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Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean and with tons of amazing places to explore, it’s important you have a plan for getting around the island. Unfortunately, Cuba’s poor infrastructure means traveling between places can be tricky and frustrating.

How to get around Cuba
Photo by Josef Willems

AllTheRooms is here to help and we’ve put together a guide to help  you get around the island using buses, taxis and hire-cars.

1. Bus

How to get around Cuba
Photo by Kurt Bauschardt

Traveling by bus is a great way to get between cities – although sometimes it can be a bit slow and unreliable. And non-residents can only use certain buses.. The bus company Viazul runs long distance routes between Cuba’s main cities. Tourists can purchase tickets in advance online here.

But be warned – Internet in Cuba can be sketchy It costs about $10 an hour to get online  and there are only a handle of places that have wifi, which isn’t always reliable to book and print your reservations before you land on the island. Bus schedules are regular and the buses turn up on time (more or less). They usually have two drivers and include stops along the way.

Examples of inter-city route times include:

Havana to Santiago (16 hours)

Havana to Viñales (4 hours)

Havana to Varadero (3 hours)

Trinidad to Santiago (12 hours)

Havana to Trinidad (6 hours)

Meanwhile, a new bus company called Conectando (run by company Cubanacán) isn’t so reliable, although it does run directly between main hotels instead of bus stations.

2. Rental Car

How to get around Cuba
Photo by frank.dierckx

When thinking about how to get around Cuba, it’s definitely worth considering hiring car. There are so many incredible places on the island, from national parks to secluded beaches, and a car gives you the flexibility to get off the beaten track.

Car rental in Cuba is government-controlled and there are a few agencies with different packages. REX and HavanaCarHire are the best websites to use. The cost of car rental is high, around CUC$75 per day including insurance – although this varies based on the type of car.

When you get your rental car, they fill the tank for you at the start (for a higher fee) and you are expected to return the car empty. It definitely makes an interesting game of ‘how to make it back to the hire car place with as little gas as possible in your tank!’

Be prepared: driving in Cuba can be challenging.  Road conditions are generally bad and there is a serious lack of signage. So prepare to drive through enormous pot-holes and get lost. It is all part of the adventure!

3. Taxi

How to get around Cuba
Photo by Martin Abegglen

A great way to get around the island is by taking a non-official taxi from city to city — it means you don’t have to rely on bus schedules or worry about finding the way yourself. Plus, if you want to see a smaller town off-route, you can just ask the taxi driver to stop along the way.

If you speak with your hotel or casa particular owner, they can probably refer you to a friend (or a friend of a friend) who is willing to drive you to another city for a flat fee. It’s worth trying to negotiate lower fees if your Spanish is up to scratch. You can also approach official taxi drivers in the main cities and see if they will strike a deal.

This is a great way to get around Cuba, Taking a taxi is relatively inexpensive, with drivers charging around CUC$0.50-CUC$0.80 per kilometer.

At the time of writing the CUC (Cuban Convertible Pesos) runs parallel to the dollar, so 1.00 Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC) is $1.00 USD.

A great way to get around the island is by taking a non-official taxi from city to city — it means you don’t have to rely on bus schedules or worry about finding the way yourself. Plus, if you want to see a smaller town off-route, you can just ask the taxi driver to stop along the way.

If you speak with your hotel or casa particular owner, they can probably refer you to a friend (or a friend of a friend) who is willing to drive you to another city for a flat fee. It’s worth trying to negotiate lower fees if your Spanish is up to scratch. You can also approach official taxi drivers in the main cities and see if they will strike a deal.
This is a great way to get around Cuba, Taking a taxi is relatively inexpensive, with drivers charging around CUC$0.50-CUC$0.80 per kilometre. At time of writing the CUC (Cuban Convertible Pesos) runs parallel to the dollar, so 1.00 Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC) is $1.00 USD.

A great way to get around the island is by taking a non-official taxi from city to city — it means you don’t have to rely on bus schedules or worry about finding the way yourself. Plus, if you want to see a smaller town off-route, you can just ask the taxi driver to stop along the way.

If you speak with your hotel or casa particular owner, they can probably refer you to a friend (or a friend of a friend) who is willing to drive you to another city for a flat fee. It’s worth trying to negotiate lower fees if your Spanish is up to scratch. You can also approach official taxi drivers in the main cities and see if they will strike a deal.

 

This is a great way to get around Cuba, Taking a taxi is relatively inexpensive, with drivers charging around CUC$0.50-CUC$0.80 per kilometre. At time of writing the CUC (Cuban Convertible Pesos) runs parallel to the dollar, so 1.00 Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC) is $1.00 USD.

How to get around Cuba Travel Guide www.alltherooms.com Ph: Anahina Hourcade

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