Car rental is quite expensive, but is by far the best idea of transportation on the island! Your trip will suddenly turn into an unforgettable road movie … You will feel free to visit all the nooks of Cuba at your own pace , and discover beautiful places off the beaten path ! You will also have the opportunity to take Cuban hitchhikers (the transport network is deficient, there is a lot of it throughout the country) and get to know the local population cheap car rental The Cubans will also tell you the way … there are very few signs in Cuba , you could lose you!
A tip: flights have been listed … Just be considerate and put away your bags and personal belongings! Be suspicious if a car is down on the side of the road … and you are asked to bring them to the next city.
The rental car costs between 60 and 100 CUC per day (depending on model) in high season and about 45 to 80 in low season. Compulsory insurance is about 15 CUC per day (it covers everything except generally the theft of tires and the radio). If you plan to leave the vehicle in a city other than the one of the departure, there is also a supplement, calculated according to the distance. Add to that the gasoline fees of course!
There are 3 major national car rental companies: Cubacar and Havanautos Vía and Rex.
Before departure, the car will be checked by the agency. Do not forget to declare the slightest shock! In case of accident or theft, make a statement to the police (and get a copy of it), otherwise the insurance will not work.
In almost every hotel you can book tickets for all tourist destinations on the island. The bus trip is much cheaper than by car.
The company Astro is closed to tourists. The buses are very cheap but … slow, often out of order and always crowded!
The company Viazul is the one reserved for foreigners: faster, comfortable and air-conditioned! The departure is: Casa Matriz, at the corner of Avenue 26 and Zoologico Street, Nuevo Vedado, Habana.
Transtur : these are “excursion” buses that travel to and from a particular tourist destination, often during the day, with a guide on board and lunch included in the price (most of the time). This is obviously more expensive than the simple transport with buses Viazul . These excursions are sold by all the tourist agencies ( Cubatur , Cubanacan ). The company also rents cars.
Cuban trains are old, slow and irregular. The rail network connects Havana to important cities: you have to have time to lose and love the picturesque, but if you speak Spanish, the trip can be an opportunity for friendly meetings.
Moving to Cuba is not always easy … But with patience, you will manage to keep smiling! Do not forget that this is also Cuban life! The road network is in poor condition and the roads are often quite degraded and poorly lit! Avoid driving at night.
Cubans have to fend for themselves as they can to move. They wait on the roadside for buses (which sometimes never come) or tourists who agree to take them hitchhiking! Some trucks were even converted because …
The means of transport at your disposal, according to the distances to be covered:
There are a total of 15 airports: 10 international and 5 local.
National flights depart from Havana to Santiago, Camaguey, Bayamo and Holguín with the national airline Cubana de Aviación . Aerocaribbean also provides a connection between Havana, Holguín and Cayo Coco. But beware, it happens that flights are regularly canceled! Plan your trips in advance!
You can use official taxis (taxis for tourists), checking that the race is paid well to the meter. The company is called Cubataxi, but also operates under the banners Taxi OK and Panataxi. You pay in CUC for the distance traveled and not for the time that has elapsed. For long journeys you will be able to negotiate a price.
But if you want a diff cheap rent a car and fun means of transportation, there are cocotaxis in most cities , bright yellow scooters with three seats! However, they do not have a meter … Try to negotiate the price, before going up!
Other solution ! In the main cities, you will also find carriages (calezas) and ciclotaxis ! To take private taxis (old American cars), better know how to speak Spanish , to negotiate the price … But even if you are far from fluent in the language of Cervantes do not hesitate to try to stammer a few words, because to move to An old american board in Cuba is a moment that we all want to live when we leave on this island!
Be aware that officially, foreigners are not allowed to use “private” taxis, or to be transported in cars with Cubans , but in any case you risk nothing … unofficially! Some Cubans can only refuse to transport you.