If you are planning a holiday in Cuba, then the most important choice is for you – how to travel around the island. Traveling alone in Cuba is not easy, so good preparation is really the most important thing.
Getting around Havana
The use of the public transport in the “European” way is not necessarily recommended in Havana. The buses are crammed and there is no route as to where they go. The only suitable way of transportation in Havana are the taxis. State taxi drivers are privileged since they have access to tips in CUC. We recommend to negotiate about the price before getting onto the taxi, since in most cases the drivers will deny to use the taximeter, if they even have one. For taxis it applies in general that the smaller the taxi, the lower the price. Yellow Cubataxis and white Ladas without air conditioning are usually the cheapest option. Drivers of bigger, newer vehicles charge more, especially if they are located in front of 4 or 5 star hotels. You should always have some change on you for the taxi ride, since the drivers often claim that they don’t have any change (a common method to round up the amount from e.g. 3,10 CUC to 4 CUC). Apart from these taxis there are also drivers in private cars who illegally offer a taxi service and get their clients via people who stop you in the streets (Jinteros). Usually the prices of the state taxis are as low as the “illegal” taxis and mostly cleaner and more comfortable.
Getting around Cuba
The driver with the car about the fastest and most convenient way to travel around Cuba. The Cuban driver knows the roads, knows where to go, knows where to refuel and above all takes responsibility for any defects. And it should be emphasized that in Cuba, every driver is also the best car mechanic for his vehicle. There is no need to hide that repairs occur frequently, so they already have it in a small finger.
The driver with the car also gives you flexibility. You’ve set up the route and places of accommodation, but you can make stops wherever you want.
Although in this option you pay for both the driver, car, fuel and driver’s meals and accommodation, the expense turns out to be almost the same as renting a car in Cuba.
Renting a car in Cuba on the one hand gives a lot of flexibility when it comes to choice of route and stops, but on the other it is quite a bold option. It is certainly great for families and people who do not like to carry luggage. However, this option is expensive. Renting a car in a Cuba costs much more than in Europe. In the high season, rates can start from £100 a day! The reason for this is the limited amount of cars, therefore car renting needs to be arranged well in advance
Traveling with a rented car does not make it easier to mark streets, and in Cuba we can forget about online navigation. Only offline applications and the belief that they are updated accordingly. On the roads, however, you have to be careful. First of all, they are very holey and it is not difficult to catch rubber, but it is difficult to vulcanize. Secondly, they are unlit, and therefore quite dangerous.
Pedestrians, horse carts, cyclists and animals also move on roads on dark and night. You do not need to mention that they do not have lighting or glare. You just can not see them.
Renting a car in Cuba is one more reason – Cuba is the world capital of fiesta, rum and fun. The driver will have to give up more than one Cuba Libre or Mojito. While there is no shortage of rum in Cuba, unfortunately it is already fuel, and this may be another problem when renting a car – where to refuel, if there is no petrol anywhere …
Car rentals in Cuba are all state-owned and compete with each other, but in fact the offer is similar.