A very interesting way to travel from Habana to matanzas is to take this very old train.
For only 2,80 cuc oneway.
departure from matanzas = 4h39 am 12h09 p.m and 16h25
departure from casa blanca station in habana 4h45 am 8h45 am 12h20 and 16h35
no website, no reservation possible. just checkin 30 minutes before departure.
the best way to be in contact with the local population during four hours.
We have had good success travelling by hotel employee bus - cost is far less. Would not attempt this mode of travel without first befriending employees to help with the destination and return pick-up time and place. Always travel with lots of Chiclets or Double Bubble - Cubans love gum!! Depending on where you are travelling, the better the bus. Also found that the shorter the distance the more fun. The longer distance travellers generally fall asleep on the bus, where the shorter distance travellers are still full of life and laughter. We generally keep a pretty low profile as it is probably not cool with the authorities.
While it may seem like fun, would not recommend travelling very far in Cuba on a scooter. The roads are pretty pot-holed, the smell of diesel is enough to gag you, and the weather can change throughout the day. Did it a couple of times, but switched to car rental. Way more comfortable, and met a lot of great Cuban people who were hitching rides.
Have never found it a problem renting a car in Varadero - at the airport, in town, or through the hotel. It is expensive, gas is not cheap, but the luxury of having a comfortable mode of travel, a place to carry our stuff, and a ride at our fingertips is worth it.
Most destinations have a person who watches over your vehicle (for a small fee).
We usually give lifts to female hitchhikers, particularly any with children. Most hitchers heading out of Varadero speak a little English (hotel workers).
Have never prearranged a car rental before arriving, and have never been disappointed.
If you’re not driving… you have two choices, either take a taxi or a bus.
The taxi will charge you around 3 or 4 CUC. While the bus costs only 1 peso cubano … (1 CUC = 24 pesos cubanos)!!
In case you want to take the bus, you need to take the number 12 around the Parque Libertad. Make sure you take the one that goes to the Cueva, and not the one that goes to Monserrat… it’s not a big deal, it’s just gonna take you an extra half an hour.