Ins and outs

Getting there


There is an international airport at Varadero, which receives scheduled and charter flights from Europe and Canada.


Connections by rail are reasonable with Matanzas on the main line between Havana and Santiago and on local lines to other towns, however service is poor. A feature of rail transport is the Hershey electric line between Havana and Matanzas, which used to service the Hershey chocolate factory before the Revolution, but it breaks down frequently and timings are very approximate.


There is a good road out from Havana along the north coast to Matanzas and Varadero with an excellent bus service provided by Víazul. Local buses run to other towns such as Cárdenas but public transport is limited to the Zapata peninsula.

Viazul stops at Entronque de Jagüey and Girón with non-state taxis as an option for onward transport. There are plenty of tour buses to take you there on an excursion, but car hire is recommended if you want flexibility

Tourist information

State tour agencies can be found in all the hotels in Varadero and the Bay of Pigs. They operate as tourist information offices although their main purpose is to sell tours. They can help with hotel reservations, tickets and transfers. Infotur can also be found in Varadero and at the airport.

Best time to visit

The winter season between December and April has the best weather but the highest prices. The wettest time of year is between September and November, but if there is a cold front off the eastern seaboard of the USA in the winter you can expect rough seas and a smaller expanse of sand as a result. The Bay of Pigs is more protected from the weather but has been hit in the past by hurricanes between September and November.

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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