Even if you want mainly a Havana holiday, day trips from Havana makes sure you get "the best of both worlds"! Cuba is so much more than Havana!

Are you more of a city sleek, preferring to keep to the infamous Havana on your Cuba holiday but would also like to get a sneak peek at what is on outside of the city limits? Day trips from Havana are the answer!

Don’t worry, there are numerous day trips from Havana you can embark on without losing any of the sizzling Havana nights, here is how to do it!

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Best Day Trips From Havana

Havana is located on the northwestern part of the Cuban main island, and from here you can easily explore Havana province, as well as Vinales and Varadero which both are a couple of hours away.

If you don’t mind getting up really early, you can also reach famous places like Santa Clara, Trinidad, and Cienfuegos, and visit the Bay of Pigs (you know, the US invasion gone horribly wrong in the 60ies) on a day trip from Havana.

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Best Way To Do Day Trips From Havana

You have several options for doing day trips from Havana, you can go by yourself, or with a group. By yourself, you can get a Viazul bus (which takes a bit of time, and you are bound to the schedule).

Get a taxi privado or collectivo (faster, a bit pricier), or lastly, join an organized tour that picks you up and drops you off back home.

Also read: 10 Reasons To Spend Your Honeymoon In Cuba 2023!

Choose between 10 perfect day trips from Havana Cuba!
Make sure you do a classic car tour when in Havana!

Cuba excursions from Havana range from short day trips to multi-day trips if you prefer to have everything organized.

This might be a good idea in Cuba, as organizing details like transport and tickets might not be available online.

Also read: Where To Stay In Havana? Best Hotels, Neighborhoods And Areas 2022!

Day Trips In Havana And Surroundings

If you prefer to stay close to the city and don’t really want a lot of transport time, there are tons of interesting things to explore within Havana Province.

When you have walked the streets and taken in the ambiance of Old Havana, make sure you know all the available things you should experience outside the city walls!

1. Beach Trip To Playa Del Este

A short guagua-trip (bus) away you find Playas del Este, a string of beaches stretching along the shores a bit east of Havana.

Here is where Cubans go to enjoy the Caribbean surf, and there are not too many tourists here.

Also read: 18 Of The Unquestionably Best Beaches In Cuba 2022!

You can do a day trip from Havana to Playas del Este, a string of beautiful beaches just 20-30 minutes outside of Havana!
Playa del Este in July 2022!

Also, there are not a lot of beach bars, restaurants, and amenities, so for a day out here, you are smart to bring all food, drinks, and sunscreen you need and be self-sufficient!

You can catch the bus to Playas del Este from Parque Central at the edge of Old Havana, or get a taxi that will take you there, and pick you up when you are ready to call it a day!

Or, ride in style with a Classic Old American Car!

Also read: 33+ Legendary Things To Do In Havana | Ultimate Guide 2022!

2. Hemingways Home The Finca Vigia!

Just outside Havana city is the Finca Vigia; the house where Hemingway spent decades of his life!

Finca Vigia is located in the small, working-class town of San Francisco de Paula around 15 miles outside of Havana, and Hemingway bought this incredible house in 1940 for just over $12.000!

Hemingways beloved house the Finca Vigia in Havana

From the patio, there is an uninterrupted view of Havana, which Hemingway got to enjoy until his death in 1961 when the Cuban government took over the property.

The Finca Vigia is a museum today, and you can get to see it for $5. To get there, you can get the guagua, the local bus, to Cojimar, which is super cheap and takes around 40-45 minutes.

The Cuban transport system is not great though, so prepare for a lot of waiting and queues.

The easier option is to get a taxi to take you there and back, which will be 10-15 minutes. Or join an organized tour that picks you up and drops you off – and will tell you all the stories and anecdotes on the way!

3. Marina Hemingway West Of Havana

The Marina Hemingway to the west of Havana has long channels and docks for visiting boats, and the marina is home to several international events.

Like the Ernest Hemingway International Needle Fishing Tournament which has happened every year in May since it started in 1950!

Even without embarking on competitions, you can go deep-sea fishing from the marina, and do catamaran day trips, scuba diving, and snorkeling trips along the beautiful Cuban coastline.

The marina also rents out equipment like kayaks and kites for surfing, and if this is all new to you, you can book an instructor to go with it.

There are also a variety of restaurants where you can explore creole cuisine, so your day at Marina Hemingway will not lack anything!

Also read: Create Awesome Solo Holidays In Cuba 2022!

4. Day Trips From Havana To Vinales

Among the easiest day trips from Havana you can choose from, is lush green Vinales, only a couple of hours to the west!
The incredibly fertile and green Vinales Valley

Vinales Valley lies to the west of Havana, a couple of hours in a taxi, or three and a half hours on the Viazul bus ($12 online booking).

Getting a day trip from Havana to Vinales is super easy, and a great way to see the highlights of the UNESCO-protected valley!

If you want to get a taxi, you can book one for yourself, which is called a taxi privado in Cuba. This is opposed to a taxi collectivo, a taxi you share with other people. This might be your group of friends, or other travelers heading for the same destination as you.

