How to Book the Viazul Bus in Cuba – [Viazul 2020 Bus Cuba Guide]



As a tourist in Cuba, your main mode of transport is likely to be the Cuba Viazul bus network.  The Viazul Cuba Bus network is specifically designed for tourists to get to various points around the country.  However, in recent years the number of tourists arriving in Cuba has sharply increased.  The number of Viazul buses available hasn’t.  Here’s our ultimate guide to the Cuba Viazul Bus Service.

Viazul have FINALLY updated their schedules for 2020 (as of February 11th 2020) and state that the timetables are valid until 31 July 2020.   Read on to find out how to book buses in the meantime.    You can also sign up (see below) and we will send you a copy of the updated Viazul bus timetable.

We’ve also included an alternative online booking service for the Viazul bus in Cuba, read on to find out more!

What changed in Viazul in 2020 from 2019?

  • The Havana to Baracoa route (and return) has been removed
  • There is a new route from Havana to Guantanamo has been added, but you can’t seem to book it online. This may change, as its not bookable online we haven’t included this in this timetable, if that changes we will add it in.
  • There has been some reduction in service (lesser number of buses between Havana and Trinidad)
  • Durations of some routes have changed – they have increased slightly, usually by 10-15 minutes
  • Prices remain the same from 2019 to 2020


Viazul Bus 2020 Cuba Guide

You can visit the Viazul Bus Cuba website and see all their Cuba bus routes – or complete the following and we’ll send you a PDF copy of the Viazul 2020 timetable valid from February 2020 and this guide.  (PS you’re going to want to do this before you arrive in Cuba > here are more things you need to do before you arrive in Cuba too).

Just want to buy a Viazul bus ticket?

If you just want to book the Viazul bus in Cuba the EASIEST WAY – then use this link and our partners will go into the local Viazul office and buy tickets for you.  You don’t pay until they’ve confirmed that the Viazul tickets are available.

Get the Viazul Bus Timetable BEFORE you arrive in Cuba.

You will probably want to do this before you arrive in Cuba.  If you need to read more about Internet Access in Cuba in 2020, we put a great guide together.  So when you log on and find that the route that you want is not available, then don’t panic.  But, as with everything else in Cuba, contemplate other options.

You can find all the Viazul Bus routes in 2020 online at – BUT you have to search each individual route.  We’ve made it easy for you and have a download of all those timetables stored in our subscriber area.  We also include the individual Viazul route maps.  We check and update this every 60 days, but in reality the timetable only changes once a year. (at the end of the calendar year).

Use our sign-up form below and we’ll send you the full timetable.  Our Viazul timetable 2020 download also includes the Viazul routes that the buses take, so you can see which towns and cities they go through.

How to Book Viazul Bus Cuba Tickets

It is imperative to make Viazul booking in advance.  Unless you are very, very lucky you will be unlikely to get a seat if you just turn up.   In fact if you are trying to book a bus with FOUR (4) days or less notice you are unlikely to find a seat.  It is imperative with Viazul to book in advance, the further ahead of time the better.  So, one of the first things that you should do when planning your trip to Cuba is get on with booking a Viazul bus.  Here’s how:

How to Book Viazul Bus Tickets Online with Viazul

The simplest way to book your Viazul bus is to do it online.  The website is available in English and Spanish and works pretty well.  That said, Viazul Cuba only releases a small number of tickets for each route online.  If you can’t see availability that does NOT mean that the bus is sold out, it just means that the online allocation has been sold.  In the past this meant that your only option was to wait until you arrived in Cuba to try and buy your Viazul tickets.  That is no longer the case.   Read on for more details.

If you’re booking ANY  tickets online you really should fire up a VPN before putting any of your personal details into any site.  And especially if you’re using a public wifi connection.

    • Get the best VPN that we’ve found – that works very well in China, Turkmenistan & Cuba.  This link gives you up to 49% off RRP as a reader of ASocialNomad.

