In BandbCuba.com we have prepared this Cuban´s taxis: guide for travelers. There is an interesting variety of cabs than can take you from one place to another. From modern cars to bicycles, but which one you should take? Read this post to be prepared for your next trip to the island.
To move around Cuba foreign travelers use to rent a car or take taxis, instead of public transportation. These two options are the most comfortable and safer way to do it. But in comes to cabs, it can be confusing if don’t know what to expect.
The taxi culture in Cuba is very particular, as everything else in the island. Yes, you’ll spot yellow cabs, but these are not the only option. Travelers can take a ride in a modern or a classic car, share cabs with locals or experience a ride on a Coco or a bicitaxi.
Also be prepared to negotiate the price with drivers, because even if the car has a meter, most of time drivers keep them off. Keep a good attitude when taking a taxi. There are drivers that won’t chat too much, but some of them will act as your best friend during the ride. They’ll talk about almost everything, and they can be a good source of information about where to go in Cuba, places to eat and many more.
Let’s take a look on the different types of taxi in Cuba. Some of them are just to move around the city, others take travelers from one town to another. Get ready to know what is the best option for you.
These are known for being the official taxi for tourists and they are under the administration of the government. Which mean that the drivers have to pay a monthly rent for using the car.
This is the type of taxi you’ll find at the airport once you arrive to the island. The range of cars goes from Lada to Mercedes. Most of them offer some comfort to the traveler such as air conditioner and safe belt.
Even if the car have a taximeter, the driver will prefer to keep it off. For travelers this is an opportunity to negotiate like a local would do it. The minimum payment they expect is 5 CUC, but you should know the distance you are traveling to get a fair price. A ride from the airport to Havana is about 30 CUC. Be aware that sometimes you’ll get very different prices for similar distances.
For families traveling with kids, this is a great option because is safe. But also they could take a private taxi.
Taxi driving is a profitable industry in Cuba, especially now that the tourist industry is rising up. Private taxis are cars owned by private citizens or companies. Even when they’re not the official Turistaxi, the drivers are licensed, so don’t worry about this.
Most of them are old cars, it doesn’t mean they’re cheaper than touristic cars. The prices of the rides are similar between the two alternatives. And is common that the drivers will negotiate the price too.
Find them outside restaurants and touristic places.
This group includes the famous classic cars in Cuba. You can explore Havana in a 1940 or a 1950 car. Some of them are own by the government, but some private citizens offer a good service on this type of cars too.
Some travelers rush to take this type of taxi in Havana, but in fact, you can find them in other cities. And the ride will be cheaper than in the capital!
There are companies that offer a good service in these cars. Booking with anticipation will help you to plan better your Cuban experience.
The taxis colectivos are communal taxis, this means that a group of people share the same car and the price is divided between all of them. They have established routes, travelers can take it in any of the stops and ask the driver to leave them at any point of the route.
Typically these are the types of Havana taxi that locals take to move around the city and they charge 10 to 50 CUP for a ride, depending where are you going. They use Cuban pesos, because is the way Cubans move around.
To know where to find them you can ask at your accommodation for information. Usually they are close to the bus and the railway station. The rides are cheaper than the previous option and they give you a more local taste of Cuba.
The cars, also known as “almendrones” are old American cars. They have the reputation to be unsafe and uncomfortable because most of them don’t have safe belt or air conditioner. But now there are companies like Book Taxi Cuba that offers a better service, with three categories of modern cars, according to your needs. This kind of service is perfect if you want to go from one city to another.
Imagine you are in Pinar del Rio and want to go back to Havana. If you didn’t rent a car, you could take a bus. But this mean going to the station to catch a ticket, there could be some delays and the trip is slower than going in a car.
Here is when we recommend a taxi colectivo. These cars can be really safe. Although you’ll hear some bad opinions about them like they do transfer on the way to your destination. These is common, but not of them do it.
Book Taxi Cuba, for example, doesn’t change car during the trip. The vehicle you take at the beginning of the route, is the same that will take you to the final stop. Also, you can book online and get a confirmation in 24 hours. Once your reservation is confirmed, you don’t have to worry about anything else, just to be on time for the trip.
Transportation in Cuba includes these curious vehicles. They look like a football helmet, but actually it meant to be similar to the coconut fruit. That’s where it names come from. It can take three persons at the time (really tight) plus the driver that will be in front of them.
You’ll see the Coco taxis all around Havana. Is not so safe but they offer a good experience that you’ll want to try. They charge about 1 CUC per mile. You won’t see locals taking one of these vehicles, they’re for tourists.
The last option are bicitaxis. These are bicycles prepared to take up to two people at the back seat. It’s also a touristic taxi that you can take to go around Havana, maybe after a long day of walking.
1 CUC is the minimum price they expect to receive. Be sure to agree a price before taking a ride in a bicitaxi. This is a fun way to know Old Havana from a different perspective and, of course, one of the options you’ll probably want to explore during your stay in the island.
We’ve already talked about the types of taxis travelers can find in Cuba. Now take note of the following tips, that also will be helpful.
As we said before, it’s important you’ll learn to negotiate. Don’t be shy and be prepared to ask for a discount to the taxi driver if you think the asking price is too high. Actually you can have some fun during the process.
Women travelling alone have to be careful, especially if they’re traveling at night.
If you are taking a taxi colectivo in Havana, be aware that if the driver realize you are a tourist, will charge you the normal rate. To avoid this, don’t wait for the taxi at the corner of Neptuno and Parque Central, but a block from there. Also, don’t ask how much is the ride. You will recognize the communal taxi when you’ll see a group of people going on and off the car together.
Also, when you are a tourist you’ll realize that you’ll pay almost the same in every option.
We hope this post helps you to be prepared for your next trip to Cuba. Don’t forget to share this Cuban´s taxis guide for travelers with your friends. If you’re thinking about your next trip, contact us and we’ll help you to get the best accommodation.
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