Transport in Cuba

Shortages of fuel and spare parts in Cuba still cause difficulties in the supply of transport. The Government has segregated tourists from Cubans and encourages them to hire cars or travel on dedicated buses to maximize foreign exchange income. Many cheap forms of transport are reserved for Cubans and are prohibited for foreigners.

Internal flights
are frequent and efficient but generally only link Havana with other towns, so you can not criss-cross the island by air.
Roads
are good and there is little traffic, except in Havana, which is a bit of a nightmare if you have just arrived. Out of the city, however, roads are fairly empty and you can often travel for miles without seeing another vehicle.
Buses
operated by
Víazul
and paid for in CUC$ run on long-distance routes between cities commonly visited by foreigners, while the more extensive
Astro
bus network is now reserved only for Cubans. All long-distance travel by foreigners is paid for in CUC$. Tour buses
are flexible, allowing you to stay a night or two in, say, Pinar del Río, before rejoining the tour for the return to Havana, and
Transtur
now runs some of its tour buses as a scheduled service, for example between Havana and Trinidad.
Car hire
is available, although you may not get the car you want unless you arrange it in advance from abroad. The disadvantage of car hire is that it is expensive and petrol stations are not always conveniently located, but you will have the freedom of going where you want, when you want and you will have the roads almost to yourself. A good way of getting around and meeting the people is to hire a
private car
with driver to take you out for a day. He will want to be paid in CUC$, and he runs a considerable risk because it is illegal, but enforcement of the law varies between regions and if there are two or three of you it can work out cheaper and more enjoyable than taking an organized excursion on a tour bus. Most
rail
journeys are fraught with difficulties and generally are subject to breakdowns and long delays. There have also been some fatal accidents. Repairs and new rolling stock from China are awaited.

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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