The company Viazul is the most used by tourists, as buses are more comfortable and reliable in terms of mechanics and punctuality. Tickets can also be booked online. Its terminal is far from the tourist zone, in the west side of the zoo:
|COST ($ CUC)||FREQUENCY||DURATION||
|3 daily: 9, 11:25 and 14:30||3 h 45 m||Stop in Pinar del Río|
|4 daily: 8, 10, 13 and 17||3 h 10 m – 3 h 45 m||Stop in Matanzas and Varadero airport|
|Zapata Peninsula (Playa Larga and Playa Girón)||
|1 daily: 7 am||3 h||Buses on the route Havana – Trinidad stop in zones from where you can take a shuttle (3 $CUC) to the beaches, although they are not reliable|
|3 daily: 7, 10:45 and 13:30||5 h||Two first are the route to Trinidad|
|2 daily: 7 y 10:45||5 h 30 m|
|5 daily: 6, 8:40, 15:15, 19:45 and 22:00||3 h 45 m||Routes to Holguín and Santiago|
|3 daily: 6, 15:15 and 22:00||5 h 20 m||Route to Santiago|
|3 daily: 8:40, 15:15 and 19:45||12 h|
|Santiago de Cuba||
|3 daily: 6, 15:15 and 22:00||16 h|
Other companies are Astro and especially Conectando Bus, which belongs to Cubanacán; it’s important because:
- It makes the same routes as Viazul, similar schedules and price also.
- Buses are in good condition.
- Stops at main hotels.
- And seats are usually available from one day to another for a simple reason: they do not have a website and most tourists do not know about this possibility.
SHARED TAXIS OR COLECTIVOS
Somewhat more expensive than the bus, they are however popular considering they pick you up at your accommodation and drop you off at the next and they take less time, although always more than they say. Unless we hire a colectivo in the street, which we advise against, the prices per way and person are fixed. Here are some of the usual destinations from Havana in $ CUC and the time that they say it will take, but estimate that the real time will be approximately 50% longer:
- Viñales: 20 $ CUC, they tell you 2 h and 30 m, we needed 4 hours because the colectivo broke down.
- Varadero: 15 $, 2 h.
- Playa Larga: 20 $, 2 h.
- Cienfuegos: 25 $, 3 h.
- Santa Clara: 30 $, 3 h 15 m.
For more information see the specific post BUSES AND COLECTIVOS IN CUBA.
The central station will be closed for renovation until 2018, so the station La Coubre, immediately south of the main station, is used in the historic center.
Trains in Cuba have such a poor reputation that Cubans are said to prefer to hitchhike rather than go by train. The French Train to Santiago was the only reliable one, but it has been under repair since 2014; the service is supposed to be reinstated in 2017. Train times are often not printed, sometimes barely on a station’s blackboard, and change in months time, so no information from any web or blog (including this) will be reliable. Those who want to move by train would better go and ask on the spot. Since there are several trains that make the same route with different numbers, prices and duration of the route, in an ORIENTATIVE way, are mentioned in the following table some of the usual routes in first class:
|PRICE FOR FOREIGNER ($CUC)||FREQUENCY||
|Santiago (Tren Francés, (currently not working)||
|Every 2 days||12 h|
|Every 2 days||6 h 30 m|
|Santiago de Cuba||
|2 per week||17 h|
|Every 2 days||10 h|
|Every 2 days||8 h|
|Every 2 days||5 h|
|Pinar del Río||
|Every 2 days||6 h|
Check the post about RENTAL CAR, BICYCLE AND HITCHHIKE IN CUBA.