Taxi’s in Cuba – an authentic experience

When it comes to Taxis in Cuba there are several options. I will list theme here form the most expensive ones to the cheapest:

Old Car Hire. These are beautifully restored old American classics. They are available for hourly rides around Havana at around 25CUC. Keep in mind that if you don’t ask at the beginning, when the trip is done, they’ll say this was the price per person (!) so make sure you mention you’ll pay this much for the whole party. This is not worth doing on a daily basis, but you should take a trip in a convertible along the Malecón, it’s part of the Cuban experience.

State run taxies. These are usually yellow taxi cabs and sport newer cars like Skoda Fabias, Hyundays or the Chinese Geelys. It says Cubataxi in the side and they all have meters installed but usually you talk price beforehand with the driver. They are pretty expensive and it’s usually around to 1 CUC per km. They also have Lada Limousine Taxis :)

Lada Limousine Taxi in Havana Cuba

Lada Limousine Taxi in Havana Cuba

Coco Taxies. They’re yellow and round. You can’t miss them. They seat three in the back and the drive up front but be aware they’re pretty drafty and they drive fast. Prices should be half of what a state-run taxi will charge you.

Rickshaws. Basically a bicycle with two seats in the back that might optionally come with an audio sound system. They’re pretty slow depending on the driver so if you’re in a rush you should avoid them. Also pretty cheap, a few kms ride will set you back 2-3 CUC.

Rckshaws in Cuba

Rckshaws in Cuba

Cuban cars seat 6. Always. No matter if they’re big or small, there’s always 6 people riding. Mostly because a liter of gas is 1.2 CUC which is beyond expensive for most Cubans. For comparison and scale, considering how much they earn in a month, if you live in America it would translate to 300$ a gallon. That’s why most cars in Cuba, ( 90% of American Classics and Soviet Ladas) are taxis. Share taxies. They don’t have fixed routes and are flexible. Just wave to any old car, tell them where you’re going and the driver will tell you to hop on or not depending if they’re going the same way. Price is fixed at 10CUP no matter the destination, but if you don’t have change in National Peso a 1 CUC for the ride will suffice for two persons. Be aware that people will get off and on all the time so it’s a bit of a fuss, but is the most Cuban thing you can do in Cuba. Also if they’re empty, you can use them as your personal taxi without sharing for a higher fee to be negotiated depending on the distance. So, if you like any car in Cuba just wave the driver and ask him to take you for a drive. They will.

TIP: When you leave the share taxi don’t ask how much it costs, that way they’ll know you don’t know the price and ask for more, just give them the usual fee.

NOTE: Do not, I repeat do not throw the doors when you get out of the car, you will get shout at for it. All Cuban drivers are very sensitive about this even if the rest of the car is a rust bucket.

taxi in havana cuba (2) taxi in havana cuba (1)

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