Most tourists will arrive from Havana by bus or shared taxi:
- Bus: Viazul has 2 services a day, at 8 am and 2 pm, it takes 3 and a half hours and costs 12 $CUC. Although it is not on their website, there is likely to be a service at 6:45 am. Conectando Bus (which has no web) also offers two services a day for a similar price. Those of Viazul can be booked online, but the rest necessarily have to go to a travel agency. In Viñales there are 3 in the central square: Cubanacán, Infotur and another private contiguous to Infotur whose name I do not remember; prepare to queue…
- Shared taxi: 20 $CUC, 2 h and 30 m. My experience is that it always takes about 50% longer than what they say, it took us 4 hours to get from Havana. They can be heard from our hotel or private house.
- For the masochists, the train: information on trains in Cuba is very unreliable. There is only to Pinar del Río, then you have to continue by taxi (15 $CUC). To get from Havana should be number 71 and to return 72; leaves at 9 am, 6 hours, 7 $CUC, one every other day.
- Havana Airport: Cubataxi offers a service for 75 $CUC, to take in consideration, since to Havana itself already costs 25 $CUC.
To go to other destinations of interest:
- Cayo Jutías: excursions of 8 hours that include lunch, to be booked in any travel agency for 20 $CUC. Renting a scooter for the whole day cost the same, but the distance is 120 km.
- Cayo Levisa: here we begin to notice the rise in prices in Cuba:
- The most profitable is to hire a day trip, which only manages Infotur. Until last year it cost 30 $CUC including transfer, ferry and light lunch, in 2017 already goes for 39 $CUC. They offer to increase the lunch to free buffet for 9 more $CUC; do not do it, it’s the worst buffet I’ve ever been to.
- With private car or hiring a taxi you can reach the ferry terminal in Palma Rubia. The ferry costs 25 $CUC if you do not have a reservation at the Cayo Hotel.
- María La Gorda: A destination for true dive geeks; accommodation is scarce, basic and expensive, and the beaches are not the best, so it is only recommended for those going for diving for several days. There is a daily minibus at 7 am with return at 5 pm; they will tell you that it takes 2 h and 30 m, but the people who have gone said that it takes almost 4 hours each way, what we found too much to go diving for only one day. Minimum 6 people, round trip 35/45 $CUC.
- Península de Zapata: a popular destination from Viñales, since going straight to Cienfuegos or Trinidad means many hours. Buses and colectivos cost 27 $CUC and take 7 and 6 hours respectively. It is the trip we did. We chose colectivo because buses stop in Havana and the connections from the highway to Playa Larga and Playa Giron are not listed on the Viazul website. Supposedly there are 3 a day; in case there is not, you have to take a taxi for 30 km. I do not regret doing it because of the number of anecdotes that occur, but we got there very tired.
- Cienfuegos: Viazul, 6:45 am, it takes 10 hours, 32 $CUC. Pass through Havana. Continues to Trinidad (12 hours, 37 $ CUC). Conectando Bus also offers this service. Colectivos from Viñales to both cities cost the same as the bus and take about an hour less.
For information on hitchhiking see GETTING AROUND IN CUBA BY RENTAL CAR, BICYCLE AND HITCHHIKE.
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