All the details of the Havana to Guantanamo bus ride...
Havana – Guantanamo by Bus
The bus goes from Havana to Baracoa making a stop in Guantanamo, where I am originally from. ( I get asked if I am from the US base and if I was raised in a jail often….no.) Guantanamo is a proper province in Cuba, and I was born in the small town of Espana Chiquita and so has everyone in my mother’s family for over 3 generations 😲 ( I just learned this )
We took the Bus from the VIAZUL station in Havana ( Address: Avenida 26, La Habana, Cuba) and the price in Cuba is the same as online, so I suggest you buy ahead of time to save yourself the hassle of doing it there and avoid being left without a ticket. (Remember the US dollar is heavily taxed in Cuba, so you’re better off using your money at home, where it’s worth more). It costs about $57 each way. It’s the same bus that makes stops along the way so you can take this too if you’re going to Santiago de Cuba or Camaguey.
Once we got to the station, we went to the waiting room where we dropped off our bags to be dispatched and waited a short while before boarding the bus. Make sure you have your passport and ticket with you, and that you arrive at least 30 minutes before departure. The bus leaves daily at 18:00 hrs and arrives in Guantanamo around 9am.
The buses are fairly decent, and they make frequent enough stops on the day routes. The air conditioning is very cold ( if it’s working ), so bring a sweater or long sleeves so you can sleep more comfortably. The restrooms are usually locked off, so make sure you use the facilities on the stops, and the TV is usually playing a cuban music concert of sorts… it can be pretty loud, we are a vocal bunch. 😉
We felt safe putting our bags under the bus, and the driver was very polite. It’s all pretty straight forward once you’re on the bus, and if you’re lucky you’ll get a friendly driver that speaks a second language, or a neighbor offering a snack or coffee. The lady behind me came with enough coffee for the two back roads… super sweet!
The view is absolutely priceless. Cuba is a green paradise, with all kinds of vegetation painting the way as you go. It so happened that it was raining the night we went, and watching the thunderstorm was magical.
Along the way they stop in at least one proper restaurant, and several small rest areas with one or two vendors offering snacks. We delighted ourselves seeing the real cuban life go by, from the hustle and bustle leaving the City of Havana to the cows gracing the endless grass fields of the country. Such diversity in one small place!
When passing through small cities and towns, it felt like I had stepped in another time period. The children running by, the beautiful 50’s cars trying to maneuver through potholes, pedestrians and animals. Cuba is very diverse, and the east part of the island is very much worth a visit.
I brought some reading material but decided to look outside instead. When it got dark it was too rocky to read anyway…
Once you arrive in each station, the bus driver will usually yell out the name of the place, or you can look outside and find the station’s name usually displayed somewhere. It’s hard getting lost in Cuba.
The bus ride is not for
everyone the weak …I never felt like I needed spinal help before.
After a 15 hr bus ride on what felt more like riding a donkey we arrived in Guantanamo and our adventure began!
The road is always worth the adventure, and it couldn’t be more true in this case.
Is cuba in your travel plans? 👀