VIazul Bus Online Timetable

The best thing about the Viazul bus is that it gives you the routes that the buses take from say, Havana to Santiago de Cuba.  So you can figure out if you’re likely to be able to get from, say Playa Giron to Trinidad.  And when.  Having some knowledge of the routes is IMPERATIVE especially when you need to figure out an alternative to your original plan.

You should also try and book at least your first night in Cuba in advance, while you get the lay of the land.  Check out the best Casa Particulars and Hotels that you can prebook here.

Register on the Viazul Website

You must create a registration on the site in order to attempt to book the tickets.  It’s not possible to even see availability until you login to the site.  You need to input your passport number and details into the website in order to create a login.  It is a simple step through process, so I won’t repeat it on here.  Here’s the link to register.  You can also get it from the home page.

VIazul Bus Registration required


You will at this point be putting in your date of birth and passport details.  If you’re connecting to any site via public wifi you should also fire up a VPN.


The Viazul website has all the details and prices in US dollars or Euros.  If there are seats available you can pay online, print your tickets and then turn up for the “check in process” an hour before the bus departs.

The registration is simple.  Follow the instructions online.  Booking Viazul online tickets is similar, and it’s very obvious if there are no seats available to be booked online.


Our Alternate Online Viazul Bus Ticket Booking Recommendation

Since June 2019 we have been working with zunzuncar and are now offering a service where you can book the Viazul bus, even when the online allocation of tickets has been exhausted.    Here’s how to book your Viazul bus tickets when Viazul says there are none left.

It is really important to note that if you are trying to book at bus that is leaving within the next FOUR (4) days, then it is VERY unlikely that this will be possible, even with the services of Zunzun, or if you were there in person.  (Note this 4 day figure comes from on the ground discussions with the Zunzun team in Cuba, we’ll update it if and when it changes).  If thisis the situation you find yourself in, then we recommend you book a colectivo or private transfer instead.

Zunzuncar also provides private car and driver options – so if there are no Viazul tickets available, then you’ll be offered the driver option too.   Zunzun works directly with local Cubans to provide this service.

  1. Go to zunzuncar
  2. Click to make a booking
  3. Select your date – if you have a specific time requirement add this in.
  4. Select where you want to depart from (pick up)
  5. Select where you want to arrive (drop off)
  6. Select how many people are travelling.  If there are more than 2 people, it is often cheaper to have a private car and driver – and zunzun will offer this option to you
  7. Remember if the bus you are wanting to book leaves in four days or less, it will likely be impossible to get a ticket for you.  A colectivo or private transfer will be a better option.
  8. Select find a transfer (even if you simply want bus tickets)
  9. If Viazul have a route, then the times of that route will be displayed in the departure time.   If there is no Viazul route, then you will see the car and driver options.
  10. Select your chosen transport option
  11. Then if there is more than one bus running that day you will need to select which timed departure you want.
  12. If you want a return, then one you check the return box, you’ll have to put in your return dates.
  13. Zunzunsend you an email asking for a) your nationality, date of birth & passport number (necessary for the booking) b) the name, address and phone number of the casa where you’d like your physical ticket delivered.
  14. Once you reply to that your card is authorised your card although the card is not charged until the ticket has been bought).
  15. Once the Vizul ticket has been bought you will be sent an email copy of it.
  16. Your Viazul ticket is physically delivered to your casa before you travel (in Havana, Santa Clara or Santiago) or you have the digital copy only if you leave from elsewhere


How buying Viazul tickets this way works.

It’s a simple process.  The team at zunzun work with locals in Cuba who will go to the Viazul offices and buy your tickets for you.  Book your tickets now.  That’s why they need your passport/ID details, as all tickets require this information to be purhcased.  They will then deliver your Viazul bus tickets to your Casa Particular or Hotel ready for your arrival in Cuba.

Does this buying Viazul tickets this way cost more?

