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Cuba

Getting around

Planes, rental cars, buses, bus, scooters, trains, taxis, pedicabs... all modes of transportation are available.

If you're a kind of a nomad and you would like to go wherever you please, you might want to think about renting a car during your stay in Cuba.

In Havana, a car isn't necessary and you have to pay to park. But for visiting other towns and regions, it will save you a lot of time.

Contrary to what is said in most guidebooks, the roads in Cuba are basically in good shape, even if they do lack a bit of maintenance. You should be careful to avoid the giant potholes on the Ocho Vias motorway. Keep your petrol tank as full as possible, and avoid driving with less than a third of a tank

Cuban bus

Recently the bus company Viazul has established routes between the principal cities and tourist centers.

You should count on paying about $30 US for the trip between Havana and Trinidad which takes about 5 hours.

Hitchhiking. If you would like to travel the way thousands of Cubans do, why not give hitchhiking a try. Botella (hitching a ride) is a common way of getting around, because there is such a decided lack of public transportation.

You might find yourself riding in the back of a truck, in an old American car, or with a bunch of nice tourists happy to pick you up.

Cuban trains are not exactly fine examples of punctuality or comfort, but you might want to take a ride just for the "cultural" experience.
The affordable buses of the Vizul company are an ideal way of getting around the island. The airconditioned buses make regular stops at major cities. However, you shouldn't be in a hurry to get somewhere.

The airlines Cubana de Aviacion and Aerotaxi use older, somewhat funny looking planes. You may be better off looking at them from the ground (especially if you get airsick in modern planes).

You can rent bikes and scooters in tourist areas and in Havana, but be sure that they are well locked if you leave them for any period of time.

For shorter trips in town or for going to the airport, a taxi can be a good idea, but set down a price with the driver before you get in. A trip to the airport from Havana costs about 15 dollars.

Taxi coco

To see the sights in Havana like a real tourist should, a ride in a taxi-bici, pedi-cab or in one of the taxi Cocos, the famous three wheeled cars,is a pleasant way to go.

A ride in a horse and carriage isn't bad either, but remember to ask for the price before you get in. Five dollars is a reasonable price.

The seafaring person's ultimate dream for getting to the other side of Havana and to Regla or Casablanca, is the ferry.

The one that docks on the Entrada canal, just opposite the Castillo de la Real Fuerza is the cream of the crop of the Balsero type ferry rides.

The Cuban techno music that this blue double decker boat pumps out into the harbor, and the smoke it produces at each crossing make it an experience you will never forget. We can't stop thinking about this boat since we came home.

Rental car

A rental car can cost you anywhere from 45 to 100 dollars a day according to the model and the number of days you rent.

In any case, ask for an air-conditioned car. You can make your reservation for a car from home, but it's just as easy to do it when you get there, and cheaper too, because you may be able to bargain for a lower price that includes the insurance by taking advantage of the competition between rental companies, Havanautos, Cubanacan...

Be sure to check out the condition of the car before you leave and make sure that the spare tire is in perfect shape.
Your only problem will be finding a place to park.

In the daytime in town, you can leave your car in a safe place for about a dollar. At night, you should be especially careful, but most hotels have parking lots with attendants.

Petrol costs about $1 US per liter

 

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