Are there Buses for Tourists in the Caribbean?

Ride a bus with the locals for a taste of authentic Caribbean culture

Photo credit: © Chaloos

Caribbean Buses

Depending on which country you visit, riding a bus can be a cultural experience worth having or the least reliable option to choose with regards to local transportation in the Caribbean.  Fortunately, this service is almost always the most inexpensive choice, so even if you don't get quiet the service you'd hope for, you aren't breaking the bank getting from one destination to the next.

Some Caribbean islands have very good bus services, while others have none at all. Larger cities and more developed countries tend to have the best public transportation services. If you have the chance to hop aboard, riding a bus will help you experience local culture. It can also be an excellent way to keep your vacation costs down.

Here's what you can expect to find in the Caribbean in the way of bus travel:

  • Generally buses run between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday, with limited to no service on Sundays.

  • Bus services are usually inexpensive--rarely more than $0.50(USD) to $3(USD) per person.

  • Just like taxis, buses sometimes have designations on their license plates.

  • Some buses are converted minivans, which drivers may want to pack full before departing.

  • You may see both public and private buses -- private buses can cost much more but may also be more reliable.

  • Some islands have multiple styles of buses. You may ride a guagua or a público on the same island.

  • Buses sometimes do not visit resort areas of islands.

  • Sometimes drivers may be willing to make undesignated stops if there is no disagreement on the bus.

  • Some buses also offer tour options so you can shuttle to multiple tourist spots on an island.

  • Many buses throughout the Caribbean stop for passengers on the side of the road. Signal one by holding your hand palm down and patting the air.

Of all of the transportation options to consider when you visit the Caribbean, buses are the biggest wild card.  To get a better idea of what to expect, it is best to take some time to research the most reliable destinations before deciding public transport is how you'll get around.


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