Do you need a hand getting from Havana to Vinales?
I have created this essential guide to show you exactly how to get to Vinales from Havana without complications to ensure you take the best route.
As you may already know, Vinales a small town located in the Valle de Vinales presents a small portion of Cuba’s beautiful countryside.
Havana to Vinales
In this guide, I’ll share the information needed to be able to get from Havana to Vinales and hopefully without any complications whatsoever.
A day trip to Vinales from Havana is a perfect excursion, especially for those who have limited time in Cuba but wish to escape the bustling city of Havana.
Like most trips within Cuba taking a collectivo or the bus are usually the 2 most economical options.
If you plan your trip to Cuba well, you can expect around a three-hour trip depending on which method you take it may take a little longer.
Below we are going to look at three methods of transportation to help you decide which one will work best for you.
Is time an issue for you? Or, maybe you’re traveling in a large group?
Let’s begin to look at the best way to get to Vinales.
Vinales From Havana Map
How far is Vinales from Havana?
Before we dissect the transport options, if you look at the map below you can see the distance from Havana to Vinales is quite a fairway, so you may want to ensure you’re prepared for the trip.
The time of day you travel is totally up to you. However, I believe it is much safer to travel within the morning.
Another important thing to consider is where you’re going to stay when you arrive in Vinales.
Although not always necessary, to have a pre-defined destination i.e hostel or hotel is a good idea when backpacking or traveling around Cuba.
Havana to Vinales Travel Advice
There are so many day trips from Havana you can take and even private tours.
In my experience, though, getting around Cuba is best done by collectivos.
But before we get into the different travel options for getting to Vinales there are some things you should know about this trip.
Here are some crucial things you’ll need to know:
- A private taxi will cost around 70CUC all in
- The shared taxi collectivo should cost you 15CUC per head
- The journey takes about two and half hours
Not so important but useful things to know:
- Remember that 25 Pesos Cubanos are equal 1 CUC
- Grab a bottled water for the journey
- It’s safe to arrive without accommodations in Cuba
These are universal tips that can apply to your journey no matter which method of transportation you decide to take.
Right, without further ado, let’s look at the different ways you can get to Vinales from Havana.
Getting to Vinales with a Collectivo
If you’ve been in Havana for any length of time, you’ll have taken a Collectivo taxi. They’re cost-effective and in most cases arrive at your destination safely.
A ride in a Collectivo taxi to Vinales from Havana costs between 16 and 25 CUC per person. However, don’t expect a seat belt or any type of added security during the journey. Knowing what to pack is crucial.
You can also expect to be riding sharing, and this is one reason why traveling in Collectivo taxis is a great idea when traveling a small group.
Bus From Havana to Vinales
If you want to be comfortable along this journey traveling via bus is one of the most reliable options you have. You can get to Vinales using the Viazul bus service which offers two buses per day.
The official rate for the bus costs just 12 CUC so in many cases it can work out cheaper than the Collectivo taxi which depending on how good your Spanish is, you may be able to haggle with the price.
I recommend you take the morning bus rather than the afternoon one. That way you can arrive in Vinales during the early afternoon.
The Viazul bus will drop you off in the main station in Vinales.
Getting to Vinales in a Taxi
Let’s suppose you are tired of taking Collectivo taxi and buses and just want to arrive on your own accord.
Private taxis are perfect for this, especially if you’re thinking of doing a day trip to Vinales from Havana.
For around 80 CUC you can charter a taxi to drop you at your desired destination in Vinales from Havana.
Great if you want to make little strategic stops along the journey or buy something at the roadside.
If your travel budget allows you and/or your traveling with friends, a private taxi is one of the best ways to travel in Cuba.
Vinales – Where to Stay
If you’ve planned ahead of time, you should have a good idea of where you are going to stay in Vinales.
It is smart to have somewhere booked so that when you arrive you can head straight there and concentrate on enjoying what Vibales has to offer.
Here are some ideas on places to stay in Vinales in case you’ve not yet looked.
- Buffet Breakfast
- Welcoming Hosts
- 10 Min Walk to Center
Stay somewhere local whilst in Vinales. If you want a welcoming host that provides the most amazing breakfast, give Maceo y Gladis’s place a try.
Things to do in Vinales
Arriving at the valley you’ll more than likely be looking for things to do Vinales that will connect you to the local life and culture.
Let’s look at some of the things you can do:
Learn How to Make Cuban Cigars
It would be difficult to travel to Vinales and not somehow be enticed by the endless lure of cigar smoke.
I’m not saying that you have to inhale the smoke but you can take part in the process.
You can sit back with Cuban cowboys and roll cigars as you learn, the not-so-easy process, of rolling the perfect cigar.
Hike to Los Aquaticos
If you get the chance to do the sunrise tour to Los Aquaticos.
This is one of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring hikes to take part in whilst exploring Vinales.
You’ll hike up to a coffee farm to catch the beautiful sunrise over the valley. You’ll wade through the tobacco field, meet locals and learn all about life in the countryside.
Salsa Dance Lessons
It’s true that Cuba is the country of Salsa and you do hear it everywehre you go. Howewver to dance Salsa is a different story.
You have to visit specific places to be able to practice. Whilst in Vinales why not have a go at doing some Salsa lessons?
You can pay up to around 10CUC for a lesson per hour and you can learn so much with just a few classes.
Mural de la Prehistorica
If you’re not easily impressed, maybe you’ll not come out of your way to see this colorful piece of artwork that was painted by a bunch of locals from Vinales.
Here is where having a private taxi show you the local sites can really pay off. Depending on how long you need, 5-10 minutes should be fine to appreciate the art so I wouldn’t go too far out of your way to get here.
Get a taxi driver to make a pit-stop here. Honestly, pictures don’t do this artwork much justice as it’s huge in real life.
Travel Insurance for Cuba
No matter what you pack for Cuba on your trip. Whilst traveling around Cuba using public transport, especially the collectivo (taxis) it’s wise to be insured
I always recommend backpackers and travelers (no matter who you are) use World Nomads Insurance for fully comprehensive cover.
If you are due to travel soon, you can get a Get A Free Quote by clicking the link or the image above and filling out your details – that way you’ll get instant cover from the exact date that you choose.
On many occasions World Nomads has provided me with reliable insurance cover for travel in and around the Caribbean.
Getting From Havana to Vinales
Getting to Vinales from Havana should be a breeze. After reading this guide you should now have a better idea on how you’ll get to Vinales and which mode of transport to take.
Also, no matter which transport you take in Cuba or how far you go exploring the island, you’ll always find a way to Havana in the end.
If traveling by yourself, don’t worry. You can often find other solo travelers in Cuba that are heading to Vinales outside the bus station that you can share a collectivo taxi with.
Even when you’re heading back from Vinales to Havana this is normal.
Have a safe trip and enjoy your ride.
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