Question: In April 2011, I will visit Cuba on my first ever trip. Would you please help me on the options for traveling by train or private taxi from Havana to the city of Morón, where I’d like to meet a few fellow Canadians?
Answer: There are several locations in Cuba called Morón, found in the provinces of Ciego de Ávila, Santiago de Cuba, Matanzas and La Habana. We assume you are talking about the Morón that is located about 40 km due north of Ciego de Ávila, surrounded on the north and east by a vast quagmire of sedge, water and reed in the path of major birth migration routes, and on the route to the islet of Cayo Coco, which is visited by many Canadians.
There are five options for travelling from Havana to Morón: airplane, state taxi, private taxi, bus and train. You ask about private taxi or train and these are the two we’ll address here.
State taxis – specifically, Cubataxi, one of the country’s largest – charge CUC 231 for a one way trip from Havana to Morón, which takes between 6-7 hours. Cubataxi can be contacted in Havana at (53 7) 855-5555. Private taxis appear to charge quite a bit more – some private drivers say up to CUC 350 for a one-way trip – as they must pay full rates for fuel whereas the state taxis get special rates. If you want to arrange private transport, you will have to make these arrangements yourself once you’re in Cuba.
You might also want to explore Viazul, a tourist-quality bus (with an on-board toilet) which provides an economical way to travel between Cuba’s main urban centres and tourist areas around the country. A one-way ticket from Havana to the town of Ciego de Ávila costs CUC 27 and the trip takes about 6-7 hours. Once in Ciego de Ávila, you could arrange a local taxi to Morón. Below is the contact information, website and email for the head office and terminal of Viazul in Havana.
Viazul Casa Matriz
Avenida 26 y Zoológico
Ciudad de La Habana, Cuba
Telephones (53 7) 881 1413 or 881-5657 or 881-1108
(extension 101 or 113 for information & reservations)
Fax (53 7) 883 6092
Tickets can be purchased, in person, in the Havana terminal, or you can call them and make a reservation by phone, including receiving your designated seat number, or even make and pay for a reservation online.
As for trains, Ferrocarrilles de Cuba unfortunately does not have an official website. However, a link that provides some useful information is found at www.seat61.com/Cuba.htm which is the website for “Train travel in Cuba – a beginner’s guide.” It includes information on the following:
- Train times for Cuba
- Train fares
- What are Cuban trains like?
- How to buy train tickets
The site contains information that was up to date in October 2010, but also cautions that exact times locally should be checked before travelling. It appears that there is a train to Morón, although you should check out to make sure that it’s the Morón you want!