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Fly or Drive between Havana and Santiago de Cuba?

Sydney, Australia
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Fly or Drive between Havana and Santiago de Cuba?

We are visiting Cuba for 2 weeks. From Trinidad we would like to travel to Santiago: Should we drive back from Trinidad to Havana and fly from Havana to Santiago? The other option would be driving from Trinidad to Santiago: is this a good option considering the time, sightseeing options (Camaguey Province...) and quality of the roads?

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Panama City, Panama
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1. Re: Fly or Drive between Havana and Santiago de Cuba?

Considering you only have two weeks my advice is not to do both Trinidad and Santiago, if you need to get back to Havana to leave again.

Are you planning to self-drive ?

When are you going ?

Edited: 08 August 2017, 11:20
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Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: Fly or Drive between Havana and Santiago de Cuba?

We are planning to self drive. Going in February 2018. Most itineraries include Vinales, Trinidad and Santiago / Baracoa in 2 weeks... What would you advise?

We are not sure if we should drive from Trinidad to Santiago OR drive back from Trinidad to Havana and then fly from Havana to Santiago.

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Panama City, Panama
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3. Re: Fly or Drive between Havana and Santiago de Cuba?

Most itineraries ? Whose itineraries ? Organised groups that want to rush people around as much as possible to justify the inflated prices that they charge ?

Many of those who know Cuba would advise that with only two weeks, you choose either the eastern end or the western end but don't try to do both.

If you drive from Trinidad to Santiago, that is 9 or 10 hours.

Domestic flights in Cuba are often delayed or cancelled.

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Brisbane, Australia
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4. Re: Fly or Drive between Havana and Santiago de Cuba?

Chaka

If you were intent on hiring a car and driving, I would be arriving in Havana and booking the first possible flight to Santiago de Cuba. We flew on a modern Antanov, left on time, and it was as good as a Virgin/Qantas flight.

Then spend a few days exploring the city and surrounds before hiring your car. We spent 3 weeks and fitted in a few more places than you have listed, but were also occasionally beholden to bus timetables.

If you want to see our itinerary, send me a PM.

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saskatoon
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5. Re: Fly or Drive between Havana and Santiago de Cuba?

Havana, Vinales, Trinidad ,Santiago and Baracoa in 2 weeks is too much. I agree with Beardo to spend 2 weeks in one end of Cuba.

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Brisbane, Australia
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6. Re: Fly or Drive between Havana and Santiago de Cuba?

In 3 weeks of my Cuban holiday last year I added Camaguey and Varadero to Chaka's list of distinations, and our travels were very relaxed.

Chaka can have at least 2 days in each place, which is more than some get on their holidays. Plus, if hiring a car, can travel so as to maximise time at the various destinations, which is not possible when relying on coaches.

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Sydney, Australia
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7. Re: Fly or Drive between Havana and Santiago de Cuba?

We are independent travelers and we have never been to Cuba, this is why we are seeking advice from people who know the place ;)

We have looked online at the suggestions from the usual travel guides and try to customise our own trip... We would like to hire a car after the first couple of days in Havana, there seems to be some available online (quite expensive compared with coaches, but this is the price of freedom!). We would fly back from Baracoa to Havana, and I found also some plane tickets online. The possible itinerary could be in 2 weeks:

- Couple of days in Havana

- Vinales

- Bahia de Cochinos / Diving

- Trinitad

- Drive to Santiago OR drive back to Havana and fly to Santiago

- Baracoa

- Fly from Baracoa to Havana

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Sydney, Australia
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8. Re: Fly or Drive between Havana and Santiago de Cuba?

Rederob, it would be cool to see your itinerary. What is a 'PM'?

9. Re: Fly or Drive between Havana and Santiago de Cuba?

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Panama City, Panama
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10. Re: Fly or Drive between Havana and Santiago de Cuba?

Someone wiser than me has written - "I always say that Cuba is a place to be experienced and not just seen. And that experience builds on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th day you stay in the same place".

I really do not think that Cuba is best experienced by racing from place to place trying to tick off a long list.

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