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The fastest way to get to Santiago is by plane, but there are few international flights. The second best option is the Viazul bus or colectivo taxi.

Flights to Santiago de Cuba

The city’s Antonio Maceo Airport offers daily flights to and from Havana, as well as direct connections to Canada (Montreal and Toronto) and Europe (Paris and Rome).
Flights from the USA have been discontinued since the arrival of Trump.

Within the country, Cubana operates non-stop flights from Havana to Santiago de Cuba two or three times a day (about 100 Cuc one way, 1½ hours).

The Aeropuerto Internacional Antonio Maceo de Santiago is 8 km south of the city centre; a taxi ride to the city costs about 20 Cuc.

Havanatur operates an airport shuttle service, but reservations must be made in advance.

Pro Tip:
You can also get to the airport by taking bus 212, which leaves from Avenida de los Libertadores, in front of the Hospital de Maternidad.

Bus 213 also goes to the airport from the same stop, but first visit Punta Gorda. Both buses stop just past the western end of the airport parking lot, to the left of the entrances.

Bus Havana to Santiago

Tourist buses such as Transtur can be booked at major hotels, Havanatur offices or other travel agencies.

Víazul has modern, air-conditioned buses that run from Santiago to Havana; trips cost 51 Cuc per person in each direction. Payment is accepted in cash and with major credit cards.

Prices and timetables of Departure Viazul from Santiago 

  • Baracoa 15 4¾ 1h50, 8h
  • Havana 51 13-14½ 12:30, 6:30, 4pm
  • Trinidad 33 11½ 7:30 pm
  • Varadero 49 15 20h

Bus information

Rumbos. | Parque Céspedes | Santiago | 22 62 59 69.

The national bus station is 3 km northeast of the city center. Buses to Víazul leave from the same station.

In general, city buses, reserved for Cubans, are not recommended. They are crowded, relatively slow, and tickets are always in high demand.

Car Rental

The main roads connecting Santiago are well maintained, and once you leave the cities, traffic is light.

For a short trip, it is better to take a taxi, or even better, an old American chevrolet.

In high season there is often a lack of rental cars.

The airport offices usually have better availability than those in the city.
Please note:

The signage is bad and it is easy to make mistakes. Do not hesitate to ask for directions: Cubans will be happy to help you.

Gas stations in the state of Servi-Cupet line the main roads.

Many are open 24 hours and sell food and beverages. Stations are also plentiful in the cities. 

Car Rental Agencies

Cubacar

  • Tel : 22 68 71 60
  • Hotel las Américas, Equina Avs de las Américas & General Cebreco
  • Schedule : 08h – 22h
  • Also rents mopeds for 25 Cuc per day.

Transtur

  • Address: Parque Céspedes, Centro Histórico | Santiago
  • Tel: 22 64 11 21 

Routes and Distances

  • Distance Havana to Santiago: 860 km (534 miles).
  • Recommended route: Havana – Bayamo (127 km) then Bayamo – Holguín (140 km),
  • Around Santiago: The astonishing 200 km road that stretches west of Santiago de Cuba along the coast is wedged between the Sierra Maestra and the Caribbean Sea.
  • Santiago to Baracoa – 250 km :  A beautiful road, called the Farola, runs along the coast before turning north through winding mountain roads. Count 5 hours plus your breaks.

Get to Santiago de Cuba by taxi colectivo

Modern and well-maintained tourist taxis, which charge in CUC, gather in front of hotels, transport centres and major tourist sites.

Private taxis with yellow plates are much cheaper, and you can rent them for a day’s city driving for about 20 CUC.

Get to Santiago de Cuba by train

A night train runs between Havana and Santiago de Cuba, once a day in both directions, with stops in Camagüey, Ciego de Ávila and Santa Clara in central Cuba.

Check departure times in advance.

Another, slower motorized train (through the island) runs to Havana when a Tren Francés is not running, stopping at Las Tunas, Ciego de Ávila, Guayos and Matanzas.

The modern French-style train station is located near the rum distillery on the port, six blocks west of Céspedes Park.

Payment is only accepted in cash.

It is best to buy your ticket as far in advance as possible.

  • Address: Estación de Ferrocarriles – Av Jesús Menéndez & Martí
  • Tel: 22 62 28 36
  • Price Havana – Santiago: 50 Cuc aprox

Get to Santiago de Cuba by Truck colectivos

Intermittent passenger trucks leave from the Serrano Intercommunal Bus Station (Equina Av Jesús Menéndez & Sánchez Hechavarría; MN $ 5) near the train station to travel to Guantánamo and Bayamo throughout the day.

Prices are a few pesos and the best time to board is early in the morning. For these destinations, don’t bother with the ticket office.

just find the truck parked in front going in your direction. Trucks for Caletón Blanco and Chivirico also leave from here.

The intercity bus station (Terminal Cuatro, Equina Av de los Libertadores & Calle 4; MN$1), 2 km northeast of Parque Céspedes, offers two buses a day to El Cobre.

Two buses per day also leave from here to Baconao.

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