Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > Americas > Cuba
Reload this Page >

Makes sense to head out of town straight from Havana airport?

Makes sense to head out of town straight from Havana airport?

Old Oct 23, 19, 4:50 pm
  #1  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Oakland, California, USA
Programs: AA PLT,AS,UA PP,J6,FB,EY,LH,SQ,HH Dmd,Hyatt Expl,Marriott Plat,IHG Plat,Accor Gold
Posts: 10,512
Question Makes sense to head out of town straight from Havana airport?

Our group of four is thinking about heading out of town to Vinales immediately upon arrival in Havana in late February. A few questions:

1. Right now our flight from Miami is slated to arrive at 4:50 pm. Sunset in late February is about an hour later. I believe we'll just have carry-on bags. About how much time will it take to get through immigration and customs? And then about how much more time for a (pre-arranged) taxi to take us to Vinales - about two hours?

2. Are we better off arriving earlier in the day, or going to Vinales the day after we arrive, to make sure the entire ride is during daylight? And if it's better to avoid taking the taxi at night, why is that? Is it because there's a decent chance of the car breaking down, getting a flat tire, etc. and we're then stuck in the middle of nowhere until the morning? That a driver who doesn't know the casa we're going to might have trouble with the small roads leading to it? The potential for crime? Other reasons?

3. Any problems for the taxi driver to get back to Havana if they drop us off after dark?

We have two U.S. and two British passports, if that makes any difference re time in the airport.

Thanks for any advice.

Last edited by Thunderroad; Oct 24, 19 at 10:28 am
Thunderroad is offline  
Old Oct 25, 19, 10:34 am
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Programs: statusless these days
Posts: 19,736
Though it's the main/national highway between (south of) Havana and Vinales for the most part, the highway isn't in the best shape and the drivers have to do their best to avoid holes in the road, as well as animals and pedestrians. Can't say I've travelled in the dark hours in Cuba but having travelled by car between Vinales and Baracoa, I can see why driving in the dark isn't recommended (used to be the same in a variety of other countries- I am also comfortable with highway night driving, without roadway illumination, but Cuba is one place I would not want to do it).

I would arrive earlier in the day if possible.

addendum:

My route to Vinales was leaving mid morning from the south end of Havana Viejo, out through the west part of Havana and into the autopista to Pinar del Rio and north to VInales. Outbound was back down to Pinar del Rio and following the autopista to the Bay of Pigs turnoff.

Last edited by YVR Cockroach; Oct 25, 19 at 1:17 pm
YVR Cockroach is offline  
Old Feb 19, 20, 3:25 pm
  #3  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Oakland, California, USA
Programs: AA PLT,AS,UA PP,J6,FB,EY,LH,SQ,HH Dmd,Hyatt Expl,Marriott Plat,IHG Plat,Accor Gold
Posts: 10,512
Sorry I never replied to this useful reply, but a belated thanks! Any additional advice would be welcome.
Thunderroad is offline  
Old Mar 11, 20, 9:50 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,667
Originally Posted by Thunderroad View Post
Sorry I never replied to this useful reply, but a belated thanks! Any additional advice would be welcome.
The last stretch of road into Vinales is a narrow twisty road along a cliff. I would not want to be driving (or be driven on) it after dark.
VidaNaPraia is offline  
Old Mar 11, 20, 10:12 am
  #5  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Oakland, California, USA
Programs: AA PLT,AS,UA PP,J6,FB,EY,LH,SQ,HH Dmd,Hyatt Expl,Marriott Plat,IHG Plat,Accor Gold
Posts: 10,512
Thanks. We've since been to Cuba and returned. Great trip! We almost didn't go because of the coronavirus threat, but when we took off (on Feb. 26) it was not as bad as it is now. Glad we went, but would not do it now. (Not because of anything specific to Cuba. It's just that flying and international travel in general isn't advisable now.)

Back to the road trip: We obviously made it safe and sound. But I would not advise anyone else to drive that route at night.
Thunderroad is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: