As in any other city of the world, the usual means of transportation are buses, cars, taxis. However, Cuba is very particular especial because of the circulation of two currencies, Peso Cubano (CUP or MN) and Peso Convertible (CUC). The latter is oftener used by tourists, because almost all kinds of service for tourism have to be paid in CUC, Nevertheless, it is important to know how to differentiate which transport should be paid in one currency or another.
Transportation in CUC.
- State cabs in CUC, the most expensive option.
Can be rented in hotels, airports, and other touristic sites. Or by phoning 855 55 55. Although the cost of the fare is recorded by a taximeter, as a matter of fact it is absent in most of the cars, so the tourist and the taxi driver should agree about the price before. Moving along central areas is about 5 or 10 CUC, while a trip to the airport or to eastern beaches (PLAYAS DEL Este) may cost 20 or 30 CUC. Anyway, you should take into account that these figures are approximate, so you’d better get more information with local people.
- Tourist bus (Habana Bus Tour) follow fixed tours along the city.
The ticket cost is 5 CUC a day. From 9:00 am to 9pm. You may use the same ticket all day long in different buses, but Playas del Este is excluded. A t the moment, there are 3 routes; T1, T2. T3. T1 starts in Parque Central (across from Hotel Inglaterra) and goes along sites if interest in Centro Habana, Habana Vieja (the old city), Vedado and Plaza de la Revolucion (Revolution Square). T2 the starting point is Plaza de la Revolucion goes along Miramar and, finally reaches Marina Hemingway. T3 links Parque Central and Playas del Este. It is a better form of getting visual impressions about Havana, if you don’t have much free time. Under this link, a map and a schedule of HabanaBusTour can be found.
- State car rental in official agencies RENT A CAR.
It is not a really cheap way of travelling in Cuba. You may rent a low oil consumer car by around 40 CUC a day. The price of oil is not included. They are especially recommended for travelling longer distances along the country to other cities and provinces. Be careful with the bad conditions of secondary road.
- Private car rental, with or without driver.
Better prices than state cars, in CUC. for using in Havana, or for travelling to provinces.
- Interprovincial buses travel to other provinces.
Main tourist sites, such as Varadero, keys in Ciego de Avila, Santiago de Cuba and Havana are linked by them. They are controlled by two different enterprises “Vía Azul” agency has more comfortable guaguas (as Cubans call buses) which, because of the ticket price are almost exclusively for tourists. On the other hand, average Cuban people travel by ASTRO, whose fares in CUP are more at hand. However, for a tourist, the fare is the same as by VIAZUL.
Transportation in CUP.
Tourists can take public buses normally used by people. This service is much cheaper, which is its main advantage. Nevertheless, it has several disadvantages, since they are overcrowded, late and not frequent. Thus, this is not the most convenient transport for you, if you need to be somewhere on time, or waiting upsets you.
- Public buses go along the whole city and are really cheap (40 cents).
It is de kind of transport they prefer, that’s why buses are usually too crowded. The most interesting routes may be the following: P1 starting in Nautico, goes across Miramar, then Vedado along Linea Street until 23 and L crossroad. P5, starting in a suburb called San Agustin, Marianao and then follows a similar route in Vedado, including Malecon, along the sea, and Port avenue to reaching the Old city, ( La Habana Vieja). P4 links main central areas: Vedado, Centro Habana and the historical centre. There are also others routes linking these neighborhoods, such as 20, 27, 8, 34, 37.
- Old cars functioning as shared taxis.
They are easy to distinguish, because they are old American cars form the late forties and fifties. They have become a sort of city postcards. Unlike state taxis, they follow a fixed route. The main routes and fees are: from West neighborhoods (La LISA, Marianao, Playa, Miramar to Centro Habana and Capitol is 20 CUP; while from Vedado to the same area is 10 CUP. From Playa and Miramar till Vedado, the route has two variants: along Linea or 23 streets.