Last updated: 03:00 AM ET, Thu June 25 2015

Opinion Home | Notes from the Goats

  • Nick and Dariece | June 25, 2015 3:00 AM ET

    An Insider's Guide to Getting Around in Cuba

    An Insider's Guide to Getting Around in Cuba

    All photos courtesy of Goats on the Road

    As tourists in Cuba, you can either rent a car, fly, hire a driver, rent a motorcycle, or take the local 1st class Viazul bus. In this article, we're going to break down the pros and cons of each and explain just how easy it can be to travel Cuba independently.

    Car/Motorcycle Rental

    This is a great option if you have the budget for it. Car rentals are very expensive in Cuba (around $60 a day), and while you can get a motorcycle for around $25 a day, they are generally small and not suitable for long trips. If you rent a car for an entire month, you can get the cost down to around $40 a day, but this is still more than double the cost of a rental in most other countries.

    Moped in Viñales

    We rented a motorbike in Viñales and it was a great experience, but the bike (like most rentals in Cuba) was only 50cc. Keep this in mind if you plan to take long distances. We slowed down to about 5 miles an hour when we hit any kind of hill! Either way, having your own wheels will really give you the freedom to explore all that Cuba has to offer.

    The Local 1st Class Bus (Viazul)

    The Viazul bus is a great alternative and is quite comfortable. There are no seat numbers, but standing is not permitted in the aisle, so you'll never have an overcrowded ride. The Viazul buses average about $4 an hour between most of Cuba's main destinations.

    A Viazul bus

    If you're on a very tight budget, you can consider taking the local Astro bus (2nd class), but these are far less comfortable, less reliable and although cheaper, there are only a few seats reserved for tourist tickets. To buy tickets, you generally have to go down to the local Viazul bus office. These are often a few miles out of town, so you'll have to take a taxi, or ask your casa or hotel to set it up for you.


    There are also relatively inexpensive domestic flights in Cuba. If you want to visit the far east of the island, a flight will cost you around $120 and will save you a lot of long travel days. You can also fly into many parts of Cuba as there are international airports in many cities. Don't make the mistake we did and think that it's easy to cross Cuba in a few weeks. This is an enormous island, so if you want to see it from point to point, a flight is highly recommended. Taxis If you're heading between two major tourist destinations (i.e., Havana and Trinidad), consider taking a shared taxi instead of the Viazul bus. Infotur has many offices in almost every major city in Cuba and they can arrange these taxis for the same price as the bus!

    A Fairlane car

    Taxis within a city usually cost anywhere from $5-$10. There are also funky coco-taxis that look like a coconut on wheels and while they look like they would burn less gas, they're often more expensive because tourists think they're "cool.” A taxi from the Airport in Havana to Vieja or Centro shouldn't cost more than $25 CUC (equivalent to $25 USD).

    Private Driver

    Surprisingly, you can often get a private car and driver for the day for less than a rental car, so if you're planning to see a few sights around one area, a private driver may just be the way to go. We recommend heading into Infotur and ask for a driver who speaks good English. Otherwise, drivers often congregate around bus stations and touristy intersections.

    It's Really Simple

    As soon as you land in Cuba and start to travel it independently, you'll realize that it's actually quite an easy and comfortable experience. The above modes of transportation are readily available and you won't have to look far to find a ride in-between your destinations. On top of ease, efficiency and comfort, Cuba is a very safe place to travel. And while there are a few scams to watch out for, if you use common sense, you'll have no issues traveling here on your own. Enjoy!

More Cuba


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Nick and Dariece Notes from the Goats

Nick and Dariece Nick and Dariece are the couple behind Goats On The Road, a website designed to inspire others to live a financially sustainable, location independent lifestyle. Masters at making money abroad and turning their travels into a way of life, they've been on the road since 2008 and have explored some of the least visited places on earth, finding adventure wherever they go. They are also full time contributors at Credit Walk where they share their expertise of making money and travelling forever. Check them out at Goats On The and follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.
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