Cuba is part of the world that many have not seen. As a country that has not had many tourists, determining what to do, where to stay, can be a challenge. We have you covered on the best itinerary for Cuba. While you are here though… take a look at my favorite types of transportation in Cuba!
Transporting through Cuba isn’t like any other transportation. Yes, they do have a bus system, and they have taxi’s, but it is just a little different. They do not have a train transportation since Cubans cannot keep up with the railway system.
Havana is small enough to walk around and visit places by foot, all you need is a map. But sometimes to get across Havana to the other side to Che’s or Hemingway’s House, or just in a time crunch, you’ll want to take transportation. Cuban unmarked transportation is always able to be bargained, which you should always do. They do charge more when you ask then it does cost because they are trying to make a living, but do not be scared because they will go down since they know that it doesn’t cost as much. Try not to get transportation that is in front of major hotels, tourist attractions, or someone coming up to you, because their prices will ALWAYS be higher, due to the demand for them. So take a walk down a few blocks or on the highway and you’ll find a cheaper way for transportation.
You may wondering, well how is it any different if they have taxi’s and buses, look below and I’ll justify each.
When trying to find a taxi, you do not want to find the government official ones (only when coming from the airport), because all prices are fixed. Try to find the marked cars with a small yellow sticker that says “Taxi.” This means that they are just regular Cubans, who bargain prices to get you from point A to point B. You will see plenty driving down the street, you just stick your hand out to wave them down, they ask where you are going, and if you are going the same direction as they are, you have yourself a ride. Never take a taxi for more than 8 CUC total throughout Havana, honestly, you should just walk around and see the beauty of the city, but if you are going to the other side in a time crunch, take a taxi.
DO NOT TAKE A NICE TAXI! Those prices are fixed and even more expensive, this can range from 40 CUC for one hour to 100 CUC for three. If you want a city tour of Havana in an old Cuban car, this is the perfect experience to do so, but only try to do it once or twice!
DO TAKE THE BEATEN DOWN TAXI! When you want the Cuban lifestyle, take the taxi that has the door broken, the window doesn’t open, no seat belt, and a car with a stereo that barely works. You will meet the most amazing people and you will see the roads less traveled because they know the short cut. If you want to hear one of my stories of riding in a Cuban taxi, click here.
I recommend not taking the bus system, unless you are going further out of the city, and you have several hours to do so. The bus makes frequent stops, it is packed full with no seats (and if you do take a seat, elderly and children ALWAYS get the first priority). The prices are only in the Cuban Pesos, which is .10 CUC, and if you give them 1 CUC, you will get A LOT of peso change that you will not be able to use anywhere, so might as well let the bus driver keep it. The bus route also isn’t very well marked. It kind of takes you around and doesn’t tell you what stop you are at, or even where it is going.
But hey, if you have a day to kill, might as well take the time to just see how the Cubans do it and where it takes you!
This can mean, you rent a bike for a day, or find someone with a bicycle and a seat behind them. Renting a bike doesn’t cost a lot, but don’t expect to have a fancy one. You’ll get a persons bike for the day, and just take it for a ride! Be aware though, Cuban drivers are crazy, so if you are ready for an adventure, know how to ride a bike, and follow the laws of the road, this is definitely an experience that you can do! This was probably one of my favorite days when I just road the Cuban streets, and finding new places.
Taking a bicycle taxi is a different story! These men and women work there butts off transporting people around! It is them riding a bike pulling YOU around! It is a tricycle, and some bikes have cool seats while others are falling a part. You can get a ride across Havana for about 5 to 7 CUC, depending on your destination, but it will take you a little longer than a regular taxi. You see so much more, because they can go down the streets cars are not allowed to go, they will take you to see places many tourists don’t know about (like the place that Fast and the Furious 5 was filmed at). It is also so much fun riding on the back, listening to them talk to each other, then when they go down streets they
scream at their friends, waving, because they know everyone!
BUG MOTOR TAXIS:
Honestly, I have no idea if this is what you call them, but they are so cute, adorable, and fun to ride in. It costs like 3 to 5 CUC to get around Havana, and it is the small bug looking taxi that you can ride in. They wear a helmet, but you just sit in the back (it is pretty cramped, you can fit three, but comfortably only 2) and enjoy the ride. They go pretty fast for how small they are, they cut through all of the cars, go around pot holes, or maybe even hit them, drive down the side streets, and get you were you need to be. They are so adorable and so much fun that just giving yourself one time for like 10 minutes to ride in it they will be worth it.
No matter what transportation you take, you are going to LOVE Cuba. Get to know the city and the culture, and you will never want to leave.