Free travel home page with storage for your pictures and travel reports! login GLOBOsapiens - Travel Community GLOBOsapiens - Travel Community GLOBOsapiens - Travel Community
 You are here: Member pages
Login
 Forgot password?
sign up


Top 3 members
wojtekd 195
Member snaps
joaoleitao Havana - A travel report by João
about me      | my friends      | pictures      | albums      | reports      | travel log      | travel tips      | guestbook      | activities      | contact      |

Havana,  Cuba - flag Cuba -  Ciudad de La Habana
3316 readers

joaoleitao's travel reports

Driving in Cuba, 3780km Caribbean Exploration

  12 votes
Hyundai Athos, 3780km exploration in the Caribbean Island of Cuba. After spending almost a week in Havana my friends and I decided to skip the capital and start some serious island exploration. Driving in Cuba, Havana Rent a Car.


You see the powerful machine we rented??!! The big, the Magestic, Amazing: Hyunday Athos
You see the powerful machine we rented??!! The big, the Magestic, Amazing: Hyunday Athos
The best way to get to know places is definitely by driving. We can basically stop wherever we wish. After an intensive search in Havana and after taxi around the city to check out all the prices, we found out that they do not change a lot as the existing companies do all belong to the state; they are state owned enterprises as every other in Cuba.

No private companies exist in Cuba. So after an hour on a taxi looking for the best deal ( and actually after a couple phone calls ) we end up staying with CUBA CAR – CAR RENTAL. This is a tiny office located aside a Servicentro ( Gas Station ) and exactly facing the Malecón Avenue. The guy that talked to us was nice and understood that we wanted the cheapest.

Road conditions in Cuba are OK if you stick to the big main roads, I mean, OK concerning that even a secondary road in Morocco is much better than the highway from Santa Clara to Havana

Road signs do not exist so you better start practicing your Spanish accent, open that window and start asking direction to where ever you wish to go.

Now, if you decide to go and drive trough the small yellow road ( yellow on the map corresponding to smaller roads, rural itineraries ), well, there were times we wished the trip would end, and, times where basically the road disappeared like from Moa to Baracoa.

To go to Baracoa people usually take the southern road from Guantanamo and Santiago de Cuba, but as we were driving clock-wise on the island, we had to pass the northern access to town of Baracoa, the first place where Cristobel Colon once arrived.

Favourite spots:
Hum…looks a bit smaller on this picture :D :P
Hum…looks a bit smaller on this picture :D :P
Driving in Cuba: Do’s & Don’ts

* Don’t pass the speed limit due to the large amount of people walking on the roads also during the night, tons of animals passing the road, people on horses, cows, dogs and all other farm animals you can think of. Also the police will probably stop you;

* If so, do not be rude to police. They will be a mirror of your first behavior. Smile, say hello “Hola! Como está? And you’ll just be fine. If they stick to the ticket just cry and they will let you go;

* Some roads are in really bad conditions;

* Never be out of a spare tire;

* Be safe and always have the fuel tank half full;

* I mean, of course you can go a bit faster than the speed limit;

* Stop and buy fruit and drink fresh fruit juice whenever you see it on the side of the road;

* Cuba and it’s tropical weather can be tricky so sudden storms can come fast;

* Yes! Get a car and discover Cuba by your own!

What's really great:
Farola Highway, from Baracoa to Guantanmo, East Cuba
Farola Highway, from Baracoa to Guantanmo, East Cuba
In almost 4000km driven, we had 3 flat tires, had to buy a new tire that got destroyed and had to switch another one in Pinar del Rio in the rental company.

We put fuel for 9 times in the following locations: Havana, Santa Clara, Cayo Coco, Manatí, Moa, Santiago de Cuba, Sancti Spiritus, Piñar del Río and Bahia Honda ( where we just put $5 CUC to get us to Havana to deliver the car ). We spent exactly $187 CUC which is around 150EUROS. We drove 486km on our first day of driving, from Havana passing 3 hours on the beach in Varadero and heading to Remédios where we stayed for 2 nights.

Sights:
Driving along the Caribeean Sea, Southern Cuba
Driving along the Caribeean Sea, Southern Cuba
Car Rental, CUBACAR
Carlos León
Pnto Servicentro 23 y Malecón, Havana, Cuba
870.2257

Prices car rental Havana

1 to 6 days = $55CUC per day
7 to 13 days = $50CUC per day
+ 14 days = $45CUC per day

After a short conversation with the car rental employee, I quickly got to know some quick fact about car driving in Cuba. Basically and apart from common sense, we have to watch out for some tricks on Cuban roads.

Accommodations:
The price range per night including breakfast for 1 person was around $10 CUC
The price range per night including breakfast for 1 person was around $10 CUC
We were sleeping along the way, while choosing a place to be the next destination, we were using Lonely Planet book for directions but as soon as we got to any town center, we would just follow our instinct and look for a place to stay. We only stayed in one "private house" that was publicized in LP. Al the other ones we just searched and talk to people directly, discussed prices and whenever we got good deals, we stayed.

More or less our trajectory was going around the island on a clock wise circle which I now point out the places where we slept for 2 weeks during the time we rented the car: Remédios ( 2nights ), Playa Santa Lucia ( 1night ), Baracoa ( 4nights ), Santiago de Cuba ( 2nights ), Camaguey ( 2nights ), Trinidad ( 2nights ), Viñales ( 3nights ).

Other recommendations:
Way to Cayo Santa Maria, a few kms away from the nice town of Remédios
Way to Cayo Santa Maria, a few kms away from the nice town of Remédios
We delivered the car on time, and, by surprise hit the NUMBER 1 TOURIST to get back without 1 police ticket!! We were the first to get back on this office without 1 car fine, and even more surprising to them was that we rented the car for 2 weeks! Who says Portuguese drivers are bad? In Cuba at least… :D

Published on Tuesday October 30th, 2007


send travelogue via e-mail    Publish on Facebook  



Mon, Jul 04 2011 - 02:17 PM rating by recaro94

Great report! I recently copied you and did a similar trip. Did you happen to stop for chocolate when you took the picture under "What's really great"? I remember there being numerous chocolate vendors along this road and I regret not stopping. We didn't get a ticket either! But we deserved two, got out of both of them by talking about baseball with the police, they liked that :)

Wed, Oct 31 2007 - 10:15 AM rating by rangutan

A different kind of report with an emphasis on mode of travel. Well done!

Wed, Oct 31 2007 - 08:16 AM rating by marianne

Good information about car hire. What did you see and where did you go? What was the country like?

Tue, Oct 30 2007 - 03:26 PM rating by zrusseff

Joao, nice report. I have to make it to Cuba soon.

Information:
Login if you are a member, or sign up for a free membership to rate this report and to earn globo points!

 Cuba
   Havana average user rating for this report
 Kazakhstan
   Almaty average user rating for this report
 Mauritania
   Bir Moghrein average user rating for this report

 
Publish your own story!
 More on Cuba

   Santiago de Cuba average user rating for this report
   Santiago de Cuba average user rating for this report
   La Habana average user rating for this report
   Havana - recaro94 average user rating for this report
   Havana - mistybleu average user rating for this report




  Terms and Conditions    Privacy Policy    Press    Contact    Impressum
  © 2002 - 2017 Findix Technologies GmbH Germany    Travel Portal Version: 4.2.6