Also read: Sensational 7 Days In Cuba Itinerary 2022!

When in Vinales, you will get to experience how they make the famous Cuban cigars, taste Cuban rum, and even go horseback riding if you want!
The tobacco drying barns in Vinales
Want To Organize The Day Tour To Vinales Yourself?

Your host or hotel will be happy to help you do a booking with either if you don’t want to find one and negotiate a price for yourself (which can be a challenge for a non-Cuban)!

If you go by yourself, you are free to choose the most interesting things to do in Vinales, like hiking, rock climbing, horseback riding, zipline, or caving just to mention a few!

You can also choose an organized day trip from Havana to Vinales, that will show you the highlights of the valley, and you will be back in the city for a night out.

This will include visiting a tobacco farm, testing Cuban cigars and rum, and the Cueva del Indio (spectacular!). Go see the Mural de la Prehistoria (mural painted in the 60ies), as well as lunch, and stories and anecdotes from your tour guide.

Distance From Havana To Vinales

Vinales is 93 miles away from Havana, and the roads between the two cities are quite good.

Getting up a bit early in the morning and returning late at night will get you the highlights of Vinales on one day trip. If you chose the organized tour, you can always opt for jumping the tour at the end of the day and staying over!

Then get the Viazul bus back to Havana the next day or whenever you are ready.

Also read: How To Get A Tourist Card For Cuba 2022!

Want To Stay Over?

5. Varadero Day Trips From Havana

Another of the easy day trips from Havana you can do, is visit the Varadero peninsula! Nothing but all-inclusive resorts, palms and beaches for as long as your eye can see.

Paradisiacal peninsula Varadero lies a couple of hours to the east of Havana, famous for its all-inclusive resort, prize-awarded Varadero beach, and brilliant Caribbean ambiance.

Apart from heading into the resort bubble, Varadero also has a variety of activities and sights to offer!

You can go caving, snorkeling, scuba diving, hiking, take a classic car tour, get on the hop-on hop-off bus, or walk the streets of Varadero Town.

You can also catch the Viazul bus at 8:30 for $12, leaving from the Omnibus Station in Havana.

Also read: 19 Best Things To Do In Varadero Cuba 2022!

Even by doing one of the day trips from Havana to Varadero you still have time to find a few hours of peace somewhere along the neverending stretches of white sand!
Paradisiacal Varadero beaches

Among the Caribbean-inspired activities to do in Varadero to whisk you away are of course spending the day on the beach, or on a catamaran snorkeling the crystal clear waters, or opt for scuba diving if that is your passion!

On land, you can do classic car tours, test the Cuban cigars and rum, hike in a protected natural reserve, and visit the dolphinarium located in a huge natural mangrove.

Or you can just enjoy Varadero town with markets and restaurants (which is only about 60 seconds from the famous and award-winning Varadero beach!).

Want To Stay Over?

Day Trips To Havana From Varadero

If you prefer to spend the majority of your holiday close to the beach and pools, you can also opt for a day trip from Varadero to Havana.

I do though, recommend you don’t skip visiting Havana completely during your Cuba holiday!

Also Read: How To Easily Travel To Cuba From The US 2022!

Strolling through Havana, dont miss the venerable Prado avenue, ending up by the Malecon, with a perfect view over to the old fortress El Morro across the Havana Bay.
Havanas El Morro fortress from El Prado avenue

The current bus schedule is not great for the day tour option (unless you stay a night or two), so a taxi or an organized tour to Havana would probably be smart in this case.

Your hotel or host can help you book a private taxi for the day, which gives you the freedom to go wherever and see whatever you want in Havana. Or opt for an organized tour, which will be a mixture of planned activities, and free time to explore on your own!

6. Cienfuegos Cuba Tours

Cienfuegos, La Perla del Sud, is one of the few cities in Cuba that has more French influence than Spanish, as the city was inhabited by Frenchmen for a long period of time.

Travel from Havana to Cienfuegos is a 230 kilometers trip that takes about three hours in a car or taxi, but almost seven by bus!

So if you want to visit Cienfuegos from Havana for one day only, the best option would be to book a taxi for the day.

Also read: Why Solo Female Travel To Cuba Is Very Safe 2022!

Although a bit longer distance, it is absolutely possible to make one of  your day trips from Havana Cienfuegos city, also called La Perla del Sud!
Jose Marti Park in Cienfuegos on the southern coast

Cienfuegos was founded in 1819 by a French emigrant, don Luis D’Clouet, and its architecture mirrors this with the many classical facades and columns providing an atmosphere you would find in 19th-century France!

The city was an important trade port back in the day, and today you can still enjoy the wide avenues, shops, and restaurants, and the location right on the southern coast of Cuba with beaches and palms

Want To Stay Over?

7. The World Famous Bay Of Pigs!

While in Cienfuegos you are well advised to make the small detour to see the Bay of Pigs or Playa Giron. This was the center point of the failed US-backed invasion by Cuban exiles that went horribly wrong in 1962.

Today this is a sleepy little town next to a tranquil beach, but the remnants of the invasion are still there.

Also read: Internet In Cuba | Is There Wifi In Cuba 2022?