Yes it does.  And we want to be totally transparent about this. You will see the total cost of the tickets in the zunzun system and their costs include the labour costs of their team going to the Viazul offices, buying your ticket and then delivering it to your Casa Particular or hotel.  The additional cost per ticket is US$10 at this time.  This additional fee pays for the time taken to purchase, to deliver your ticket and transaction fees.  Check out your Viazul options now

We think this is a fabulous service, delivered through partnership with local, in country Cubans to make your travel to Cuba a better experience!

Booking your Viazul Bus at a Viazul Bus Station

You’ll probably arrive in Cuba in Havana or Varadero.  And it is most likely you will want to travel from Havana to Varadero or Varadero to Havana at some point in your trip.  This is the Viazul Bus route with the most options – and the most taxis waiting outside the Viazul bus stations too!.

We recommend that you download for your trip to Cuba, the locations of the Viazul bus terminals are accurate on the app.

So if you arrive into Havana, get yourself to the Viazul bus station, Havana and book your tickets in person. (its easier to take a taxi to get there).  ASAP.  They’re generally open to sell tickets from 0830 until 1630.  Be prepared to stand in a line.  It will likely be noisy and unless you’re proficient in Spanish, it will be stressful.

Viazul Station Havana

In order to buy your tickets, your best bet is to write down the following

  1. Route that you require
  2. Date (and time) that you require
  3. Number of tickets
  4. Full name of passengers (per passport).

VIazul Bus Write down your booking (1)

You may be asked for your passport – we were NOT, but we’d written down all the details above and handed over the paper to the ticket seller.  (I had the names on a second sheet of paper).  If the ticket seller speaks English it is limited.  So embrace your Spanish and if all else fails, write it down!

Where is the Viazul Bus Station Havana?

The Havana Viazul Bus Station is in Plaza de La Revolution Havana.    The address of the new Viazul Station Havana is Estación central de ómnibus Nacionales, Ave Independencia #101, esq. 19 de Mayo, Havana.

Viazul Bus Timetables

The timetables online are accurate.  Uncannily the buses run to time, so you can generally rely on getting in when it says it will.   There will also be a timetable displayed in each bus station that you go to, printed or hand written.  They are posted up in prominent places and they don’t change very often.  Timetables for Cuban buses will detail the options from that particular office.  This is the timetable posted in the Viazul Varadero office.

VIazul Bus Timetable Varadero

If you’d like a full copy of Viazul Buses Cuba and timetables valid for 2020 , then use our sign up form and we will email it to you – when the 2020 Viazul Timetables are published we’ll also send you a copy of the new timetable.

How much are Viazul Bus Tickets?

Viazul publishes the ticket prices on their website.  A shared taxi (collectivo) will cost round about the same amount as a Viazul bus, but budget another 25%.  Shared taxi costs are usually per person, unless you negotiate for the whole car.

Viazul Bus Tickets Prices – February 2020:

  • Viazul Havana to Varadero –  10 CUC
  • Viazul Havana to Viñales –  12 CUC > check out our guide of what to do in Vinales here
  • Viazul Havana to Trinidad – 24 CUC > read about things to do in Trinidad here
  • Viazul Havana to Playa Giron – 13 CUC
  • Viazul Havana to Cienfuegos – 20 CUC
  • Viazul Havana to Baracoa – 66 CUC
  • Viazul Havana to Holguin – 44 CUC
  • Viazul Havana to Guantanamo – 57 CUC
  • Viazul Havana to Camaguey – 33 CUC
  • Viazul Havana to Sancti Spiritus  – 23 CUC
  • Viazul Havana to Santa Clara – 18 CUC
  • Viazul Havana to Santiago de Cuba – 51 CUC
  • Viazul Vinales to Trinidad – 37 CUC
  • Viazul Baracoa to Santiago de Cuba – 15 CUC
  • Viazul Cayo Santa Maria to Trinidad – 20 CUC
  • Viazul Varadero to Trinidad – 20 CUC

No seats available on that Viazul bus?

