Getting around Cuba: Options for Every Budget
The US embargo and the restrictive regulations from the Cuban state, make vehicles extremely limited in the socialist country and therefore »el transporte« has never been an easy topic in Cuba. The foreclosure policy results in exorbitant prices and thus empty streets. Despite these limitations, travelers have fortunately a few options to get around the island.
In Cuba, a decade-old car, that is ready for scrap, easily costs many times more than a new small car in Europe. The private import of vehicles is almost impossible. There is hardly a country in the world with a lower volume of traffic. The consequence of the lack of vehicles (spare parts) is an often catastrophic passenger traffic.
Local public transportation is completely useless for most travelers. Cubans, on the other hand, are used to a slow and often extremely uncomfortable travel. They face the difficult circumstances with impressive perseverance and composure. In many places, bicycle taxis and horse-drawn carriages dominate local transportation.
Therefore, to move around in Cuba can be challenging for travelers without the right preparation. Time after time, vacationers get stuck at airports and bus stations because they were surprised by the very limited or expensive means of transport.
Timely and comprehensive planning of the transfers is essential to make the process easier. If you are informed and plan well, you can not only save costs, but also avoid long waiting times and uncomfortable journeys.
For individual travelers, transportation usually begins at the airport. When you arrive in Cuba, you must organize the transfer to your accommodation. In principle, there is no public transportation at Cuban airports. You can find all the options and possible costs in our article Airport transfers.
State buses are the most common means of transportation for individual travelers going on round trips. With the comfortable buses, travelers can reach most places of tourist importance absolutely reliable and cheap. All important information about bus travel in Cuba can be found in the article about bus connections.
The most convenient way to travel short to medium distances is by state taxis. On the socialist island there are both state and private drivers that take passengers from A to B in American classic cars. All important information about routes and prices ...
Without a doubt, a rental car is the fastest and most comfortable way to explore Cuba. Hardly any other travel destination is more relaxed in a rental car than the Caribbean island. When you rent a car in Cuba, you should consider some specific peculiarities of the country...
There is an extensive network of collective taxis in Cuba. For backpackers, collective taxis are a practical, authentic and, above all, inexpensive means of transport. Depending on the distance, the prices per passenger are around 2 to 5 USD per 100 km …
Cuba is the only Caribbean island with a railroad for passenger transport. The article about train travel in Cuba explains all you need to know about the adventurous journey.
If you want to cover the long distance from one end to the other of the island, you can hardly avoid a domestic flight. Different destinations, such as Cayo Largo or Isla de la Juventud, can best be reached from the air ...