The small museum of the failed invasion of the Bay of Pigs in 1961 tells the grand story of what happened - from the Cuban perspective.
Outside the museum over the failed US invasion of Cuba in 1961

A small museum presenting the dramatic events from the Cuban perspective is an interesting place to stop by, and the scenic route drive along the southern coast is also an extra perk!

Stop wherever for a quick swim in the glass-clear waters of Cuba!

8. Journey To The Revolution | Santa Clara Cuba

Infamous revolutionary Che Guevara and companion Emilo Cienfuegos spent December 1958 in Santa Clara fighting the soldiers of President Batista.

The Che Guevara Mausoleum in Santa Clara Cuba

Santa Clara is full of memorabilia, signs, and symbols of this particular event, and is also the home of a spectacular mausoleum where Che Guevara is laid to rest.

On New Year’s Eve, their final victory over Batista forces was the single most important incident that led to the Cuban revolution, and 60 years of socialist rule under Castro in Cuba.

The view from Loma del Capiro Hill in Santa Clara

Visit the Loma del Capiro hill, enjoy the spectacular view, and see where Che Guevara held a stance for a while before conquering the city and securing the revolution!

An hour and a half from Santa Clara you can also reach one of the famous Cuban keys, Cayo Santa Maria! A triplet of islands completely dedicated to all-inclusive hotels, beaches, and leisurely life.

Want To Stay Over?

9. Day Trips To Trinidad

Colonial snapshot and UNESCO-protected city Trinidad is a unique testament to colonial Cuba, as it has hardly changed for centuries!

The view of Trinidad Cuba

As Cuba was priced out of the sugar trade, this all-sugar town lost its momentum, and became a quiet backwater in Cuba, sleeping while modernization continued in other places on the island.

Because of this, Trinidad today is like a rare screenshot of what the city looked like in its trade glory days.

You can visit museums, remnants of the sugar aristocracy, the dark history of the slave trade, as well as admire the unique architecture in the old city.

Traveling to Trinidad by car would take you around four hours, and is not the best option for a day trip – but it can be done! The only feasible option would be to book a taxi for the day and set off early in the morning.

Also read: Money In Cuba | What Is The Currency In Cuba 2022?

Famous Playa Ancon beach outside of Trinidad!

Ten fifteen minutes outside of the city is also the famous Playa Ancon beach, where, like everywhere else along the Cuban coast, you can lounge in a beach chair or lazily dip your toes in the Caribbean sea!

Want To Stay Over?

10. Short Round Trips In Cuba

You might want to consider joining one of the shorter round trips in Cuba to experience some more of the island during your Havana holiday if you have the time!

Guided Tours In Cuba!

To avoid any hassle with organizing transport and planning the trip, you can also opt for organized shorter tours. Or combine this with your own adventures if you want to.

Getting Around Cuba!

Only setting aside a couple of days would do a lot, make you able to take the Viazul bus all or part of the distance, maybe in combination with a taxi.

For getting around Cuba, you can book the Viazul bus securely online in advance, and there are also options to pre-book taxis for certain distances.

Check out Taxi in Cuba, or My Cuban Taxi to research destinations and prices!

This way you can tailor your own day trip or round trip from Havana, covering a lot of sights and distances if you don’t want to miss out within a short time frame!

Day Trip To Havana!

Places like Varadero, the Cuban Keys, or Trinidad will offer exactly that, but maybe you still don’t want to miss checking out the Cuban capital?

After all, Havana is one of the most famous places in the world!

If you prefer to spend your holiday close to the beach and pools, you can opt for a day trip from Varadero to Havana. I really recommend you don’t skip visiting Havana completely during your Cuba holiday!

Strolling through Havana, dont miss the venerable Prado avenue, ending up by the Malecon, with a perfect view over to the old fortress El Morro across the Havana Bay.
Havanas El Morro fortress from El Prado avenue

If your idea of a Cuba holiday is centered around the Caribbean beaches, lounging poolside spending your time forgetting your work password, that is more than ok!

The current bus schedule is not great for the day tour option from Varadero to Havana (unless you stay a night or two), so a taxi or an organized tour to Havana would probably be smart in this case.

On this Havana day trip from Varadero, you will get to stroll around Old Havana, visit the waterholes of famous writer Hemingway.

Also read: Brilliant Cuba Tips For Travel 2022 You Need To Know!

Get yourself a coconut drink under the Varadero Beach parasol!

You will have time to see the magnificent El Capotolio building (which looks like the white house but is inspired by the Pantheon in Paris).

Visit various museums, the Malecon boardwalk, and the modern parts of Havana; El Vedado with its avenues and parks.

Not Booked Yet? Research Flight Prices Here!

Wrap-Up Wonderful Day Trips From Havana Cuba!

There is no other way to say it, exploring Cuba is simply not done in a day, or in a week for that matter. But if you are on a schedule, and still have decided to come, I certainly want to help you make the most of it!

Fear not, there are day trips from several beach havens to Havana, if you don’t mind a bit of transport time and plan to make the most of it!

Who knows, maybe you even decide to come back some other time once you have had a taste of it? Let’s see what your options are here!

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