Cuba & Costa Rica Blog
About this blog
Written by Cuba and Costa Rica expert Christopher P. Baker, this blog will update readers on life in these two diverse and exciting countries.
- Last blog post on Costa Rica and Cuba
- First-ever group motorcycle tours of Cuba successful
- Cuba’s Mariel port readying for Panama Canal expansion
- Musings on wildlife encounters on Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula
- Cuba’s Steam Trains puffing their last gasp
- My top five thrilling activities in Costa Rica
- Cuba’s fun February festivals include Harleys, Books, Cigars
- Five top volcano viewing experiences in Costa Rica
- New road along Costa Rica / Nicaraguan border mired
- Cuba’s Hotel Campoamor at Cojímar to be restored?
- Cuban revolutionary Celia Sánchez honored in new book
- Christmas challenge for Costa Rica’s sexually abused girls
- Costa Rica opens Chinatown in downtown San José
- David Soul films Hemingway’s car restoration in Cuba
- National Geographic Expeditions receives license for Cuba tours
New tourist bus makes Havana sightseeing easy
I'm a walker. I love exploring Havana on foot. After all, I can't research my Moon Cuba from the back of a bus. In any event, Havana's crowded and uncomfortable public buses, or guaguas (pronounced WAH-wahs), have traditionally been for stoics. Now here's the good news...
Since May 2008, Havana now has a double-decker tourist bus service, the "HabananBusTour," perfect for first-time visitors who want to get their bearings and catch the main sights of Havana. Even old-timers like me can get a thrill to riding up top in the open-air, with all the highlights laid out below. Just like sightseeing in London... except warmer! Although there are three routes, the red-and-blue, Chinese-made double-deckers only serve one route. The other two routes are by minibus, which takes away the fun.
It's a good bargain, too. For just $5 convertible pesos (about $6), you can hop on and off the buses as many times as you wish in a day at any of the 44 stops, currently served by a fleet of 12 buses (three are double-deckers) covering 95 miles of route, daily 9am-9pm.
The T1 route (double-decker) begins on the west side of Parque Central and does a kind of figure eight around the perimeter of Habana Vieja, and then through the 20th-century Vedado district as far as Plaza de la Revolucion via the Hotel Habana Libre. At Plaza de la Revolucion you can hop aboard the T2 minibus for a sightseeing tour of Nuevo Vedado and Miramar and as far afield as Marina Hemingway, on the western fringe of the city. The T3 (minibus) is a great way to get out to the Playas del Este beaches.
Hopefully this service, operated by Transtur, will fare better than the similar but short-lived Vaiven bus service, introduced in 2004.