There is an airstrip but services are not well developed. There is a train from Havana, which is cheap but has the disadvantage of being very slow with lots of stops and is very dark, so there is a risk of theft. You have to hang on to your bags all the time and take particular care of your pockets in the tunnels. The bus station is reasonably central and all buses use the same terminal. Víazul air-conditioned buses come from Havana on a route that continues to Viñales. On arrival in Pinar del Río you must expect to be hassled by crowds at the bus or train stations, who are touting for your business . Even if you come in by car they will be waiting for you at the road junctions. Young men on bicycles are a particular hazard and very persistent. Always say you have a reservation.
Alvaro Barba airport is on the road to La Coloma, 8 km from town, T48-755542/750106. Domestic flights only and not many of them.
The bus station is on Colón, north of José Martí, near Gómez. It has been recently renovated and is under constant police surveillance. Downstairs for tickets for provincial buses and trucks, upstairs for buses to Havana. A new boulevard has opened at the bus terminal, where you can get a quick meal, lunch for 30 pesos cubanos, just by where the buses from Havana come in. Also a 24-hr café opposite the bus station. Víazul, T48-752572/755255, runs a daily bus service from Havana to Viñales, see page . It stops on request at Las Terrazas and San Diego de los Baños. There are no buses to María La Gorda; you have to get an official transfer from Havana with a package tour or rent a car.
If you get a local peso bus your name has to be on the list. To La Palma, 1730, 2 pesos, Bahía Honda, 1820, 4 pesos, Puerto Esperanza, 1930, 2.60 pesos, Sandino, 1800, 2 pesos, Guane, 2 pesos, Mantua, 3 pesos.
Transtur, Martí 109 near Restaurant La Casona, T48-750104, commercial.pri@ transtur.cu. Distances from Pinar del Río are 157 km to Havana, 159 km to María La Gorda, 103 km to Las Terrazas, 88 km to Soroa, 25 km to Viñales. From Havana to Pinar del Río takes around 2 hrs 50 mins by the highway, 4 hrs 10 mins on the main road. Servi Cupet station on Calle Rafael Morales esq Frank País, on the road to San Juan y Martínez.
Long-distance travel by taxi is possible but you will need very good Spanish to negotiate effectively. Cubataxi has an office in the bus station at Pinar del Río with an a/c waiting room and an officer who can show you a brochure of trips and fares (no English spoken), open 0700-1800 Mon-Sat 0700-1200 Sun. Taxi to Havana bus terminal CUC$100, to María la Gorda CUC$120 (4 passengers), to Viñales CUC$20 one way, CUC$60 round trip with waiting time.
The railway station in Pinar del Río is on Av Comandante Pinares, T48-752106/752272. From Havana at 2140, arriving at 0310. Take a torch, hang on to your luggage, don’t sleep, noisy, train stops about 29 times, very slow. The line continues to Guane, CUC$3, 1830. Trains to Havana leave at 0800 on alternate days, and cost CUC$7. There is also an overcrowded train to Bailén for the beach, departs 0720, returns 1630, 2 pesos cubanos.