This is when you need knowledge of the alternatives.  It is extremely unlikely that the information on when the next available seat or an alternative route is going to be given to you.  You’ll have to ask when the next free seat is.  Or if it’s possible to go a different place.   The reason for this is that the person on the other side of the ticket counter doesn’t have that information available.


They work off a DOS based computer screen.  Each time they want information about seat availability, they have to input codes to ask about a specific time and route.  It’s horrific.  I’m amazed these people retain their sanity.  Mind you I suppose its job security.

Here’s what their screen looks like.

VIazul Bus Ticket Seller Screen

So that’s why you need to know what your other options are.  So you can reel off another 6 different options.  And that’s why you need to book your tickets as early as possible.

Our Experience Booking Viazul Bus Tickets

A successful experience

On arrival in Havana at the end of April 2017, we went in person to the Viazul offices in Havana (having already explored the sold out tickets online while in Mexico).  We had three lots of buses mapped out – all within the following two weeks – we got tickets for all the buses that we wanted.

A frustrating experience

Ten days later in Varadero, as we were about to bid goodbye to our family and continue our exploration of Cuba we headed to the Varadero Viazul Bus Station again.  Our family decided to take a taxi as the Varadero to Havana bus was full. We spent 90 minutes in the bus station, going through every possible option to get us from Varadero to Baracoa.  In the end, we lost two days because we had to hang around.  (We headed to Matanzas for this time).

Our final route from Varadero to Baracoa involved getting to Matanzas, then Matanzas to Havana and then Havana to Baracoa, although we did book all the Viazul tickets we required in Varadero for that second leg of our trip.


What does a Viazul bus ticket look like

If you’re old enough to remember dot matrix printers, this is going to be a blast from the past.  If you’re not old enough, then this is going to amuse you.  Here’s what a ticket looks like.  Check your ticket carefully!  And keep it safe.  If you lose it you’re stuffed.  You may be able to get it reprinted if you can prove that the ticket is for you.  There may be a fee. Or you may just end up buying another ticket.

VIazul Bus Ticket

If you’re buying multiple tickets at the same time, they will scroll forward the paper but you’ll probably end up with multiple bus journeys on the same piece of paper.

You will also get a boarding pass (once you have checked in)

VIazul Bus Boarding Pass

Viazul Bus Reservations List

If you can’t buy a ticket, then you might get on the list.  Each bus station office maintains what they euphemistically call a “reservations list”.  This isn’t what you and I would deem a reservation.  They will take no money for the reservation.  They will scribble your name on a piece of paper.  (literally) You will turn up an hour before the bus is due to leave and attempt to pay for your ticket.  If there’s a seat available they will let you pay.  If not, then you’re not getting on the bus.  Being on the VIazul reservations list does NOT guarantee you a seat.  Book your tickets early!  Or you’ll end up in a different location, or in a collectivo.

The Viazul Bus Check in Process

There is a strictly followed procedure for check in on all Viazul buses.

  1.  You are to arrive at least an hour before the bus is due to depart and form a line.  You then hand over your tickets.  Your details are input into the system and you’re presented with “boarding passes”.  They will all have a seat number on them.  The seat numbers are completely irrelevant.
  2. Next, you need to take your luggage and your boarding passes to the luggage counter, where your luggage will be tagged and loaded onto trolleys to be taken to the bus. It’s likely that you’ll be asked for a tip.  You cannot load your own luggage onto the bus.  You do not have to tip.  The service won’t improve if you tip.  It can’t get any worse if you don’t.
  3. Now you need to line up to get onto the bus. Remember I said that the seat numbers on your boarding pass are irrelevant?  That’s why you need to line up.  If there’s more than one of you, you should have split up at the check in process and got into any of the relevant lines.  The seat allocation is a free for all.  And not all seats are equal.

VIazul Bus Check in Havana

Luggage Storage on a Viazul Bus

Once you’ve checked your luggage into the “under the bus storage” you’ll get bag tags for it  Hang onto them.  You *may* need them to retrieve your bags.  Keep your valuables with you, although we didn’t find any problems with petty theft in Cuba, it’s a good habit to have.

