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Getting around

Bus & tram


Varadero Beach Tour (all-day ticket CUC$5; 9:30am-9pm) is a handy open-top double-decker tourist bus with 45 'hop-on, hop-off' stops linking all the resorts and shopping centers along the length of the peninsula. It passes every half-hour at well-marked stops with route and distance information. You can buy tickets on the bus itself. There's also a free shuttle connecting the three large Meliá resorts.

There are two local bus routes costing 20 centavos a ride: No 47 and 48 from Calle 64 to Santa Marta, south of Varadero on the Autopista Sur; and No 220 from Santa Marta to the east end of the peninsula. You'll spend a lot of time waiting for these to show up. Bus 236 to and from Cárdenas (CUC$1) runs the length of the peninsula and is useful. Most municipal buses around Varadero don't bear a number, and many are special services for hotel employees only. If you're able to converse in Spanish, get information from the Cubans waiting at the bus stops.

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Local transport


Metered tourist taxis charge a CUC$1 starting fee plus CUC$1 per kilometer (same tariff day and night). Coco-taxis (coquitos or huevitos in Cuban) charge less with no starting fee. A taxi to Cárdenas/Habana will be about CUC$20/85 one way. You can phone order taxis by calling Transtur (61 34 15), OK Taxi (66 73 41), Cuba Taxi (61 05 55) or Transgaviota (61 97 62). The last uses large cars if you're traveling with a bike or big luggage. Tourists are not supposed to use the older Lada taxis.

Unofficial taxis with yellow 'particular' license plates face a 1500-peso fine if caught carrying foreigners. Thus you'll seldom be propositioned by private taxi drivers in Varadero itself.

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