Getting around in Cuba

Last modified: August 18, 2022

What are the means of transportation available?


There are four alternatives for taxi transportation: three private and one shared.

We recommend the private taxi for a day trip.

  • Coco Taxi: This one is only available in town. They are the same price as other cabs. It is a nice and practical option in Old Havana’s narrow streets.
  • Yellow taxi: These are modern cars, whose main interest is safety and speed.
  • Old American taxi: A journey in itself! A nice experience. However, there are no seat belts, and the suspension is often in bad condition so you might want to think again if you are planning long trips.
  • Shared taxi: Sharing a taxi is a good way to travel economically in Cuba. Although they are more expensive than buses, they still very convenient. Make a reservation at your casa in particular.

A collective taxi is not an opportunity to meet the local population, because most of the time they are reserved either for Cubans or for tourists. Therefore, if you want to meet Cubans in the transportation system, you will have to opt for the bus.

Collective taxis are usually waiting in front of the bus stations.


There are few buses in Cuba and they are often full. It is therefore recommended to book your trips in advance. Viazul is the main company (viazul.wetransp.com). It is best to buy your ticket online. The bus remains the most economical option. The network serves most cities.

As an example, it is necessary to count approximately 12 USD with Viazul to go from Havana to Viñales, a journey of approximately 4 hours.

For tourist cities, you can also contact Transtur, which has booking offices in major hotels.


There are few trains and few railroad lines. Moreover, to avoid any disappointment, it is necessary to know that they are not old trains, but simply modern trains without particular charm.


Cubana de Aviacion provides air service to a few cities, but flights often arrive late.
In general, there are few domestic flights, and their reliability in terms of safety is not good. This is one of the consequences of the embargo; national companies lack parts, equipment in general, etc.


It can be used to reach the Isla de la Juventud for example.

Cubans are somehow forbidden to use a boat (they have to ask for a special permit at the harbor office in order to be able to board one like the one connecting Cayo Levisa). Except for some fishermen, like in Gibara, there are very few boats and almost no private fishermen.

It is difficult to find boats for tourism, except for catamarans for an excursion departing from tourist sites like Varadero, etc.

It will probably be the first time, or one of the few times, that you will be on an island with so few possibilities to spend days at sea.

Because of the almost total absence of maritime traffic, the Cuban seabed is extremely well preserved!

Book a private transfer with Novelacuba (taxi or bus) – the advantages!

We know all our drivers very well and we have been working in close partnership with them for many years. We have built a relationship of trust and we are happy to share it with you.
Our drivers are constantly in contact with our office in Havana.

From Paris, our Novela Cuba teams will assist you in French, English, and Spanish to advise you before booking. This telephone assistance is available from Monday to Friday, from 10 am to 7 pm.
At the same time, once you are in Havana, our Novela Cuba teams also provide telephone assistance in French, English, Spanish and Russian 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Our guarantees

Novela Cuba has its own agency in Havana (the office is recognized by the Cuban State) and an agency in Paris (also recognized by the Cuban State). This means that we are at your side at every step of your trip. By booking with us, you benefit from the guarantees associated with these two entities.

Private transfer availability

When you make a search on our website, a small green or orange lightning bolt appears next to the price.

  • The green color indicates that the availability of the service is real. If you make a reservation, you will receive confirmation immediately.
    Your credit card will then be charged. You will receive the invoice and the voucher by e-mail.
  • The orange color indicates that the availability is “waiting for confirmation for 48 hours”. This means that if you make a reservation, you will have to wait 48 hours maximum for our services to confirm or not the availability.
    In this case, your credit card will be charged at the time of confirmation and not at the time of booking (where only a debit authorization will be requested).
    In case of confirmation, you will receive the invoice and the voucher by e-mail.

Our advice

To take hitchhikers or not?

The problem of transportation is real in Cuba, so many Cubans hitchhike. However, given the equally large number of “fake hitchhikers” who do not have good intentions, we, unfortunately, advise against taking them with you.

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