There is overhead storage inside the bus and a decent sized day pack will fit up there.

On arrival at your destination (the drivers will call out where you have arrived at), just go to the under bus storage area and point out your bag and hand over your tags.

Viazul Bus Seat Reservation & Selection

Your ticket does not give you a specific seat on a Viazul bus. You simply get a seat on the bus.  Or the floor if it is full.  It’s likely that you’re going to spend several hours on this bus that you’re getting onto.  So follow our guidelines on how to pick your seat.

  1. Get to the front of the line.  If you are not travelling solo, split up, have one person check in and one person join the line for seats.
  2. When you get on the bus check the seat that you get is not broken and doesn’t just fall back into the lap of the person behind. Many are.
  3. Check that the seat in front isn’t broken and doesn’t fall into your lap
  4. Avoid the area around the toilet. Just because.  We had one bus in four weeks with a working toilet (only pee), but they all stank horribly.
  5. Avoid the seats near the TVs. They’ll be on a lot of the way and you get less head room.  (Invest in ear plugs if bad movies aren’t your thing).
  6. The first row of seats will be allocated for the drivers (there are two drivers on each bus) and their friends.
  7. When you get on the bus do a quick count of the number of rows on EACH side of the bus. Seriously, trust me on this one.   Some buses have more rows on one side of the bus than the other.  You will thank me for this when you realise that fewer rows means more leg room.    These buses were not designed for anyone over 1 metre 60 centimetres.  And just because the person in front is short, doesn’t mean that they don’t recline their seat FULLY into you as soon as they feel your kneecap starting to crack.

VIazul Bus inside the bus

Where Viazul Buses Stop

Each bus has two drivers, so one will drive and one acts as a conductor of sorts.  They will *usually* stop every two hours or so and let you off to stretch your legs, get something to eat or drink.   When the stop is at a major town, you will be UNLIKELY able to get off.  The bus won’t be stopping for long, unless the driver specifically tells you so.

These stops on the longer journeys are at specific roadside cafes.   There is PLENTY of time to get something to eat and drink.  There’s always a toilet.  You’ll always have to pay for the toilet.  Keep your smallest, smallest change for this.


If the Viazul Bus is Full.

Don’t worry if there are no seats going to where you want to go.  There are other Cuban transport options and other cuba buses too. There will be a bunch of collective drivers standing around outside the bus station, suggesting that they can take you.  It’s pretty unlikely that you’ll find someone in Havana who will be prepared to take you to Baracoa at the other end of the island, but Santa Clara or Trinidad is on the way and, well once you get there you can try again for the bus.

So there you are.  Our Ultimate Guide to Viazul buses in Cuba.  We hope you’ve made it this far and that you’re already logged onto their website and are booking buses left right and centre.  Let us know if we missed anything.  And after your travel let us know how it was!  Did you spend 18 hours with someone reclined into your lap?


    • Where we stayed in Havana – Casa Rafaela (we LOVED it and Rafaela is amazing)




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About Sarah Carter

Sarah Carter is an avid reader, writer and traveller. She loves hiking, sailing, skiing and exploring the world through food. She left a successful career in IT security and compliance in both the UK and US to travel the world with husband and partner in adventure, Nigel.

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37 thoughts on “How to Book the Viazul Bus in Cuba – [Viazul 2020 Bus Cuba Guide]

  • Julia


    Thank you for the great post! But if I look at the Viazul website right now, some routes seem to be not available anymore.
    For example when I click on the route from Trinidad to Cayo Santa Maria the search engine cannot find any route.
    Are these routes not available anymore in 2018?


    • ASocialNomad Post author

      Wow that was a quick change, I just updated the post last week! I can’t find any routes in or out of Cayo Santa Maria now. It might be that when you get to Trinidad that there is a different local timetable. The great thing about Cuba is that there will always be a way. Your options will be 1) try the Cubancan hotels, they can book you the connectando buses (you can’t book these online and neither are there published schedules). 2) get to Santa Clara and then find a colectivo to Cayo Santa Maria 3) Ask your casa particular in Trinidad (or Santa Clara) to organize a colectivo to Cayo Santa Maria.

