advertisement

By Plane -- The nearest airport is Varadero's Juan Gualberto Gómez International Airport (tel. 45/24-7015; airport code VRA), located more or less midway between Varadero and Matanzas. See "Varadero," below, for more information.

By Bus -- The bus station is located at the corner of Calzada de Esteban and Calle Terry. Víazul (tel. 7/881-1413 in Havana, or 45/29-1473 in Matanzas; www.viazul.com) has three buses daily for Varadero, stopping in Matanzas to drop off and pick up passengers. The buses depart Havana daily at 8am, 10am, noon, and 6pm. The trip takes about 2 hours to Matanzas, and the one-way fare is CUC$7. The return bus for Havana leaves Matanzas at 8:55am, 12:15pm, 4:25pm, and 6:50pm.

By Train -- One interesting alternative means of reaching Matanzas is the Hershey Train, a legacy of the famous chocolate company's formerly vast network of sugar plantations in Cuba. This slow-moving electric train leaves from Havana's Casablanca Station (tel. 7/862-4805). The Hershey Train station in Matanzas is located at Calle 67, in Reparto Versalles, just north of the Río Yumurí (tel. 45/24-7254). This scenic trip takes between 3 and 4 hours, making numerous stops, and costs CUC$3. There are three departures daily in each direction, leaving more or less simultaneously from each terminal station at roughly 5am, 11:30am, and 5pm. However, the train rairly departs regularly each day because of deteriorated service; call ahead to find out the schedule.

By Car -- Matanzas is connected to Havana by a modern coastal highway, the Vía Blanca, which begins as you exit the tunnel connecting La Habana Vieja with Habana del Este. It's a straight shot and scenic drive that generally takes around 90 minutes.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.