Cuba is a beautiful island to visit: The colonial streets, rich history and mainly friendly and passionate Cuban people, all of this is part of what makes it mysteriously captivating. Visitors return again and again to get a little more of the secret that attracts them.
One of the things that the visitors in Cuba are never get to know completely is the Cuban transport. The means of transportations are different depending on the city in Cuba. From the most “adventurers” to simple and classic. Let’s take a look to this important part of the Cubans and visitor’s life.
Tourist buses – Conectando
Tourist buses in Cuba are divided in two main companies: TRANSTUR and Transgaviota. That’s one of the most comfortable way of travel to foreign visitors. They have air conditioning, reclining seats and mostly, a tour guide who offers interesting information along the way.
This option is only used to transfer tourist between hotels in different provinces (ex: Havana-Varadero or Havana-Cayo Largo). Prices vary depending on the distance, but isn’t very expensive (ex: Havana – Viñales: 15 CUC).
These buses are very popular between travellers. We recommend you to book them at least two days before your trip at the reception, or in tourist offices of any hotel, paying in cash and presenting your passport.
These buses are used to travel between provinces. They leave from the central station located in front of the National Zoo on 26th Street. Schedules and prices of buses are available on the website viazul.com where also can made a reservation. They are reliable and they leave on time.
Hop on-hop off in Havana
These particular double-decker buses are great way to see the city in short time. Their pass by Vedado, Plaza de la Revolucion, Miramar, Marina Hemingway, Zoo, Aquarium and more. In high season they also have a tour guide. Bus stops are set in central locations of Havana and not usually take more than 15 minutes between the departure of one and the arrival to another one.
These buses have a cost of 10 CUC per person and its valid for 24h.
The American cars are spread by the whole city, in many colours and models. They are usually private cars under contract with taxis agencies, the service is quite safe and of quality. It tends to be very punctual and drivers are very friendly and like to share with customers.
The convertibles cars have usually price of 40 CUC per hour or 120 CUC per day, although these can be negotiated depending on the distance and number of hours required. The sedan, fixed roof american cars are less expensive.
These funny means of transport have been modified to get the form of coconuts, and are very popular in Havana. Friendly drivers guides you on the tours, for a minimum cost of 3 CUC for short distances, but usually charge up to 5 CUC for tours.
In the area of Old Havana it is very common to find colonial carriages using for short trips and short excursions. They usually have tourist guides for better understanding with the client, but the driver usually speaks English well. Can be founded in the Square San Francisco de Asís, as well-known as Dove´s Square and in Parque Central. In Cardenas, in the province Matanzas, the colonial carriages are common transport for everyone, at a cost of 1 CUC.
One of the most popular means of transport, for Cuban and foreigners are the bicitaxi, homemade bikes that have been adapted to carry passengers, with shining lights and music.
This means of transport can be found in different parts of the country, such as Havana, Matanzas, Santa Clara, Bayamo, Baracoa and Holguín. The price of this service is usually between 2 and 5 CUC.
The motorcycles are a typical transport in Santiago de Cuba,characterised by speed and security. They are many models and prices, depending the travel varying between 10 and 50 CUP.
Other means of transport
State taxis are easy to recognise, they usually have certain colours (red, yellow, white and black), with the classic band of black squares and the light signalling TAXI. These are very useful to move within cities, but can also serve to interprovincial travel. They can be reserved by telephone and the driver is paid in cash and can be negotiated.
The collective cars, usually called “máquinas”, are private cars engaged in providing passenger taxi service or as Cubans say to “botear”. They are typically American cars, but are also fashionable Russian Lada and Moskvich cars and some others a little more modern.
There are “piqueras”, points where you can take these cars for specifics route. Other way to take these cars is stop it in the street and ask the driver if he goes to the desired location. The collective are priced between 10 CUP and the 30 CUP per person, depending on the length of the rout.
Public buses cover many routes and travel long distances. In the capital the buses deficit is very large. That’s why these buses always look full. They have set routes by colors (blue, orange, green) and letters accompanied by numbers, or only numbers. (P12, P7, A16, A20, 222, 174). The cost of this transport is 0.40 CUP per person, but generally you pay 1 CUP. We only recommend them if you have plenty of time to spare 🙂