), Trinidad (1.75 hrs.)
- What Are Taxis Like in Cuba?
An official taxi (state-owned) will have its license displayed, but may not look like a traditional yellow cab. Official Cuban taxis might sometimes look more like 1970’s Mercedes, though some have their company – like Cubataxi – painted on the side. Do check for the license, though. Illegal taxi drivers will charge far more. Even with the official taxis, be sure that the driver is running the meter, and try to negotiate price beforehand.Coco Taxis are orange mini-cars that seem novel, but can be just as fast and more economical than a regular cab for quick trips in the cities.
- Can I Take Public Buses Around Cuba?
The Viazul Bus, a tourist-only bus that is modern and air-conditioned with toilets on board, is an easy and inexpensive way to get around the island. The Astro Bus, dedicated to transporting Cuban citizens, is a slightly cheaper, less-comfortable version, and only reserves a few seats for tourists.Trains are the fastest way to travel within Cuba, delivering travelers to their destinations hours ahead of the Viazul Buses. Nicer trains are more expensive than Viazul, but the cheaper trains are often very poorly maintained and less comfortable. When you make travel plans take into consideration the fact that trains have less reliable schedules than Viazul buses.
- Is Cuba Bike Friendly?
Some resorts offer bike rentals, but acquiring working bicycles to use in Cuba is no easy task.It is possible to explore major cities like Havana by bike, but congested urban roads can prove dangerous for bicyclists. The provincial towns, however, are excellent for biking with their quiet roads, and casa particulares willing to take in travelers and their bikes.
Shuttles from the airport are a hassle-free way to get your hotel.
You can also book shuttles in advance for easy transport from hotels to tours and activities.
Anywhere Travel can’t yet help travelers arrange domestic flights in Cuba, but you can find domestic flights between most major cities on the island.
Delays and changes are quite common, and keep in mind that airfare is frequently non-refundable.
Classic cars are a popular way to get around major cities.
These relics are constantly being repaired, and even the best-kept specimens have occasional hiccup. Cuban cities also offer regular taxis, pedicabs, horse-drawn carriages, and tiny, round taxis called cocos.
Buses are a fairly reliable way to get from one city to the next.
Technically visitors aren’t supposed to take the public buses, but there is a bus company specifically for tourists called Víazul that you can find in most major cities. Víazul buses offer air conditioning and have relatively comfortable seats.