how to go from havana to vinales

How to Go from Havana to Vinales

The laidback Vinales Valley in the west of Cuba attained UNESCO World Heritage status because of the unique limestone formations, the “mogotes” that are found here and it’s a world away from the hustle and bustle of Havana.  Many people visit here for the day from Havana (and you can see a great deal in a day), but others, seeking a chill-out, hiking, rock climbing, or further exploration, come for longer.  So this guide covers you whether you’re going from Havana to Vinales or Vinales to Havana as you’ll need to know the best way to travel between these two locations.  There are several options for transport between Havana and Vinales, but what’s the best way to go from Havana to Vinales?  And what are the options for traveling to Vinales from Havana?  Here’s our guide on how to get to Vinales from Havana.

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Where is Vinales

The UNESCO World Heritage Vinales Valley in Cuba is 180 kilometers (112 miles) from Havana. Viñales is part of the Pinar del Rio region of Cuba, in the west of Cuba.  The valley here is renowned for limestone rock formations, known as mogotes.  Vinales is also famous for tobacco and coffee plantations.  It’s a very chilled-out place to visit, especially if you stay around for a few days.

How to Go from Havana to Vinales – Transport Options

In this guide on how to go from Havana to Vinales, we’ll cover the fastest way to travel go from Havana to Vinales, the easiest way to go to Vinales from Havana, and the cheapest way to get to Vinales from Havana, as well as the most iconic way to get to Vinales from Havana.  Our guide to Vinales is here.

If you’re planning on visiting other places in Cuba after your visit to Havana, you should be aware that the Viazul Buses from Vinales ONLY return to Havana, so if you’re taking the bus you’ll need to head back to Havana and then move on from there (and it’s unlikely that your inbound bus to Havana will arrive a time that allows a connection with an outbound bus).

***Note that the Viazul Bus is currently NOT running from Havana to Vinales and back**** November 2022 – I’ll update this information when it starts running again.

How to get to Vinales from Havana

For transport from Vinales to Havana, then you have several options.  You can take the Viazul bus from Havana to Vinales – you should read our guide to the Viazul Bus if you plan to do this.  You can also take a shared taxi service to Vinales from Havana.  You can take a taxi to Vinales from Havana, or you can make your trip special and take a classic car from Havana to Vinales.  The final option on how to go to Vinales from Havana is to rent a car and drive yourself there.

To make your life easier we’ve gathered the entire Viazul Bus Timetable and prices – and will send it to you in an easy-to-read format.  Click Here to get your copy.

Most visitors to Vinales come to see the landscape of the Vinales Valley – the mogotes, the coffee plantations, and the tobacco plantations.  Others come to visit one of Cuba’s most beautiful beaches, off Cayo Justia, and just 90 minutes further from Vinales.

The quickest way to go to Vinales from Havana is to take a pre-arranged transfer. They’ll pick you (and your luggage) up from either your hotel or casa particular and drop you at your hotel or casa particular in Vinales. You can book a private transfer to Vinales from Havana here.

Taxi from Havana to Vinales

Taking a private taxi to Vinales from Havana is the fastest way to go to Vinales.  It is the most comfortable way to travel. It takes about 2 hours to drive to Vinales from Havana, depending on where you are leaving from in Havana.  You can check prices for Havana to Vinales taxis here.

There are three ways of organizing a taxi to Vinales from Havana

  1. You can prebook a taxi to Vinales from Havana here and pay (safely) online ahead of time – with cancellation up to 24 hours before travel.
  2. You can ask your hotel or Casa Particular owner to book a taxi from Havana to Vinales for you.  It will be *about* the same price as what you pay online, but you will need to pay in cash.  US dollars, Euros, Canadian dollars, or Pounds Sterling will likely be accepted, but you should check.
  3. Find a taxi on the street near where you are staying and negotiate with them, this might be slightly cheaper than the other options.  Or it might not. It depends on your negotiation skills.

The most iconic way to go from Havana to Vinales in a classic car

The most iconic way to travel to Vinales from Havana is to go in a classic car.  You should be aware, however, that this will not be as comfortable as a modern car and it may not have air conditioning.  You can check out classic car trips to Vinales here It may also take a little longer to travel the distance to Vinales from Havana as the speed of the car is likely to be a little slower.  We took an amazing trip to Vinales from Havana in a classic car – complete with an English-speaking driver AND guide and it was fabulous and so educational.  I highly recommend it, especially if you are short on time in Cuba. 