      I’ll get the timetables updated again!

    • ASocialNomad Post author

      You should see an optin either in the side bar or within the text, pop your email address in there, and then confirm your subscription and you’ll get a link to download the timetable. Let me know if you have problems.

      • Sophir

        Maybe I’m being blind, but I can’t find the link and would love to have the timetable.
        Thanks for the very useful posts! We fly to Havana from Mexico City in a couple of days! We will never feel prepared enough for this trip!

  • Natasha Maria Knudsen

    Thanks for the post about Viazul. When I try to enter their website, it says “IT WORKS!” and that’s it. I can’t open it. And sometimes it says that it’s not a secured website.
    Do you know if their website is down or if Viazul isnt’ not running anymore?

    Best regards

    • ASocialNomad Post author

      Hi Natasha
      I just tried and it looks like they are havng big problems with their website. The HTTPS part of it never worked for me until you got to payment. Viazul still runs as buses, but their technology isn’t great. It looks like they have made some changes that have not worked. I advise, keep trying, but don’t hold your breath. If you have booked to stay in a Casa Particular ask your Casa owner to check bus availability and possibly book for you. And think of it this way, if you can’t book, neither can anyone else. Good luck i’ll keep checking to see if anything changes and update the post when I get further information.

  • Marcus

    Hey, thanks for such an amazing post letting us see what’s behind the sign up process.

    The Viazul website really is obscure as you have to sign up to get information that should be readily available. Thanks for opening the curtains 🙂

    Also, your explantion is very detailed. Thanks for that!

    About colectivos, what are the prices of shared taxis outside the Viazul station? Are they the same or approx. the same as the bus? Because I cheked and then found (which says it is a shared taxi service) and the prices are much bigger in some routes.


    • ASocialNomad Post author

      Hi Marcus, thanks, it was a labour of love 😉 The only transport that we booked beforehand (apart from the Viazul buses) was a classic car trip from Havanna to Vnales. We found that we could have got it cheaper in person, when we got there by working with our casa owner (however, our trip was amazing and the car was superb). I’ll give you some examples – the bus from Matanzas to Havana was 7 cuc, we ended up just the two of us getting back for 10cuc each. If we’d found another two people it would have been 30 cuc for four of us. Partly depends on your negotiating skills, and partly supply and demand, but the prices will be “roundabout” the same or just slightly higher. If you have four people you’ll get a better rate than 2 people, on a per person basis. We found that asking several people, also walkng a block further away and asking different folks, also helped. You will definitely pay more by pre booking things (which seems illogical for the rest of the world, but here in Cuba, there is more supply on the street than there is online, when you’re online there are more people taking a cut of the money available..). I know that’s not a cut and dried answer, but I hope it helps. It’s definitely best IMHO to chill out, slow down and take life as it comes..hopefully you have time to do that!

  • Mer

    Hello! Thank you for this article!

    I’ve heard from other travellers that booking ahead online doesn’t guarantee your seat. If enough people are ahead of you at the station to fill the bus your pre-bought ticket won’t matter? What is your take on this?

    • ASocialNomad Post author

      You will need to arrive at the bus station and confirm your seat, that it probably what they are talking about – Even if you;ve bought a paper ticket, you need to confirm your seat when you check in at each bus station. 60-90 minutes before its due to depart is usually fine. Unfortunately you can’t just rock up at the last minute. There are four stages to getting on the bus 1) buy your ticket either online or in advance at a station 2) check in 3) check your luggage on (most places they wont let you put your own bags on the bus someone has to do it for you) 4) line up to get on the bus. If there is more than one of your travelling, I advise a person in each line. The seat number printed on your ticket means nothing. Getting to the front of the queue means everything!