Take a Day Trip from Havana to Vinales

If your time in Havana is limited and you just want to visit Vinales for the day, then you can take a day trip to Vinales from Havana.  The easiest way to do this is to prebook – you’ll get an air-conditioned car that picks you up from your Havana accommodation and takes you to the main tourist areas in Vinales, as well as a few more stops along the way.  There are more details about what you’ll see here.  You can also book this trip and cancel up to 24 hours before travel in case of issues.

A day trip to Vinales from Havana is one of the best Havana Day Trips to take – you can read about others here.

Make an extra special day of it and go in a classic car – you can often choose from a classic car or a classic convertible car (although you’ll want to check the weather – it’s a long drive with the roof down!

Shared Shuttles from Havana to Vinales

You can also book a shared taxi or shared shuttle from Havana to Vinales.  The length of time this takes depends on where you are picked up from in Havana, how many other pick-ups there are, and where you’re all going to in Vinales, but it won’t be much longer than a private transfer.  The cost will also depend on how many are going.  You can lock in a price for a shared transfer from Havana to Vinales here.

If you don’t want to prebook, you can also find a shares colectivo from Havana to Vinales.  The best place to do this is near the Viazul Bus station in Havana.

Bus from Havana to Vinales

***Note that the Viazul Bus is currently NOT running from Havana to Vinales and back**** November 2022 – I’ll update this information when it starts running again.

The Viazul Bus is one of the easiest ways to go from Havana to Vinales.  Buses leave the Viazul bus station in Havana, which is near the Plaza de Revolucion, so you’ll need to get there and check in 1 hour in advance of your bus departure time to confirm your seat.  You can buy Viazul tickets online here, at their website.  You MUST buy your ticket ahead of time to guarantee a seat.  As tourism numbers start to increase again in Cuba, there are rarely, if ever, empty seats on these buses, so book well in advance.  And I recommend that you read our guide to the Viazul bus service here.

The Viazul Bus Station in Vinales is located centrally in Vinales at 63 Salvador Cisneros, Viñales, Cuba

It’s about 112 miles (180 kilometers) by road from Havana to Vinales and the bus from Havana to Vinales is one of the cheapest ways to go from Havana to Vinales.  It takes about 3 hours and 35 minutes to go from Havana to Vinales by bus and there is one bus a day from Havana to Vinales.  There are stops at Las Barrigonas and Pinar del Rio.  The bus from Havana to Vinales leaves Havana at 11:35 am. 

These buses to Vinales from Havana are air-conditioned and you can book online here.  There is NO seat allocation, it is first come first served at the bus station when you board the bus.  It doesn’t matter what it says on your ticket.  Viazul Buses to Vinales from Havana cost US$12.

Rent a Car and Drive from Havana to Vinales

You’re unlikely to be able to rent a car online for your visit to Cuba, but if you want the freedom of traveling when and where you want, then this is the most independent option.  I recommend you read our guide to Cuban Car rental here.

The quickest way to get from Havana to Vinales

The time it will take you to get to Vinales from Havana depends on where you are staying in Havana.  The quickest way is to take a direct transfer or taxi, it takes about 2 hours to drive to Vinales from Havana, depending, of course, on where you are in Havana and how long it takes you to escape the city traffic!  Buses take around 4 hours.  You can book a private transfer from Havana to Vinales here.

The easiest way to go to Vinales from Havana

The easiest way to get from Havana to Vinales again depends on where you are staying in Havana.  It is easiest to get a door-to-door transfer, (you can check the rates here), but it also depends on where you are going to Vinales.  Buses and shared shuttles are reasonably comfortable, but if you’re short on time, then a day trip to Vinales is an easy way to travel.

The cheapest way to go from Havana to Vinales

The cheapest way to get to Vinales from Havana is to take the Viazul Bus – reserve your seats here.

The best way to go from Havana to Vinales

Well, now this depends.  The bus is easy – but you do have to get to the bus station at Plaza de la Revolucion, and then find onward transport in Vinales.  The best way, I think, to go to Havana from Vinales is to book a transfer, or take a Vinales day trip from Havana.

Travel Tips for Exploring Cuba

Final Words on How to Go from Havana to Vinales

There are less than 30,000 permanent residents in Vinales and visiting Vinales from Havana is a delightful escape from the bustle of La Habana. Whether you choose to come to Vinales for a day, or for longer, it’s a lovely place to visit and you won’t regret it.  Be sure not to miss the Los Jazmines viewpoint, the mogotes, and the tobacco plantations as well as at least one of the caves in the area! 

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