  • Francesca

    thank you so much for this post 🙂
    I’m going to visit Cuba on January 2019. On Viazul website is impossible to book bus for 2019.
    When do you think it will be possibile?
    I would like to take my reservation now because January is a such busy period.
    Best Regards

    • ASocialNomad Post author

      Hi Francesca – they only make a small number available to book online, your best bet would be asking your hostel or Casa Particular to book the seats for you – most Casa’s will do this for you – for a small fee, its the best way to guarantee getting a booking! Sarah

  • Barry Lewis

    We’re an adventurous couple, having backpacked around the World for 6 months in 2007 with our children (13 and 14). However, would you recommend hiring a taxi (95 CUC) instead of the Viazul bus (20 CUC for 2 people) to travel from Varadero Airport to Old Havana if money isn’t really an issue? We’re only there from December 29 to January 5 (4 nights Havana, 3 nights Varadero – both in Airbnb accommodations), so we want to minimize hassle and maximize enjoyment!

    • ASocialNomad Post author

      Hi Barry – I really would, if you go for the bus you need to get to the bus station and do all the hanging around associated with it. We put our sister in law in a taxi from a village just outside Varadero to go back to Havan (we got dropped off at Matanzas enroute and it was 45CUC booked through our airbnb host), so its not megabucks and it is way more convenient. The Viazul bus doesnot end up in Old Havana, you’re a 10 CUC taxi into the centre from the bus station, so its well worth the taxi from Varadero!

  • Claus DONAU

    The Viazul service somehow is puzzling. Since three weeks we try to book our backwards tickets from Santiago to Habana on January 2nd. We already have our tickets down on Dec 24th, we have an account, we paid, we received a confirmation. But to book back to the capital was impossible. But to book backwards was impossible. So we‘ve sent an email to the customer service and they said: „Tickets will be available in December. Now it IS already December, but it is still impossible. Again we got in touch with the service desk, and they said: „You vave to book via Internet by doing this and that…“ and so on. We tried again. It failed again. No Jaunuary schedule available. OMG. This is frustrating. We now consider to take a taxi ….

    • ASocialNomad Post author

      I am afraid that they are a law until themselves. I think you can see the system that they work with themselves, it is VERY clunky. Just because there is no ticket available online doesnt mean there is no ticket available (although Jan 2 might be quite busy). Are you staying i a casa particular or hotel? You can ask them to go to the Viazul office and buy you a ticket. In Cuba there is always a way, so you will always be able to arrive at the bus station and there will be taxis waiting, or you can askmyour cas particular for find out how much a taxi to La Habana.

      • Claus Donau

        Hi there
        All in all Viazul is ok – if you have time and power and patience to keep on struggeling. For more than two months (!) they failed to refund a ticket which was bought online and cancelled just-in-time. It took many emails and calls with our credit card company in Zurich and the promise that we would file the Viazul company if they don‘t refund. So my proposal would be: Forget the Viazul-website. Go to the office, buy your ticket, and if you want to change or to cancel go to the office again and don‘t leave until you get what you need. Good luck – and enjoy Cuba anyway, it‘s great! Claus

        • Sarah Carter Post author

          Hi Claus, I agree Viazul a challenge! However, as most people are only in Cuba for a short period of time, buying tickets on arrival often means that there are non available 🙁 – we changed our plans significantly as a result of buying in person, but luckily had a month on the island.

  • Greta

    Thanks for the infienative Article! How strict are their passport controls? I booked a ticket online and just realised that I misspelled my name so now I’m a bit worried that it might get me in trouble. What are your experiences with that?

    • Sarah Carter Post author

      Hallo there – I wouldn’t worry – they checks were cursory to say the least. So long as you have your ticket and then boarding pass I can’t see them making an issue about it. If they do on your first trip, just go to the ticket desk and get them to change it.

  • Karol

    Hello Sarah,

    can you please send me the 2019 Viazul timetable. I registered a week ago but unfortunately I did not get any pdf timetable.

    Thanks in advance

  • norma pugh

    Hi, Thanks for your tips. Is the check in stroke boarding polava process the same from Varadero Airport (to Varadero town)? Ie, an hour’s delay before you get going? If that is the case, I may opt for a taxi, as I don’t have a lot of time in Varadero before travelling on to Havana. I am also looking to get the 8am bus from Varadero to Havana the next morning. Will that be the same polava?? Ie I will have to arrive before 7 am to get all checking in. I am planning to buy ticket(s) online beforehand. (travel is 4 weeks away yet).
    Also, as an aside, can one easily buy CUCs at Varadero airport??? Anyone?
    thanks Norma

    • Sarah Carter Post author

      Hi there Norma – I’m afraid that its the same everywhere – that you have to be there the hour beforehand, which is a big pain. And on CUC at Varadero airport, yes you can!

  • Olga Klassen

    Dear Sarah,
    thank you very much for all the helpful informations. Maybe you can help me with a question. I try to book a ticket from Vinales tu Trinidad. For July there are no tickets available online. Does this mean there are no tickets left? Or do you know another way to travel this route? And do you think its possible to go this big distance by collectiv taxi?
    Thank you very much!

    • Sarah Carter Post author

      Hi Olga – Viazul only release a small number of tickets to be sold online, there are definitely more tickets available – I’ve just started working with a new supplier who is selling a service to go and buy tickets on your behalf for the routes and times that you want. I have literally just signed this deal, so will send you an email about it as I haven’t got it written up yet! They also offer prices on colectivos as well for this route. Expect an email from me! Sarah

      • Jenny Waggoner

        Hi Sarah,
        I have also looked online to book different bus tickets but they are only showing August, nothing for July. If you could send me some info. on your new supplier as well, I would be very grateful.
        Thank you!

        • Sarah Carter Post author

          Hi Jenny – sorry for the delay, I’ve sent you an email with the details. I hope to get it written up as a new post in the next day or so, but had to move house, and got a little delayed! The email details what you need to do. Sarah

  • Alisha


    There are no more tickets left on the ViaAzul website therefore I have looked into the zunzuncar website for an alternative way to get to Havana from Varadero. The option that appeals to me the most is the shared Viazul transfer one way for 20 CUC Per passenger. However the timings do not match the times on the Viazul website? Im just confused as to how this would be a shard transfer? Also it asks for all the details beforehand such as passport number, nationality etc. Is this correct? Also if this is a shared transfer how will I know where I am getting picked up from? I am very confused and worried the zunzuncar will not work and I am leaving in 2 days for Varadero.

    I look forward to your reply.

    Thank you


    • Sarah Carter

      Hi there, it ight be that a bus time has changed. Zunzun need your passport and nationality details to go and buy the tickets for you. they won’t charge your card AT ALL until they make a successful purchase. If its a Viazul Bus, then you need to get to the bus station, if you’ve opted for a shared transfer (colectivo) then you’ll need to give them the address of your casa particular. Put all the information in that you can, I’m sure there is a section on the form for that and they will get in touch. The potential issue with the Viazul tickets at this late stage is that there may not be any tickets left, (even to buy in person, which is what they would do for you), and so you may have to take a colectivo with them (or someone else). My feedback from other readers is that if you put all the info in, and there is a problem they get in touch VERY quickly.

  • Jan

    Hello Sophie…
    I had no issues with buying a ticket online for February. But I have several I need to purchase for January. But the January calendar will not appear, and it won’t allow you to type dates in yourself Help!

    • Sarah Carter Post author

      No Worries Jan, I just got online and saw your email as well. It could be that there are no more tickets available online (Viazul only allow a small percentage to be sold online) and tickets for January at this stage are going to be in short supply. – can try buying a ticket for you – theyll go into an office and try and buy it. If that’s not possible then the best option is to either book a shared or private colectivo – you can do that with zunzun too – or turn up at the stations in Cuba and negoatiate with the colectivo drivers there. Hope this helps! Sarah